Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

The Complications with Research

Reliability of data put forth in research material has always been an issue and most recently an article exposed that a London University essentially pocketed money for climate change research. As if the climate change and global warming claims don’t have enough uncertainty surrounding them in this current election, now one must also be concerned with the statistics put forth by scientists. What if scientists have in fact been making these climate change claims because they were positioned, well paid, to do so?

Let’s not forget a Senate race is happening too!!

Pennsylvania has been talked about largely in the Presidential election because a split is seen. In Philadelphia millennials are supporting Hillary Clinton in a big way and  another large city, Pittsburgh is seeing similar sentiment. However less than an hour away, in southwestern Pennsylvania, is Greene County aka coal country -where Donald Trump rules. The Senate race is not seeing much of a split in Pennsylvania. In the swing state Sen. Pat Toomey (R) is in a virtual tie with opponent Katie McGinty (D). The topic that these two have decided to be their divider is Climate change. While Katie McGinty has served as the head of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and is in line to support reducing climate change efforts her opponent is against it all. The interesting factor here is that According to a poll by the Natural Resources Defense Council, 82 percent of Pennsylvania voters want the state to develop a plan to curb carbon pollution. With such an overwhelming majority of the state in support of decreasing climate change producing emissions, one would think that the candidates could align on this issue. However the trick here is to follow the money… Toomey’s campaign is leaning heavily on fossil fuel donations. Overall, Toomey’s campaign has received $1 million dollars from energy and natural resources companies, both directly and through his PAC, according to Open Secrets.  Typical.

Climate Change May Not be all that bad…

…in some regions. The effects and those expected of increasing climate change have largely been seen as bad. With much discussion surrounding the loss of natural animal habitats, decreasing water supply, agricultural depression, and an increase in unpleasant weather there has seemed to be no good side of increasing temperatures, until now. A study out of Virginia Tech that was recently published in the Journal for Climatic Change makes claims that rising temperatures would lead to positive changes in Ethiopia. The research states that  water availability in the Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia may increase in coming decades due to global climate change. A correlation that I have never seen made before, typically rising temperatures decrease water availability. As a result of the increase of water availability crop production would increase, hydroelectric power projects would develop and irrigation systems could be established in the region. Not too shabby. Read More Here.

Climate Change: Bring the Republicans Back


First off, Kudos to the artists who made the above image. It is the first caricature that I have seen that has successfully made Donald Trump look like tolerable.

In this article titled “How Will the Next U.S. President Tackle Climate Change?”, the author speaks on polls and past Republican candidates’ platforms. It is a well-known fact that Donald Trump is not in support of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), policies aimed at combatting climate change (Paris Treaty and Clean Power Plan), nor is he in support of the notion that man-made climate change exists. Ignoring the science, Trump has seemed to create a sort of bandwagon on the issue.

The 2012 Republican candidate Mitt Romney believes in climate change and in 2008 John McCain acknowledged that climate change was a problem, supported that human behavior contributed, and that we should take action. According to a Gallup survey in March, Republican support of the issue had increased.  However a more recent poll from Pew shows that Republican support is waning. What gives?!

Which brings me to the question: What influences the electorate to support platforms, Science and research or are they blindly following their representative?

Op-Ed: “The Dog Ate My Planet”

This particular Op-ed from the NY Times following the 1st presidential debate I had been saving to post because who doesn’t click on an article that says “The Dog Ate My Planet.” In my opinion the article leaves a lot to be missed, which could just be due to the factor that I’ve been engrossed in this topic for over a month. The columnist does however call to a more robust Huffington Post article which show a range of Republican surrogates tweets from Donald Trump saying that climate change is a “hoax” followed by him saying on the debate platform that he {Donald Trump} never said those words. The Huffington post then follows up and  ask these Republican surrogates what their personal views on climate change is now that they’ve been exposed to the factor that their candidate has said two opposing things on the issue. Fun Stuff!!

Op-ed: “How Trump ‘absolutely’ corrupts the GOP”

This article from the Washington Post does a great job I believe at grabbing the attention of Democrats and Republicans alike. The bulk of the Op-ed is not directly about Donald Trump but rather about the New Hampshire senate race between R-Kelly Ayotee and D-Maggie Hassan. In short, Republican senate candidate was asked would she consider Donald Trump as a role model for her kids, to which she initially replied “…absolutely”. The following day her campaign released a statement saying she “misspoke.” During our class with Thomas Edsall I mentioned a comment she made a few months ago which was that she would “support” Trump, but she would not “endorse” him. Though we clarified in class that this meant that Trump would get her vote but she would not be seen at any of his events, it’s still a tad confusing.  The article goes on to express the writer’s belief on the effect the GOP candidate has on the Republican party and the benefit that this “flip-floppiness” for lack of a better term lends to a Democratic campaign.

“Could climate change help Clinton win millennials?” I don’t think so…

…but I sure hope so. This CNN.com article seems to believe that it will. Monday night’s debate put climate change on a map in a big way by alerting the nation to Donald Trump’s affinity to lie or flip flop on his stance. I can completely see how Hillary’s advisors would see this as potential chance to grab millennials as climate change is one of Obama’s biggest platforms and young voters ran to the polls to vote for him, however I do not recognize climate change as the issue that caused those young voters to head to the polls. I voted for Obama because I had family and friends away at war, amongst other reasons. Hillary’s strategists need to address issues that are dear to millennial hearts, and as a millennial myself I can name a few but will start with two: College Debt and Mental Health. Though Hillary does have agendas on both student loan forgiveness and mental health, those platforms are not being elevated enough in my opinion.

Iran: Climate Change

In America much deliberation around climate change has been in relation to jobs. The thought process that many follow goes a little something like this.

1. Nation’s power plants are forced into limiting their emissions  2. The need for workers will decrease 3. Unemployment skyrockets  4. America is doomed and loses its superpower status.

No need to mention all the new jobs that would erect at renewable and solar energy plants. In any event, we often forget how other nations are impacted by a change in an item we all share, the atmosphere. In Iran, Lake Urmia is essentially disappearing partially as a result of  climate change. If you recall learning about the Nile River in grade school and all the many ways it supplied for the people, Lake Urmia is similar in functioning. Local farmers are struggling to tend to their crops and growing new ones seems futile as the surrounding lands productivity has diminished. It is said that the lake had healing powers and once used to bring tourism from near and far into the country. The question here is: Why aren’t we concerned about the loss of jobs and the effect on the economy if we don’t get climate change under control?

Disturbingly Beautiful Pictures of “Lake” Urmia Here

Thank You Twitter: Climate Change

Climate change has been pretty low in the polls of registered and likely voter’s concerns, however during Monday night’s first presidential debate the issue had a bit of a chance to shine. Hillary Clinton undoubtedly chose to bring up the climate change topic as it is one that her opponent strongly is against. Clinton referred to Trump calling climate change and global warming a “hoax”, and he denied ever saying that word vehemently. Well Thank You Twitter for being a fact checker’s assistant. In watching the debate, it’s clear to see that Clinton prepared a strategy in order to depict Trump’s penchant for lying and/or going back on his word. Crossing my fingers (leg and eyes too) that strategy wins and Trump’s claims don’t raise additional uncertainty, as this Washington Post article totes is a possibility, that would assist his efforts.