Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

Trump and the Paris Climate Agreement

As a reminder, Donald Trump believes climate change and the associated global warming is a “hoax.” Another reminder, he actually stands a chance at winning the presidential seat.

Due to those two factors above, we must now combat his beliefs with science and cross our fingers, legs, and eyes that science prevails.  This letter, signed by 375 scientists, works to stress the importance of maintaining and furthering climate change policy. Though it was not directly written to Mr. Trump, the use of the term “hoax” in its first sentence leaves unmistakable intention.

In case you’re wondering what exactly are Trump’s plans for climate  change, the environment and energy

Rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.

Save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.

Ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.

Make land in the Outer Continental Shelf available to produce oil and natural gas.

Cancel the Paris Climate Agreement (limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius) and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.

Lift restrictions on American energy, which will increase GDP annually by $100 billion, create 500,000 new jobs and increase wages by over $30 billion over the next 7 years.”

Look at the language: “Job-destroying Obama actions” and “Hillary Clinton extremist agenda.”  Also he mentions next 7 years, Presumptuous are we?

Hot off the Press from the White House: Presidential Memorandum on Climate Change

Last week I posted a blog, supported by an ABC new article, on the potential threat climate change presents to natural security…and look what we have here.  In his most recent presidential memorandum, (a more pleasant way of saying executive order) President Obama “directs 20 agencies from across the government to establish a dedicated working group to identify the U.S. national security priorities related to climate change. Second, it instructs these agencies to develop a Climate Change and National Security Action Plan outlining how they’ll develop and share information on these risks. Third, it directs each agency to develop strategies to address climate-related threats, from impacts on our economy to our food security to the flow of migrants and refugees.”

The policies of the memoranda will carry over into the next administration unless the next president explicitly cancels it.  In my opinion, A great move on Obama’s part since climate change has been pretty much forgotten and/or ignored on this campaign trail.

Polling Data on Climate Change (Not So Recent)

When searching for recent polling date on climate change, I decided to immediately go to some trusted sources which we’ve seen numerous times in our course-Gallup and Pew Research. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t much recent data provided. Interestingly (at least to me) were the questions these polls asked.

This poll by Gallup focused on Us Concern about Global Warming and polled about perceived human contribution as well as perceived severity of climate change. Lastly they produced a poll that reflected the responses to the aforementioned questions by political party (because after all that’s what people really want to know).

Shortly after, this poll ran by Pew Research depicts global positions on climate change by asking a few different questions. Some of these questions were: What is your main climate change concern? and Which countries should bear the costs associated with climate change and emissions? The information garnered from this poll showed that countries that have the highest CO2 emissions actually are less concerned about climate change. Though this poll was set to depict Global concerns, they could not leave out the all too important U.S. partisan take on this issue. (See Image Below)


Now we are talking, a month later, Gallup realized what the people wanted and here is a poll solely based to show political divide on the climate change issue. Liberals largely believe that climate change is a global threat, while Conservatives largely believe that climate change is not a major concern and also that humans have very little fault in contributing to global warming.

For Fun: Trump now states climate change is a hoax, but he once supported it. Pandering to his base I suppose.

“National Security”- The term that always gets people’s attention.

Sorry to disappoint but this is just another post about Climate Change.   On Monday, NASA released a statement saying that August 2016 tied with July 2016 for the warmest month ever recorded. This statement follows one released mid-year by NASA that announced that 2016 was on trend to be the hottest year since their modern record-keeping began in 1880. Now how does this all tie in with national security you may ask.

Read This.

Seems pretty important now, Doesn’t it?

Kids Suing Government Over Climate Change May Get a Trial

The simultaneously great and unfortunate factor about climate change is that it occurs slowly. Great, because though the earth’s temperature has greatly increased and all can feel it, the fallout has been rather bearable for most. Unfortunately, without a sense of urgency, the government tends to delay policies and regulations on the contributing factors. Well, ::Cue in Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World” song:: Kids, well adults making use of  those angelic faces, have decided to take matter into their own hands as they will be around for the increased wildfires, extremely high sea levels, and intensely smoggy air.

These “kids” hope to get their case to the Supreme court in hopes of the atmosphere being ruled a “public trust” which means it is property that the government must care for the welfare of the public good. If the suit advances to the Supreme Court, Winning will require the federal government to address climate change more aggressively through laws and regulations.


Another presidential hopeful takes a look at climate change.

This article written by Laurence Kotlikoff, economist and current presidential hopeful, examines the climate change policies of his far more known presidential opponents Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump.

Mr. Kotlikoff first debates his opponents plan, when one exists, Donald Trump doesn’t have one as he does not believe climate change is a concern. Trump’s stance is that climate change is a “hoax” and that humans play little role in carbon emissions. When addressing Clinton’s climate change policy or policies because there are plenty proposals -Mr. Kotlikoff deems them all as essentially unfeasible. However, Mr. Kotlikoff has developed a plan that I (kind of) support…TAXES!! Tax the emissions and the culprits (energy suppliers) mainly will develop their own mechanism by which to decrease emissions so that they wouldn’t have to pay absorbent amounts in taxes.

“Having a high, but declining carbon tax rates gives dirty-energy producers the right incentives to burn dirty energy slowly.” … “The short-run tax rate needs to be very high and fall substantially through time to give dirty energy suppliers real pause in conducting a fast, rather than slow burn.”

  1. What if the energy companies raise their consumer prices to combat these taxes? (Usually the quickest fix)
  2. What if the population was tasked with decreasing emissions? Would the sale and productions of cars be limited? Would the amount of daily flights an airline can provide be decreased?
  3. What if the next president really likes Mr. Kotlikoff’s plan and puts it in place- Are there rules for payment for implementing an idea of your opponents during your presidency?

The Obama Era

The NY Times (Click above photo for article) has been doing a wonderful literary series for lack of a better term for our soon to be former president titled “The Obama Era.” Today’s piece touched on Climate Change and takes you through President Obama’s trials and tribulations through the last 8 years of being an ambassador for this cause. The article was written to show you the journey that the President has taken in order to get the the Paris Accord officially signed last week.  It’s interesting to look at political writing and the choice of words used, descriptors such as “climate evangelist” can be seen in this article, however I feel it gives a great overview of the challenges faced, how the president dealt with such challenges, as well as what our new president will inherit.

Everything You Would like to Know and More about Climate Change.

First thing that I would like to point out is that climate change and global warming are not synonymous.  Global warming is just one symptom of the much larger problem of human-caused climate change. Global warming is the term used to describe the increase in the earth’s temperature and while climate change includes warming it also refers to changes in environmental factors such as wind, precipitation, the length of seasons as well as the strength and frequency of extreme weather events like droughts and floods. Which means I’ll have much more to write about 🙂

Some of the websites that I have noted to have great information are:

In preferential order…




https://insideclimatenews.org (Non-Partisan)





Climate Change, Global Warming, and Taxes -Oh My!!


Photo Credit: https://grist.org/election-2016/


In the article above, the state of California which I would like to say is a very pioneering state has called for taxes to be imposed on carbon pollution. The really interesting part is that they are calling for the tax to be revenue neutral.

“By returning 100% of the taxed revenue to American households, the policy blunts the rising costs of energy produced by burning fossil fuels. In fact, studies project that a majority of Americans would receive a rebate larger than their increase in energy bills; only those who use the most fossil fuel energy would see costs rise more than the rebate. It’s a policy that’s hard to dislike. It makes polluters pay, goes a long way toward tackling the immense threat of human-caused global warming, results in cleaner air and water by reducing the burning of dirty fossil fuels, and has a modestly beneficial overall economic impact.”

Everyone does not agree with these “green taxes” however, “green taxes” are seen as an incentive to lessen environmental burden and preserve the environment. The revenue generated by these taxes, if not returned back to households can also be used for other environmental preservation projects or to cut other taxes, however the return I’m sure is highly attractive to consumers. When faced with the factor that climate change can, and if not halted- will, result in the events depicted by attached U.S map, one would hope to coerce all into supporting anything that supports an environmentally sustainable future.


Policy: For Those of Us Who Are Not Politically Inclined.

You all may remember during our first lecture that I praised the book “It’s Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism” based off of it’s accessibility, comprehensiveness, and ability to keep my, honestly speaking, less than politically inclined self interested. If any of you are like me, in the respect that politics do not make you warm inside but you know the worth of being informed, the sites, blogs, and podcasts that I will mention below are ones that I think you will enjoy. OPINIONS BELOW:

  1. Chuck Pierce’s http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/ blog. He’s pretty much an American politics historian, he’s also a super lefty, and pretty comical.
  2. Ed Kilgore from NY Magazine;  http://nymag.com/author/Ed%20Kilgore/ , He’s also a historian but (once again in my opinion) and always provides context for the things that we see on the news.
  3.  Heather Digby is a progressive female (Yay!) writer. http://www.salon.com/writer/heather_digby_parton/ and also at her personal blog http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/
  4.  Joy Reid on MSNBC(I forget what time her show airs)
  5.  Slate.com ’s Jamelle Bouie http://www.slate.com/authors.jamelle_bouie.html
  6. Podcasts– The Professional Left, The Majority Report, and Slate’s Political Gabfest(mainly for Emily Bazelon)

These are all a pretty lefty, but that is who I am. Happy Reading and Listening.