Democratic Platform Calls For WWII-Scale Mobilization To Solve Climate Crisis

by Joe Romm Jul 22, 2016 1:41 pm

CREDIT: Mark Stehle/Invision for NRG/AP Images

Micro-wind turbines and solar panels installed at Lincoln Financial Field generate renewable energy during NRG Home’s 2nd Annual Media Charity Flag Football Game in Philadelphia Wednesday, November 19, 2014.

This month, the full Democratic Platform Committee approved the strongest statement about the urgent need for climate action ever issued by a major party in this country.

The platform makes for the starkest possible contrast with a party that just nominated Donald Trump — a man who has called climate change a hoax invented by and for the Chinese, who has denied basic reality such as the drought in California, and who has vowed to (try to) scuttle the unanimous agreement by the world’s nations in Paris to take whatever measures are necessary to avert catastrophic warming and keep total warming “well below 2°C.”

In contrast, one party in this country has finally embraced the blunt — and scientifically accurate — language of climate hawks as to what those measures actually entail:

We believe the United States must lead in forging a robust global solution to the climate crisis. We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis.

James Hansen, America’s leading climatologist, and his colleagues have been make such a call for a while. In 2008, in The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, they explain why the effort needed is “herculean, yet feasible when compared with the efforts that went into World War II.” So have activists like 350.org founder, Bill McKibben. McKibben is on the 15-member Platform Drafting Committee — as is Neera Tanden, who is President and CEO of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the CAP Action Fund (where I have worked for 10 years), and as is Carol Browner, who is a former EPA Administrator and on the CAP Board.

I have been making this case regularly on Climate Progress for years — and at great length in my 2006 book, “Hell and High Water,” where I pointed out, “This national (and global) re-industrialization effort would be on the scale of what we did during World War II, except it would last far longer.” I was not, however, involved in the platform drafting at all.

Climate change is indeed a “first 100 days” priority. The platform immediately follows that cri de cœur with this pledge:

Our generation must lead the fight against climate change and we applaud President Obama’s leadership in forging the historic Paris climate change agreement. We will not only meet the goals we set in Paris, we will seek to exceed them and push other countries to do the same by slashing carbon pollution and rapidly driving down emissions of potent greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons. We will support developing countries in their efforts to mitigate carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases, deploy more clean energy, and invest in climate resilience and adaptation.

Again, that’s quite a contrast to Trump, who has said that if he’s elected president he would stop U.S. efforts to meet our climate goals. He further said, “We’re going to cancel the Paris climate agreement and stop — unbelievable — and stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.”

….(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics
Environment Justice

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