Green Panic: Hillary Barely Mentions Climate Anymore

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Guardian is fretting the the number of times US Presidential Candidate Hillary Clintonmentions climate has apparently dropped dramatically since she received an endorsement from Bernie Sanders.

But what is the real Clinton position on Climate Change?

Hillary Clinton ‘dropped climate change from speeches after Bernie Sanders endorsement’

Transcripts show the Democratic presidential nominee referred to climate change directly in less than half as many speeches after her left-wing rival conceded defeat, reports Climate Home.

The rhetorical shift undermines hopes that climate change might emerge as a key campaign issue in 2016. Boosted by the disparity between Clinton and her Republican opponent Donald Trump, a self-professed non-believer in climate change.

Indeed, the signs were there. During the last six months of Clinton’s primary campaign against Sanders, the transcript log of her speeches shows she was talking about climate change at one out of every two speeches she gave.

But since Sanders endorsed Clinton on July 12, the full focus of the Clinton campaign has swung to Trump. In 38 speeches since that date, Clinton mentioned climate change specifically eight times. Just once every five public addresses.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/20/hillary-clinton-dropped-climate-change-from-speeches-after-bernie-sanders-endorsement

The Guardian speculates that Hillary might just be downplaying her climate views, as they suggest President Obama did in his first term, to avoid upsetting potential supporters. The Guardian seems to think this might be the right thing to do.

Climate coyness was a feature of Obama’s first term (when Axelrod was at the White House). According to analysis of speeches from 2008 to 2011, climate change was hardly mentioned even as Obama began to ramp up funding for climate-related projects.

“He was doing more than he was talking about because he was going incognito to avoid attacks from the Republicans,” said Timmons Roberts, Ittleson professor of environmental studies at Brown University, who conducted the analysis.

Read more: Same link as above

Influential climate activist and Bernie supporter Bill McKibben supports Clinton because he believes in her strong climate views;

In fact, one of the lowest points in my years of fighting climate change came in late June, when I sat on the commission appointed to draft the Democratic Party platform. (I was a Sanders appointee, alongside Cornel West and other luminaries.) At 11 p.m. on a Friday night, in a mostly deserted hotel ballroom in St. Louis, I was given an hour to offer nine amendments to the platform to address climate change. More bike paths passed by unanimous consent, but all the semi-hard things that might begin to make a real difference—a fracking ban, a carbon tax, a prohibition against drilling or mining fossil fuels on public lands, a climate litmus test for new developments, an end to World Bank financing of fossil fuel plants—were defeated by 7–6 tallies, with the Clinton appointees voting as a bloc. They were quite concerned about climate change, they insisted, but a “phased-down” approach would be best. There was the faintest whiff of Munich about it.

To my surprise, things changed a couple weeks later, when the final deliberations over the Democratic platform were held in Orlando. While Clinton’s negotiators still wouldn’t support a ban on fracking or a carbon tax, they did agree we needed to “price” carbon, that wind and sun should be given priority over natural gas, and that any federal policy that worsened global warming should be rejected.

Read more: https://newrepublic.com/article/135684/declare-war-climate-change-mobilize-wwii

I support the view that Clinton toning down her climate rhetoric is a political tactic. Given the commitment to carbon pricing at the Democratic Convention, there is no reason to believe Clinton intends to prioritise access to cheap energy ahead of wasteful government subsidies for renewables. And given that climate is widely perceived to be a“poisonous” issue for many voters, it makes tactical sense for Clinton to avoid references to the hardline green policies which McKibben claims were agreed by Democratic delegates in St. Louis.

Source: WUWT

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