Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Politico – According to Wikileaks, at the same time Hillary Clinton was wooing the support of radical greens, at a behind closed doors meeting with pro-energy unions, she was telling those same radical greens to “get a life”.
HILLARY CLINTON: It’s [Keystone] symbolic and it’s not going to go away. They’re all hanging on to it. So you know Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline. And, you know, I’m not into it for that. I’ve been– my view is I want to defend natural gas. I want to defend repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy. I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances. I want to defend, you know, new, modern [inaudible]. I want to defend this stuff. And you know, I’m already at odds with the most organized and wildest. They come to my rallies and they yell at me and, you know, all the rest of it. They say, ‘Will you promise never to take any fossil fuels out of the earth ever again?’ No. I won’t promise that. Get a life, you know. So I want to get the right balance and that’s what I’m [inaudible] about– getting all the stakeholders together. Everybody’s not going to get everything they want, that’s not the way it’s supposed to work in a democracy, but everybody needs to listen to each other.
And we need to do– you know, nuclear, talk about climate change — nuclear is no greenhouse gas emissions. France has it for nearly 100% of their energy– they’ve never had a problem. We’ve had two problems that people know about: Chernobyl, which was a disaster and [inaudible], and you know Three Mile. Right, those were the problems we had. We’ve come a long way from there.
So I’m willing to defend and to really burrow in, I will say, you know, I don’t support the Keystone pipeline because I don’t think we need to do that. I think we need to repair, rebuild, take care of what we’ve got on the platter here. But I also think that the federal government has to be the partner. You can’t do this. I mean whether it’s a Fed discount window or a new fund, because it’s not just pipelines. It’s exploding sewer lines. It’s broken water lines. It’s all of the construction that is under our old cities. It’s all falling apart. And so I want a major investment in fixing up what makes our cities work. Now, I don’t want to leave the rural and suburban areas out, but the oldest — going back to Abraham Lincoln — but the oldest stuff in the ground is in our cities.
Read more (Attachment file): https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/9617
Radical Green and Sanders Delegate Bill McKibben had a very different impression of Hillary’s view on green issues.
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. Like Chamberlain, these were all good and concerned people, just the sort of steady, evenhanded folks you’d like to have leading your nation in normal times. But they misunderstood the nature of the enemy. Like fascism, climate change is one of those rare crises that gets stronger if you don’t attack. In every war, there are very real tipping points, past which victory, or even a draw, will become impossible. And when the enemy manages to decimate some of the planet’s oldest and most essential physical features—a polar ice cap, say, or the Pacific’s coral reefs—that’s a pretty good sign that a tipping point is near. In this war that we’re in—the war that physics is fighting hard, and that we aren’t—winning slowly is exactly the same as losing.
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.
Maybe it was polls showing that Bernie voters—especially young ones—have been slow to sign on to the Clinton campaign. Maybe the hottest June in American history had opened some minds. But you could, if you squinted, create a hopeful scenario. Clinton, for instance, promised that America will install half a billion solar panels in the next four years. That’s not so far off the curve that Tom Solomon calculates we need to hit. And if we do it by building solar factories of our own, rather than importing cheap foreign-made panels, we’ll be positioning America as the world’s dominant power in clean energy, just as our mobilization in World War II ensured our economic might for two generations. If we don’t get there first, others will: Driven by anger over smog-choked cities, the Chinese have already begun installing renewable energy at a world-beating rate.
In this war we’re in—the war that physics is fighting hard, and that we aren’t—winning slowly is the same as losing.
“It would be a grave mistake for the United States to wait for another nation to take the lead in combating the global climate emergency,” the Democratic platform asserts. “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.”
If Hillary Clinton wins the Presidency, somebody is going to end up very disappointed. It is anyones guess whether the radical greens get shafted, or the pro-energy unions, who accepted Hillary’s assurances that she supports fossil fuel infrastructure investment.