Hillary Clinton And GOP Presidential Candidates Ignore 400 Parts Per Million
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that, for the first time in human history, the global average level of carbon dioxide in our planet’s history has reached 400 parts per million. In the 1960s, the global average CO2 concentration was around 320 parts per million.
What’s more, NOAA data show that the rate of increase of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is now at the fastest pace ever recorded, rising an average of 2.25 parts per million every year in the most recent three year period.
In response, Ben Carson has been silent. “Carbon dating, all these things, really doesn’t mean anything to a God who has the ability to create anything at any point in time,” Carson says when asked about scientific issues. Ted Cruz also has said nothing about the increase. He has claimed instead that “for the last 17 years there’s been zero warming, none whatsoever”, though actually the data shows that global warming has continued.
Carly Fiorina said nothing. Mike Huckabee said nothing. Rand Paul said nothing. Marco Rubio said nothing. Jeb Bush said nothing.
To be bipartisan in my criticism, I have to point out that Hillary Clinton has not publicly spoken about the issue of climate change even once since she declared her candidacy last month. Given that Clinton was the leader of the U.S. diplomatic delegation to the recent climate talks in Copenhagen – at which the United States refused to support robust climate agreements, and her support for the expansion of drilling for fossil fuels, her continuing climate silence is especially concerning.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has come out speaking strongly on the issue of climate change from the start, noting in his announcement speech that “Right now, in terms of issues, we have a Republican Party that with few exceptions does not even recognize the reality of climate change, let alone that it is caused by human activity, let alone that the scientific community tells us that this is the major global environmental crisis that we face, and I want to see this nation lead the world in transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, to energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”
Sanders has continued to give attention to climate change as he campaigns, telling Washington Post reporter Greg Sargent just a few days ago that, “Not only is climate change real and caused by human activity, but it is already causing devastating problems in America and around the world. In terms of the kind of planet we are going to leave our kids and grandchildren, the scientists tell us that if we do not get our act together, this planet may be five to 10 degrees Fahrenheit warmer by the end of this century. Just think of all the cataclysmic impacts that will mean,” with concrete policy proposals that include “a tax on carbon; a massive investment in solar, wind, geothermal; it would be making sure that every home and building in this country is properly winterized; it would be putting substantial money into rail, both passenger and cargo, so we can move towards breaking our dependency on automobiles. And it would be leading other countries around the world.”