Democrat Hillary Clinton is maybe the first presidential candidate to make tackling climate change a central point. Now we actually have specifics after Clinton released on Sunday a fact sheet detailing her plan for action. Her proposals are bold, for sure. For instance, if she’s elected, Hilary promises that clean renewable energy will power every home in America within a decade. To achieve this goal, she plans on bringing the total number of solar panels installed nationwide to more than half a billion before the end of her first term. Should we believe her?
“We cannot wait any longer” to act on climate change, the Democratic front-runner says in the video. “It’s time we stand for a healthier climate, stand for cleaner air, for science, for innovation, for our children, for reality, for the future.”
Clinton unveiled her presentation video (embedded below) while visiting Iowa. This may not be a coincidence. The state produces a quarter of the country’s ethanol and twenty-eight percent of its power comes from electricity generated by wind turbines, secondly only to Texas.
The presidential candidate also hinted at the ignorance of her Republican rivals. The presentation features key quotes concerning climate change like those of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (“I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist.”), Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (“It’s absolutely and utterly untrue.”) and Donald Trump (“Hoax”), among others.
“Those people on the other side, they will answer any question about climate change by saying, ‘I’m not a scientist,'” Clinton said Sunday while speaking at Iowa State University in Ames. “Well, I’m not a scientist either. I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.
Beyond the expansion of renewable energy sources, Clinton also plans on extending and adding to existing carbon tax credits to involve the population.
Not that many are convinced though, especially environmental activists. Though I’m sure everyone welcome’s Clinton’s plans, it’s not yet very clear how these would be implemented if she’s to hold office. The fact that Clinton hasn’t be outspoken against the controversial Keystone XL tar sands pipeline doesn’t help either. Despite all this, her plans are laudable and a lot more freshminded than her Republican rivals.
“Her goals of getting to 500 million solar panels by 2020 and ensuring that we are producing enough renewable energy to power every home in America in ten years display the kind of leadership we need to ensure that our nation leads the world in building a clean energy economy,” League of Conservation Voters senior vice president for government affairs Tiernan Sittenfeld said.
Personally, I believe it was time for a politician to finally make tackling climate change a central issue in a presidential campaign. But at the same time, there’s this little thing bugging me. While are we still letting politicians decide on scientific matters of the gravest importance. Do we really need a grandmother with no training in climate science whatsoever to tell us that climate change is real and it’s happening and we need to act now? Why should we care if Clinton or Paul or Trump (ok… you shouldn’t care about anything he says) thinks climate change is real or not? Leave it to the damn scientists for once!