The US has always had a difficult relationship, particularly in some states, with the issue of climate change. Some, like California, love it and have made it into big business. Others, like Virginia, are a little more reserved on rising sea levels and temperature increases. Barrack Obama has been a clear advocate of green energy during his presidency and has tried to introduce ways for disparate states to involve themselves with the clean energy revolution.
But where do presidential hopefuls Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump fit into all this. After all, by the New Year one of them is going to be running the country.
Donald’s Con Job Philosophy
Let’s start with Trump’s rather narrowly focused viewpoint of the world at large. He believes that climate change is a con. He loves coal and thinks it’s actually a clean source of energy. For those who are committed to cutting down our emissions and reducing carbon emissions, these are worrying times. While Obama may have signed the Paris accord from last year’s climate meeting, his Clean Power Plan is currently being held up in the Supreme Court and may well not be sanctioned before he leaves office, if ever.
Of course, you may have to take Trump’s stance on climate change with a pinch of salt. It doesn’t mean he won’t change his mind if he gets into office. All that attention to detail, after all, is not his primary focus. Far better to deal in sound bites and tell his fans and followers what they want to hear.
In any event, as an entrepreneur he will probably delegate the responsibility for dealing with it to someone else. For serious green advocates, Trump’s dismissiveness of climate change should be worrying and a reason to vote a different way – but is the alternative that attractive when it comes to lowering carbon emissions?
Hilary’s On Board With the Climate Change Agenda
The good news is that Clinton does support Obama’s Clean Power Plan. She ‘might’ also cut the subsidies that fossil fuel sectors enjoy including oil and gas. Obama has promised, though many think it is unattainable, to have half of the country’s energy provided by clean production such as solar, wind and hydro by 2025, just 9 years from now. That’s largely dependent on the Clean Power Plan getting past the Supreme Court and into current legislation. We all know that has problems.
Clinton is going to have to put in measures to speed up the process if she is serious about climate change and that could involve introducing a sly carbon tax for each tonne of emissions that power plants and industry produce. That’s not the only problem she has though. There are still plenty of states that haven’t fully engaged with clean energy such as solar panels and wind energy, despite the huge resources many areas of the US have for producing such power.
With an election looming, even mentioning a carbon tax could turn a lot of voters off so don’t expect Hilary Clinton to espouse it in the near future.
Stance on climate change probably isn’t going to be a major player during the upcoming election. There are far more pressing matters, not least the breakdown in race relations between black and ethnic communities and the police recently.
For green activists this is obviously a disappointment, especially when you consider that other countries are also failing to meet their targets for reducing carbon emissions and obligations to switch to cleaner forms of energy. Even if Clinton does get elected in November, there could be a serious stall on climate change measures that may well affect us for many years to come.