Guest essay by Eric Worrall
The Sierra Club is fretting that the Democrats don’t really seem interested in solving the climate crisis.
The Democratic Party Has a Climate Change Problem
The Democratic Party appears to be moving backward on climate action
BY NATASHA GEILING | AUG 22 2018
In late May—days after President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal—Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer stood in front of a gas pump at a D.C. Exxon and lambasted the president for his role in raising gas prices for Americans across the country.
If that image—a Democratic leader griping about the unavailability of cheap fossil fuel for internal combustion engines—seems out of touch with the image of a party that has positioned itself to be the leading voice on climate action, you haven’t been paying attention to the way that the Democratic Party, as an institution, deals with climate change.
Take the party’s recent bit of backtracking on a resolution to prohibit fossil fuel companies from contributing to political campaigns. A little over a week ago, the Democratic National Committee reversed its position on a previously adopted resolution that prohibited donations from fossil-fuel-aligned corporate PACs. According to DNC chairman Tom Perez, the reversal was done out of support for fossil fuel workers and labor interests—specifically as an olive branch to union members who have fled from the party in recent years. But just over 4 percent of mining workers are unionized; more likely, the reversal is an overture to fossil fuel executives who would have seen their influence dwindle under the original resolution.
Or take the fact that the official Democratic rebuttal to Trump’s State of the Union Address this year omitted any mention of climate change, despite delivering the rebuttal against the backdrop of an administration that is interested in nothing less than the systematic dismantling of domestic and international climate policies.
A few weeks ago Democrats were complaining about losing votes to a “spoiler” green Ohio candidate who publicly claimed to be descended from space aliens – though to be fair the Democrats blamed votes for the green candidate on Russian meddling.
Still you have to wonder how hard the Democrats can chase the green space alien demographic without alienating some of their more mainstream supporters.
Perhaps the Democrats have finally woken up to the reality that making ends meet today is far more important to normal people than whether GDP will be reduced by a few percent a hundred years from now.
Click here to see an interview with Ohio Green Candidate Joe Manchik.