Posted by: ericgrimsrud | October 16, 2015

Democratic Candidates easily Trump the Republicans

After watching the Republican presidential candidates ignore the greatest problem that faces mankind today, I was very pleased to see that climate change was clearly recognized and appropriately discussed in the Democratic debate last Tuesday.  Of the five presidential candidates included, only the remarks of one, Jim Web, were forgettable – he merely stated the obvious fact that addressing this problem would be of no use if other countries of the world weren’t involved.  All of the other candidates seemed to recognize the absolute necessity and urgency of the problem and had credible suggestions for strong action.  In addition, I was very pleased to see in this debate the substantial amount of time and questions devoted to this topic. This point, alone, constitutes a landmark change in American politics.  Finally, it appears that addressing climate change has become one of the highest priorities for at least one of our political parties.

As I had related in a previous post on this website (July 28, 2015) Bernie Sanders is the strongest and clearest Democratic candidate on this issue in that he strongly advocates a stiff and badly needed carbon tax on fossil fuel use. On this issue, Hillary Clinton is not as strong as Bernie, but is gradually getting there.  She has now at least come out against the Keystone XL Pipeline and, I believe, is smart and aware enough to learn what has to be done. Her great advantage is that she acts and looks “presidential” and is eminently qualified and electable.  My hope is that if and when she does win, that Bernie Sanders also rises to a place of prominence in that new Democratic administration – the country would be very well served by both of them.

And if, on the other hand, a Democrat does not win the Presidency next year, I can’t bear to think about what would then (not) happen. One of the few things that the Republican candidates agreed on in their last debate was that “nothing can be done” about global warming! The threat posed by our elevated CO2 levels has now risen to such a high level of extreme urgency that it has momentarily turned me into a “single issue guy” – just as Winston Churchill was similarly affected in 1940 when Nazi Germany advanced to his doorstep. At that time Churchill offered the British people “blood, toil, sweat, and tears” in the ensuing fight and declared that “without victory, there will be no survival”. Yes, whether we all realize it or not, we are presently engaged in an analogous war of survival and this one is with the barons of the fossil fuel industries. Their lucrative, but suicidal means of producing energy makes them the new “evil empire” that simply must be taken down if present forms of civilization are to survive. And in doing so, it would help a great deal if our dysfunctional Republican Party would simply disappear into their self-imposed respite from public service. If one can’t lead or follow, my suggestion to them is that they simply get out of the way and remember that accepting those 30 pieces of silver being offered by the fossil fuel barons would not nearly cover the far greater costs they would be passing on to their grandchildren.


  1. Mayor of Rochester, MN (home of the Mayo Clinic) has set a goal for his city to use 100% renewable energy in 15 years. The city did have a coal electric plant but that is now gone. Rochester currently gets electricity from the nuclear power plant 40 miles north. For a stable energy source, my hope is that nuclear plant will continue to operate for years to come. Would seem
    odd to close it down considering the nuclear waste that’s stored there. Renewables and nuclear power are both carbon free once operational.

  2. Were you aware that the Spokesman review did not include your Letter (published Nov 6) in the online version? I was going to share it on Facebook & had to call them today 11/9 to report the lapse. This makes me suspicious since it was such a great letter & you have great credentials. Also interesting that Pres. Obama denied the pipeline later that day!

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