NBC’s “Meet the Press” devoted the full hour of its Sunday program to talk about climate change, and the show focused the bulk of its time discussing the matter with a who’s who of climate activists.
MSNBC host Chuck Todd kicked off the program with a promise to the audience: the show will avoid debating the science of climate change. Instead, the hour was dedicated to asking various well-known climate activists about how to inject talk of global warming into American politics.
“We’re not going to debate climate change, the existence of it. The Earth is getting hotter. And human activity is a major cause, period,” Todd said at the top of the broadcast. “We’re not going to give time to climate deniers. The science is settled, even if political opinion is not.”
Outgoing Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown was also on hand to discuss his solutions. He called rising global temperatures a serious threat, something akin to what Americans faced at the outset of World War II. He said the U.S. is not doing enough to address the problem.
“[N]ot even close, and not close in California, and we’re doing more than anybody else, and not close in America or the rest of the world,” said Brown, who crafted a position as one of President Donald Trump’s biggest opponents.
He added: “We’ve got to get off this idea, ‘It’s the economy, stupid.’ No, it’s the environment.”
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg made similar comments, telling Todd he is still mulling a presidential bid in 2020.
“I will be out there demanding that anybody that’s running has a plan. And I want to hear the plan, and I want everybody to look at it and say whether it’s doable,” the billionaire philanthropist said.
Meanwhile, congressional Democrats are wrestling with a new flock of activist lawmakers who are pushing the party further to the left on climate policies. One of the ideas coming from Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is the Green New Deal.
Sanders, a self-avowed socialist, and Ocasio-Cortez want to move the U.S. to 100 percent green energy, federal job guarantees for workers forced out of their fossil fuel jobs, guaranteed minimum income and universal health care. Analysts warn the Green New Deal could come with a monster price tag.
Eliminating fossil fuels and transitioning to a 100 percent renewable electric grid could cost as much as $5.2 trillion over two decades, according to a 2010 study by the conservative Heritage Foundation. That’s about $218 billion to move the grid away from coal and natural gas.
Mainstream Democrats are hesitant, especially those who remember the party’s failed carbon tax experiment in 2010, which ultimately helped thrust them into a political wasteland after the GOP won both houses of Congress that year.
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