Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and one of his top supporters, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) are disgusted by the lack of climate change questions at Tuesday evening’s Democrat debate, with the New York lawmaker calling it a “horrifying” development.
While moderators asked candidates about the economy, gun violence, health care, and coronavirus, a discussion on climate change — one of the Democrat Party’s go-to talking points — was noticeably absent from Tuesday evening’s discussion.
“Not a single climate change question. Horrifying,” Ocasio-Cortez remarked following the debate.
“A disgrace,” Sanders agreed:
Not a single climate change question. Horrifying.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 26, 2020
A disgrace. https://t.co/O4G9u0xfDr
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) February 26, 2020
Sanders did, however, attempt to incorporate climate change into various topics, particularly during a brief discussion on the coronavirus.
“Whether or not the issue is climate change, which is clearly a global crisis requiring international cooperation, or infectious diseases like coronavirus, requiring international cooperation, we have to work and expand the World Health Organization,” Sanders said, weaving climate change into the discussion.
Sanders also used the final question — on naming a “misconception” about himself — as a plug for climate change action.
“Misconception — and you’re hearing it here tonight, is that the ideas I’m talking about are radical. They’re not. In one form or another, they exist in countries all over the world,” Sanders said, stressing the “necessity, the moral imperative, to address the existential threat of climate change.”
“Other countries are doing that,” he said.
Sanders, who has released a $16.3 trillion Green New Deal proposal, released a fact sheet on Monday explaining how he would pay for the pricey measure. He plans to pay for it, in part, by pursuing litigation against the fossil fuel industry, cutting defense spending, and implementing additional taxes.
As Breitbart News detailed:
His $16.3 trillion Green New Deal plan, perhaps one of his most prolific proposals, will be paid for, he claims, through a variety of methods including slashes in military spending and lawsuits against the fossil fuel industry.
He is calling to reduce defense spending by $1.215 trillion “by scaling back military operations on protecting the global oil supply.” His campaign claims he will raise $3.085 trillion by “making the fossil fuel industry pay for their pollution, through litigation, fees, and taxes, and eliminating federal fossil fuel subsidies.” He expects to garner another $6.4 trillion “from the wholesale of energy produced by the regional Power Marketing Administrations.”
“This revenue will be collected from 2023-2035, and after 2035 electricity will be virtually free, aside from operations and maintenance costs,” his website states.
Sanders also claims his Green New Deal plan will create 20 million jobs, which will effectively create a new tax base and eliminate the need for $1.31 trillion in “federal and state safety net spending due to the creation of millions of good-paying, unionized jobs.”
His campaign actually argues that enacting his multitrillion-dollar climate change proposal will save the United States $2.9 trillion in the next decade, $21 trillion over the next 30 years, and $70.4 trillion over the next 80 years.
“If we do not act, the U.S. will lose $34.5 trillion by the end of the century in economic productivity,” he claims.
Sanders, who has described climate change as a major national security issue, also expressed outrage after the passage of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada (USMCA) agreement in January, lamenting that it did not contain “a single damn mention of ‘climate change’”:
Not a single damn mention of “climate change.”
Trump’s NAFTA is a giveaway to the fossil fuel industry.
I voted NO because the future of our planet is more important than the short-term profits of Exxon Mobil and Chevron. pic.twitter.com/YgSZcigjjX
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 17, 2020