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Climate Change: An issue in the primaries

Posted by Jacqueline Ackerman on January 28, 2016

Climate change is finally being recognized in the presidential primaries as a real and imminent threat. In a recent Iowa debate, climate change was one of several issues brought up as the Democratic hopefuls were asked questions straight from audience members.

When candidate Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland, was asked what issues concern the young people of America today, he took the opportunity to present his plan to achieve one hundred percent clean electric energy usage by the year 2050, while simultaneously creating 5 million domestic jobs. He stated, "Climate change is the greatest business opportunity to come to the United States in the last 100 years."

He explained that climate change is a real concern for the young citizens of America because they have a longer time on this Earth and changes need to be made now to secure their future.

Senator Bernie Sanders mentioned the seriousness of climate change but gave no details of a plan to address it. He proclaimed, "In terms of climate change... [it] is one of the great environmental crises facing this nation." He also reminded the audience of his opposition to the Keystone Pipeline, the oil pipeline proposed to be built through part of the United States that is very controversial because of its environmental impacts, especially greater reliance on fossil fuel. Moreover, he spoke of his support for turning away from using fossil fuels as an energy source.

Hillary Clinton did not touch on the issue of climate change. She was instead asked about foreign policy, inequality, and the Benghazi hearing.

The fact that climate change was brought up several times in this candidates' event shows that the American people are recognizing and giving voice to the paramount importance of the issue.


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