Former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., is quite correct about one thing: Florida's votes really, really, really count. But his campaigning with Hillary Clinton has gravely disappointed my ladyfriend, who got to meet her longtime crush during Climate Reality Training this past August.
At a campaign appearance with Hillary Clinton at Miami Dade College, the Sun-Sentinel notes, Gore recalled how much Floridians' votes counted in 2000, and the crowd responded with an enthusiastic chant of "You won! You won!" Considering the evidence that, if the recount had been allowed to proceed, he would have won Florida, the crowd was also correct about that. The Supreme Court and the Brooks Brothers Brownshirts stole the election from Gore and his running mate Joseph Lieberman.
Perhaps if Gore had won the presidential race in 2000, we humans would be well on our way to achieving international goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the levels necessary to prevent the dreaded two-degree rise in global temperatures. Perhaps the United States would not have invaded Afghanistan and, subsequently, Iraq, because perhaps there would not have been a 9/11. Perhaps.
But it's completely bizarre that he would campaign for Secretary Clinton in his capacity as the founder of the Climate Reality Project, stating, "When it comes to the most urgent issue in the world, the choice is extremely clear: Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority."
Perhaps Clinton will do just that. Perhaps, as president, she will convince fellow fracking advocates Tim Kaine and Ken Salazar of the urgency of climate action, including leaving our remaining fossil fuels in the ground. But, after hearing her talk of "revitaliz[ing] coal country" in Sunday night's "debate," I have my doubts. She was not talking about a revitalization that involves converting coal country into sun & wind country.
CLINTON: So I have a comprehensive energy policy, but it really does include fighting climate change, because I think that is a serious problem. And I support moving toward more clean, renewable energy as quickly as we can, because I think we can be the 21st century clean energy superpower and create millions of new jobs and businesses.
But I also want to be sure that we don’t leave people behind. That’s why I’m the only candidate from the very beginning of this campaign who had a plan to help us revitalize coal country, because those coal miners and their fathers and their grandfathers, they dug that coal out. A lot of them lost their lives. They were injured, but they turned the lights on and they powered their factories. I don’t want to walk away from them. So we’ve got to do something for them.
COOPER: Secretary Clinton…
CLINTON: But the price of coal is down worldwide. So we have to look at this comprehensively.
COOPER: Your time is up.
Clinton's use of "comprehensive" implies that she will continue with President Obama's "all of the above" energy strategy. Sorry, but the world can't take that, as Gore should bloody well know.
Jill Stein also understands that we cannot leave fossil fuel workers high & dry, and she proposes a Just Transition—which, admittedly, she leaves somewhat vague in her Platform:
- Implement a Just Transition that empowers those communities and workers most impacted by climate change and the transition to a green economy. Ensure that any worker displaced by the shift away from fossil fuels will receive full income and benefits as they transition to alternative work.
If Gore truly believes that the Democrats are serious about tackling anthropogenic climate disruption, Captain Picard and I agree: "Obama...in '09...at Copenhagen."
In December of his rookie year as president, Obama had already collected a Nobel Peace Prize. Whether he deserved it or not, it should have provided all the prestige he needed to push the Copenhagen Climate Summitteers to get on the stick and produce a worldwide, binding agreement on CO2 emissions. A lot of us eco-freaks were bitterly disappointed at the outcome. Obama didn't even appear in Copenhagen until the talks were almost over, and even the World Wildlife Fund criticized his tepid speech.
You could give Hillary Clinton all the Nobel Prizes, send her to the next big climate talks, and she would still produce a compromised agreement that lets the fossil fuel giants keep doing what fossil fuel giants do.
Although I am 100% for Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka, I am prepared for Clinton and Kaine to be our next executive duo. Despite my skepticism, I am more than eager for them to prove me wrong.