This month, the full Democratic Platform Committee approved the strongest statement about the urgent need for climate action ever issued by a major party in this country.
The platform makes for the starkest possible contrast with a party that just nominated Donald Trump — a man who has called climate change a hoax invented by and for the Chinese, who hasdenied basic reality such as the drought in California, and who has vowed to (try to) scuttle the unanimous agreement by the world’s nations in Paris to take whatever measures are necessary to avert catastrophic warming and keep total warming “well below 2°C.”
In contrast, one party in this country has finally embraced the blunt — and scientifically accurate — language of climate hawks as to what those measures actually entail:
We believe the United States must lead in forging a robust global solution to the climate crisis. We are committed to a national mobilization, and to leading a global effort to mobilize nations to address this threat on a scale not seen since World War II. In the first 100 days of the next administration, the President will convene a summit of the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists, and indigenous communities to chart a course to solve the climate crisis.
James Hansen, America’s leading climatologist, and his colleagues have been make such a call for a while. In 2008, in The Open Atmospheric Science Journal, they explain why the effort needed is “herculean, yet feasible when compared with the efforts that went into World War II.” So have activists like 350.org founder, Bill McKibben. McKibben is on the 15-member Platform Drafting Committee — as is Neera Tanden, who is President and CEO of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and the CAP Action Fund (where I have worked for 10 years), and as is Carol Browner, who is a former EPA Administrator and on the CAP Board.