Clinton Attacks Romney’s Climate Change Non-Stance

Bill Clinton goes there:

I was actually listening closely to what the candidates said in these debates. In the first debate, the triumph of the moderate Mitt Romney. You remember what he did? He ridiculed the president. Ridiculed the president for his efforts to fight global warming in economically beneficial ways. He said, ‘Oh, you’re going to turn back the seas.’ In my part of America, we would like it if someone could’ve done that yesterday. All up and down the East Coast, there are mayors, many of them Republicans, who are being told, ‘You’ve got to move these houses back away from the ocean. You’ve got to lift them up. Climate change is going to raise the water levels on a permanent basis. If you want your town insured, you have to do this.’ In the real world, Barack Obama’s policies work better.


Oh, by the way, a May 2011 report from the American Security Project predicted more hurricanes and flooding along the New York and new Jersey coastlines. “The increased frequency of hurricanes, Nor’easters and other extreme events exposes New York’s coastal areas to hundreds of billions — if not trillions — of dollars in losses,” said the section on New York.

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Steve Hynd

Most recently I was Editor in Chief of The Agonist from Feb 2012 to Feb 2013. My blogging began at Newshoggers and I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with some great writers there and around the web ever since, including at Crooks & Liars. I'm a late 40′s, Scottish ex-pat, now married to a wonderful Texan, with Honours in Philosophy from Univ. of Stirling, UK 1986. I worked most of life in business insurance industry (fire, accident, liability) including 12 years as a broker/underwriter/correspondent at Lloyd’s of London. Being from the other side of the pond, my political interests tend to focus on how US foreign policy affects the rest of the planet. Other interests include early and dark-ages British history, literature and cognitive philosophy/science.

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  • Bloomberg endorses Obama over climate change. Here’s why.

    Washington Post, By Brad Plumer, November 1

    For a day or two, global warming might actually become a major issue in the presidential campaign. On Thursday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) came out and endorsed President Obama’s reelection bid, arguing that Hurricane Sandy had brought climate change to the forefront.

    “Our climate is changing,” Bloomberg wrote. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it might be — given this week’s devastation — should compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.” (His endorsement came, note, the same day that Bloomberg Businessweek released its Hurricane Sandy issue, featuring the not-so-subtle cover on the right.)

    So does Obama deserve a climate-centered endorsement? How much has the president actually done on the issue? And does he have plans to do more in a second term? Let’s take a look:

    Why Bloomberg’s endorsement matters

    BBC, November 1

    Michael Bloomberg has come out for Barack Obama. The backing of the mayor of New York City is important for the president.

    Mr Bloomberg started out life as a Democrat, ran and won twice as a Republican, then left his party to become an independent in 2007. He didn’t back either candidate in 2008.

    In his endorsement, he tentatively nods towards Mitt Romney’s economy policies: “I believe Mitt Romney is a good and decent man, and he would bring valuable business experience to the Oval Office. He understands that America was built on the promise of equal opportunity, not equal results.”

    But in the wake of Sandy, he says it is the environment – specifically the threat of climate change – which decides him for Mr Obama.

    • Climate Change Made Sandy Worse. Period.

      Scientists explain how sea level rise added power to the storm’s wallop.

      Mother Jones, By Chris Mooney, November 8

      Superstorm Sandy—and its revival of the issue of climate change, most prominently through Michael Bloomberg’s sudden endorsement—probably aided President Obama’s reelection victory last night. But at the same time, there has been a vast debate about the true nature of the storm’s connections to global warming (as well as plenty of denialism regarding those connections). In fact, there has even been the suggestion, by cognitive linguist George Lakoff, that if we all stopped thinking about causation as something direct (I pushed him, he fell) and rather as something systemic (indirect, probabilistic), then we really could say with full accuracy that global warming caused Sandy. Systemically.

      Following this debate, I’ve been struck by the strong impression that people are making things too complicated. Here’s the simple truth: Leaving aside questions of systemic causation—and sidestepping probabilities, loaded dice, atmospheres on steroids, and so on—we can nevertheless say that global warming made Sandy directly and unmistakably worse, because of its contribution to sea level rise.

      “I keep telling people the one lock you have here is sea level rise,” meteorologist Scott Mandia explained to me recently. “It’s the one thing that absolutely made the storm worse that you can’t wiggle out of.” Mandia is an expert on the subject at Suffolk County Community College, and coauthor of the new book Rising Sea Levels: An Introduction to Cause and Impact.

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