Democratic Party Presidential Candidates for 2020

Eunoli

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To be fair, there is no path to meaningful, significant climate change action in a democratically governed country. We can nibble at the edges, or not nibble at the edges, but no president has sufficient authority to mount a drastic emergency response that would have an immediate impact.
That's what the bully pulpit is for - and has been used successfully in the past. Strangely, if Trump had made this a priority, he might have had huge support on the left and right both. But, of course, that would save the planet and we can't have that when there are babies to cage.
 

Kara Spengler

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Hate to say it but climate change is not an urgent issue for most Democratic candidates. Most of them are stuck in "how are you going to pay for that" mode and are only better in tone, not policy. Rejoining the Paris accords is not enough.
Yes, part of the problem with politics is it is a process that is no good for long term (or even medium term) issues. It only works on immediate stuff so when you KNOW something will be a crisis eventually but not TOO bad right now you are pretty hosed going through normal channels. When it becomes a crisis it is impossible to do anything.

Fortunately there are things going on that are hail marys though. Some of the fusion experiments look promising but (as the joke goes) they are always 30 years away.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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Interesting review here of Pete Buttigieg's memoire, The Road Taken, from The New York Review of Books:


The reviewer seems impressed but notes his evasiveness over several key points -- particularly the nature of his military service and his attitude to the US's recent military adventures and misadventures.
 

Cristalle

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Interesting review here of Pete Buttigieg's memoire, The Road Taken, from The New York Review of Books:


The reviewer seems impressed but notes his evasiveness over several key points -- particularly the nature of his military service and his attitude to the US's recent military adventures and misadventures.
The Current Affairs article was more insightful. All About Pete | Current Affairs
 

Anya Ristow

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Former Senator Mike Gravel (Alaska) is throwing his hat into the ring, but not really to run for president but to shift the conversation: Gravel Declares Presidential Bid to Highlight Anti-Interventionism and Direct Democracy

He ultimately backs Tulsi Gabbard. I don't know why he didn't just get out and stump for her. He has very little chance of making the debates, honestly, given that he needs 65k donors and 200 from each state.
He's still trying to get into the second debate. The third has requirements he'll never meet, but the second he's still trying to get. If you want to see him in the debate, consider donating $1. It will get you on his list, and opensecrets.org might forever mark you as a trouble maker :) so decide if you think it's worth that and $1. I'm in, of course.

 

Beebo Brink

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That's what the bully pulpit is for - and has been used successfully in the past.
You can't cajole or persuade people to make the drastic and extremely painful changes that would be required to -- possibly -- make a difference in the distant future. You need an autocrat and a very strong army to have even a ghost of a chance. The difference between what Trump is not doing and what a Democratic president might do are negligible in terms of averting climate change.
 

Anya Ristow

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You can't cajole or persuade people to make the drastic and extremely painful changes that would be required to -- possibly -- make a difference in the distant future. You need an autocrat and a very strong army to have even a ghost of a chance. The difference between what Trump is not doing and what a Democratic president might do are negligible in terms of averting climate change.
What did the Marshall plan require? We need that.

But here's a depressing figure. In 2019 dollars, the Marshall Plan was $100B. We increased the size of the military budget this year by 80% of that. The Apollo program was $150B in 2019 dollars. About twice this year's increase in military spending.

The republican tax cut was ten Apollo programs.
 

Anya Ristow

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This is in practice the same as saying that none of the factions fighting Assad are defending themselves and they should just roll over.

There’s a difference between saying what the US has done in the past is OK, versus saying a future administration can just wash its hands of it all and walk away because a previous administration started it.

The next Dem president, if we get to have one, will inherit an amoral mess. But just throwing up their hands and saying “Not my fault!” isn’t going to be the most humanitarian way out.
I don't disagree with any of that. But the next President should at least agree that we are the aggressors and want to not be the aggressors in the future.

Remember that John McCain and Hillary Clinton both wanted a no-fly zone in Syria. And even when the Joint Chiefs said that would mean war with Russia, they both still wanted it.

We have to at least not want to be involved in this madness.
 

Eunoli

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You can't cajole or persuade people to make the drastic and extremely painful changes that would be required to -- possibly -- make a difference in the distant future. You need an autocrat and a very strong army to have even a ghost of a chance. The difference between what Trump is not doing and what a Democratic president might do are negligible in terms of averting climate change.
To be honest? I think you win - and then you scare the CRAP out of the nation with the truth - over and over. And then you respond to the protests that come from that with the needed legislation. It can get done from the bottom up, but people who have been lied to all this time need slap in your face truth.
 
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Aribeth Zelin

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Here's the thing with averting continued climate change; its not really on us; sure, every little bit helps, but the large scale destruction is only going to be stopped with government regulations on big companies. Not to mention tightening EPA regulations and crap like that.
 
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Sid

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The way humanity has organized the world and the way we live, makes it IMHO impossible to change things so massively as would be needed to stop the climate change within a century. Leave alone to reverse it (if possible at all).
 
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Beebo Brink

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What did the Marshall plan require? We need that.
We don't need to rebuild, we need to stop doing most everything that keeps our economy and infrastructure functional. Immediate stop and worry about a "green" alternative later.

Just a sampling of what would be required on a global scale starting rightnow, not tomorrow or next year:

* Ground all planes, stop 100% of air traffic
* Ground all cars and trucks, no one drives anywhere
* Stop all land clearing or development. If land can grow trees, plant trees, then leave it alone
* Stop all construction using cement (roads, bridges, building, you name it, stop it)
* Shut down oil industry and all energy sources that burn oil-based fuel
* Shut down cattle/beef industry
* Stop having extra babies. One per couple.
* Stop all commercial fishing
* Stop making plastic anything

If we did ALL of these things today, this minute, we still would not avoid damaging climate change -- we're already locked in to 2 degrees warming from the greenhouse gases currently in the atmosphere, that won't degrade for decades. We might avoid catastrophic climate change, but we don't know for sure. The WAIS is already destabilized and collapsing, continental glaciers will be gone before the end of the century, and thawing permafrost is emitting methane gases at increasing rates.

The only proactive action we could take is to sequester carbon, and we can't do that on a meaningful industrial scale yet. We don't have the technology.

Are we going to do any of these things? No, of course not. Because our economy would go belly up and most people would be trapped in their homes starving to death. But anything less will not be enough.

tl:dr - we're totally screwed
 

Beebo Brink

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The way hmanity has organized the world and the way we live, makes it IMHO impossible to change things so massively as would be needed to stop the climate change within a century. Leave alone to reverse it (if possible at all).
:qft:
And there's nothing we can do to change a population of 7.5 billion people except start dying quickly in large numbers. Strangely, not many of us are volunteering for that. Not to mention the problem of all those dead bodies adding more carbon....
 

Bartholomew Gallacher

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The only proactive action we could take is to sequester carbon, and we can't do that on a meaningful industrial scale yet. We don't have the technology.
So far the biggest factory now in production sucks 500.000 metric tons of CO2 out of the atmosphere per year. And they are producing synthetic fuel out of it.

What you left out in your big picture is the area of geoengineering. The harsher the climate becomes, the higher the possibiltiy that mankind is going to try their luck on this.

One approach is "if we cannot suck the CO2 out of the atmosphere, we can still change the amount of light reflected in the atmosphere by bringing in artificial aerosols." This happens naturally when a volcano explodes; when in 1991 the Pinatubo erupted, the global temperature declined by 0,5 degrees Celsius.

Also when energy production by coal and heating with coal was still en vogue without filtering, in the 60s and 70s, there was a phase when the temperature really declined a little because of the pollution and increased reflection in the atmosphere. When filtering installations in coal power plants happened, this went away.

And there are many other ideas... of course playing with Earth is a risky thing, because the dependencies are still way too complex to be considered understood. It just might happen though that we are going to become so desperate in the not so far away future, that we simply won't care any more about this, because the alternativ might even become more desastrous.
 

Cristalle

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Anya Ristow

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We don't need to rebuild, we need to stop doing...
I wasn't thinking so much an action plan; more what it would take authority-wise to make happen whatever the plan happened to be. How did the Marshal plan come to be, and get passed? What would it take to pass a massive plan (whatever it may be) today?
 

Beebo Brink

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The globe needs a Manhattan Project on energy.
I do believe this will happen eventually. The tricky part is to hit that window between everyone finally waking up because climate starts dismantling our lives and the inevitable civil unrest that could make a rational, science-based response impossible to pull together. Another wrench in the works could be the rise of whacked out religious/spiritual movements, like the Flagellants. Today's Right-wing Evangelicals are just a small taste of what that could be like.
 

danielravennest

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Fortunately there are things going on that are hail marys though. Some of the fusion experiments look promising but (as the joke goes) they are always 30 years away.
This is the only graph that matters for climate change:



This is total world installed capacity. To put this in perspective, the 2023 forecast is about 1.5 times the US' electric power use. That's a big enough number to matter. We can only hope they keep growing as fast as they have been. Fusion power won't be making a difference soon enough to matter.
 
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Katheryne Helendale

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To be honest? I think you win - and then you scare the CRAP out of the nation with the truth - over and over. And then you respond to the protests that come from that with the needed legislation. It can get done from the bottom up, but people who have been lied to all this time need slap in your face truth.
I agree with you. But, unfortunately, the people who have been lied to all these years won't believe the truth even when it slaps them upside the head, and will just scream about "them liberals trying to ruin our lives".