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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Not a dime's worth of difference?

by digby

Via Think Progress:
Clinton said: “I believe climate change is real and that we can save our planet while creating millions of good-paying clean energy jobs.”

“I am proud we shaped a global climate agreement,” she said later in the speech. “Now we have to hold every country accountable to their commitments, including ourselves.”

A five-minute video called “Not Reality TV” played at the DNC on Wednesday night, narrated by Sigourney Weaver and produced by James Cameron. It showed the impacts of climate change, touted Hillary Clinton’s clean energy priorities, and attacked Donald Trump for his “reckless denial of climate change” that is “dangerous, a threat to your livelihood, your safety, your children and the prosperity of this nation.”

The video features former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA), former President George H.W. Bush, and Pope Francis all expressing varying levels of concern about climate change. This provided a clear distinction with the current GOP nominee, who has consistently denied the reality of climate change and the science that backs it.

Cameron said earlier in the day that Trump was “a madman” and “incredibly reckless, incredibly dangerous” due to his climate denial.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) said on Monday night that “Hillary will fight to preserve this earth for our children and grandchildren.”

Clinton’s onetime rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), made the case for Clinton and against Trump when it comes to the climate crisis:

This election is about climate change, the great environmental crisis facing our planet. And the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our children and future generations.

Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that unless we act boldly to transform our energy system in the very near future, there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs transforming our energy system.

Donald Trump? Well, like most Republicans he chooses to reject science. He believes that climate change is a hoax, no need to address it. Hillary Clinton understands that a president’s job is to worry about future generations, not the profits of the fossil fuel industry.

Sanders’ appointees to the party platform committee were instrumental in helping to write thestrongest climate platform in party history. It did not call for a fracking ban — a key Sanders goal — but it did call for a carbon price, a goal of 100 percent renewable energy nationwide, and an outline for steps to exceeding our Paris commitments.

The Republican platform, however, now denies the reality of climate change — a reality the same document treated much more seriously just eight years ago.

Trump says it's all a conspiracy:

Donald Trump offered a new explanation this week on why he believes climate change is a hoax. Past explanations have includedblaming China for making up climate change for their benefit. But that was before being nominated for President. So what’s his position today?

Speaking with Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, Trump gave an updated account of why he thinks global warming is a hoax.

O’REILLY: Did you ever call climate change a hoax?

TRUMP: Well, I might have because when I look at some of the things that are going on, in fact if you look at Europe where they had their big summit a couple of years ago, where people were sending out emails, scientists practically calling it a hoax and they were laughing at it. So, yeah, I probably did. I see what’s going on and you see what’s going on.

The Discredited ClimateGate Conspiracy Theory

Trump appears to be referring here to the illegal hacking of scientists’ emails in 2009, which climate skeptics gleefully dubbed “ClimateGate.” These conspiracy theories have been thoroughly debunked (see for example FactCheck.org , Union of Concerned Scientists, and Politifact). After the emails were released, every investigative report — from the National Science Foundation Inspector General, NOAA’s Inspector General, Penn State University, University of East Anglica, and the UK Parliament — reached the same conclusion: nothing in the emails in any way altered the overwhelming scientific evidence that the world is warming due to increased levels of pollution.

Illegal Hacking Timed to Disrupt Climate Talks

Despite the thorough debunking of these attacks on scientists, the conspiracy theories gained traction in the media and, as Trump demonstrates, remain a convenient go-to point for skeptics today. The hacked emails were mysteriously dumped in 2009 on a server in Russia at an optimally timed moment as President Obama and world leaders were preparing to head to Copenhagen forge a new global climate agreement. The scientific community was instantly judged guilty in kangaroo courts led by Fox News and other media outlets who chased the story before investigating the facts. Fox News’ Sean Hannity helped lead the charge, declaring:

HANNITY (2009): “it is safe to say that ClimateGate has revealed that global warming and that movement is run by hacks and frauds.”

Fast forward to 2016

Today, NASA says there is a 99 percent chance that 2016 will be the hottest year on record, following the previous record set just last year.

The Democrats are imperfect on this issue. But please ... as Wired points out this is the first time any political party has put climate change up front as one of its defining issues. And that party is not the GOP.