Grading the Dems on Climate Change: Elizabeth Warren

NPR talked with Elizabeth Warren about a lot of things, including climate change.


What she had to say about economics and equity was, in my opinion, brilliant. On international relations, she’s clearly well informed and intelligent. But … that stuff isn’t what this blog is about.

On the topic of climate change, NPR reports she said this:


“We have to rebuild our infrastructure to deal with climate change that is bearing down upon us. The urgency of the moment on climate change cannot be overstated. It’s upon us and we need to make change and make change fast. And that means in part rebuilding our power grids, our entire infrastructure system. We need to harden against the coming storms. Underpasses and overpasses and bridges. We need a 21st-century infrastructure that accounts for coming changes in climate, and we need it fast.”

NPR itself added the following information:


Warren has endorsed the Green New Deal package that aims to drastically cut carbon emissions. Warren said the revenue from her Ultra-Millionaire Tax could help pay for some of these proposals to combat climate change, and it sets her apart as one of the most progressive candidates in the field.

First things first: What Warren said about climate change was nothing more than what I hear from every democrate who doesn’t want to be run out of town. You might have gotten a “C” just for endorsing the Green New Deal, but you ruined it with that deflection of making it all about your infrastructure program. This was as extreme a case of “lip service” as I’ve heard in a long time — hell, this is the kind of crap I might actually expect to hear from Marco Rubio.

At least you emphasized the urgency, which is how you avoided an “F” grade. But if you really meant it, why not one word about emissions reductions, and everything suggested about adaptation, not mitigation? Which makes me say: Elizabeth, you are pretty clueless about climate change. Please, prove me wrong on the next pop quiz — because on this test, you get a D.

One more thing … I don’t grade on the curve.

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3 responses to “Grading the Dems on Climate Change: Elizabeth Warren

  1. The portion of Warren’s statements

    And that means in part rebuilding our power grids, our entire infrastructure system. We need to harden against the coming storms. Underpasses and overpasses and bridges. We need a 21st-century infrastructure that accounts for coming changes in climate …

    shows me she still hasn’t learned much about actual climate threats. Warren opposed having people pay more for insurance who choose build and live in places with greater climate risk, instead socializing the cost of this choice by having the rest of us pay. The areas where these risks are being converted into damage are dynamic places, like barrier beaches, and the prime foolishness is thinking you can build them up so they stay put.

    Not only am I not voting for her for President, I’m not voting for her for Senator. Actually, come to think of it, I didn’t last time either.

  2. I have seen Elizabeth Warren at every climate event here in Boston. The above is an inadequate representation of her position; she is a leader, not a follower, and has been so since I can remember. She’s talking about altering infrastructure to clean energy sources, not just adaptation, though that doesn’t come through. She’s hot on climate justice.

    One might “grade” NPR for what it leaves out. Public radio and especially TV are sometimes unwilling to venture too far to the “left” these days.

    this problem will be hard. This challenge is going to take the best we’ve got. … It will require global action, which means that countries that can barely agree on what time it is will need to work together and make tough choices, a herculean diplomatic challenge in the best of circumstance.
    I do know this: we need too work much harder on climate issues starting right now. … singing “la-la-la, protect corporate profits” is not one of them. Hiring fake experts is not one of them,

    I believe in science. we are inflicting a wound on ourselves from which the human race may never recover.

    [Response: If Elizabeth Warren should become president, I will have the great pleasure of telling people that I once shook her hand. Which I did.

    As for those quotes, I presume from her but which NPR omitted, I am not impressed. I get that she takes it seriously. Maybe even more so than Harris or Klobuchar or any of the long list except Bernie and Inslee. But that sure ain’t comin’ through in her messaging, and even from what you say I don’t think she’s taking it seriously enough.

    Do bear in mind this blog is about climate, and I have made no real attempt to evaluate her skills or plans for any other issue.

    Just in case you’re working on her campaign, my advice is to alert those in charge that on the climate change issue, Bernie is kicking your ass.]

  3. Our national infrastructure is like the trailer park facing a tornado, any talk of rebuilding is premature and naive