‘Climate change’ just officially ceased being an important issue in U.S. politics.
President Trump didn’t mention it in his State of the Union address. But nor, much to the disgust of environmentalists – did the Democrats in their rebuttals.
A shocked Huffington Post has named and shamed the key Democrats who could have spoken out but didn’t:
In his speech, Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) didn’t bring up global warming, sea-level rise or the surge in global greenhouse gas emissions, which threaten to become worse as the Republican White House ramps up fossil fuel production to unprecedented levels.
Even the State of the Union statement issued by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), considered one of the most hawkish Democrats on climate issues, snubbed climate change.
It was left to Bernie Sanders (I-Vt) to keep the faith:
“How can a president of the United States give a State of the Union speech and not mention climate change?” he said in his own rebuttal. “No, Mr. Trump, climate change is not a ‘hoax.’
“It is a reality which is causing devastating harm all over our country and all over the world, and you are dead wrong when you appoint administrators at the EPA and other agencies who are trying to decimate environmental protection rules and slow down the transition to sustainable energy.”
As a reminder how quickly things have changed, here’s an extract from President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union:
2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record. Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does: 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.
I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But you know what, I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and at NOAA, and at our major universities. And the best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we don’t act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration and conflict and hunger around the globe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.
And here he is, banging that the same worn-out drum in his 2016 State of the Union:
Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.
Finally, here is what the 2018 State of the Union had to say on climate change under a new president.