BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – At a Sunday afternoon campaign stop, one of several stops of a southeastern United States swing, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) warned the United States had 12 years to “aggressively” confront climate change, or “disastrous results” would be forthcoming.
With the 16th Street Baptist Church as a backdrop, the Vermont U.S. Senator and candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination went through his usual list of policy proposals but gave a declaration of urgency regarding climate change and the environment.
“Today on an issue that is not only of vital importance to our country, but to the world – we say to Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry that climate change is not a hoax, that climate change is one of the great threats to this country and the planet, that climate change is caused by human behavior and that the scientists tell us that we have all of 12 years to aggressively go forward and transform our energy system, unless – we are going to see disastrous results and damage to this country and the world. Irreparable damage is the term they use,” Sanders said.
“Now it seems to me that we have a moral responsibility to leave this planet in a healthy and habitable way for our kids and future generations,” he added. “And that is why we day to Donald Trump and the greed of the fossil fuel industry that your short-term profits, and they make billions and billions every single year – their short-term profits are not more important than the future health of our planet. That is why we will transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainable energies.”
Sanders vowed under his presidential leadership, he could lead the world away from conflict and to cooperation on combatting climate change.
“It would be my pride as president to help the United States to help lead the world in transforming our global energy system,” Sanders said. “Think about a world in which instead of spending a trillion dollars globally each year on weapons of destruction – think about a world in which the countries came together and instead of figuring out how to kill each other, came together to work to figure out how to combat climate change. Wouldn’t that be something – that Russia, China and India, and other countries and the United States worked together to save the planet for our kids.”
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor