Bernie Sanders: Climate Change Is the Biggest Threat to National Security
Listen to Sanders' answer in the context of all the others. Then listen to the response in the hall.
by Gaius Publius
I just can't let this go by. Howie has already chronicled how Sanders has actually won the debate, though the "mainstream" (money-owned) media, which loves the "mainstream" (money-owned) part of the Democratic Party, won't begin to say so. (If you need more information on this topic — the debate, the media and the Party — read this piece by Adam Johnson at Alternet and click through to the many poll links. Sanders really killed it last night.)
Note especially, in Howie's piece, the google-spikes whenever Sanders spoke, especially when he spoke about making systemic changes — unlike the gradualist changes offered by Hillary Clinton. The interest in Sanders, and in systemic change, is very high.
Now consider how that interest can translate into a "teaching moment" — actually a "teaching year" — as Sanders makes excellent, no-nonsense points about what I believe is the single biggest story of the century, our soon-to-be-final-if-we-don't-Stop-Now destruction of the only environment we have ... this habitable planet.
Sanders, from the debate, on climate change (from this transcript; my emphasis:
COOPER: Thirty seconds for each of you. Governor Chafee, what is the greatest national security threat to the United States?It's clear from the context of all the other answers, including the two that preceded Sanders' answer, that Sanders understands what he just said. And he wowed them in the hall (and at home, I'm sure) with that answer.
CHAFEE: It’s certainly the chaos in the Middle East. There’s no doubt about it. [...]
COOPER: Governor O’Malley?
O’MALLEY: I believe that nuclear Iran remains the biggest threat, along with the threat of ISIL; climate change, of course, makes cascading threats even more (inaudible).
COOPER: Secretary Clinton, the greatest national security threat?
CLINTON: I — I think it has to be continued threat from the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands. I know the terrorists are constantly seeking it, and that’s why we have to stay vigilant, but also united around the world to prevent that.
COOPER: Senator Sanders, greatest national security threat?
SANDERS: The scientific community is telling us that if we do not address the global crisis of climate change, transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to sustainable energy, the planet that we’re going to be leaving our kids and our grandchildren may well not be habitable. That is a major crisis.
COOPER: Senator Webb?
WEBB: Our greatest long-term strategic challenge is our relation with China. Our greatest day-to-day threat is cyber warfare against this country. Our greatest military-operational threat is resolving the situations in the Middle East.
COOPER: All right. We’re going to take a short break.
This is great news for Sanders, but it's also great news for climate awareness, awareness of the full threat that global warming represents. He has the biggest megaphone in the Democratic Party right now, and he has the best climate message. We desperately need both.
Senator Sanders, please don't let up about climate. We really need the boost your messaging provides. (I'm not being hyperbolic. This is a genuine opportunity. I've written several times — for example, here — that the tide of climate consciousness has turned, we've passed a tipping point, if you will, but that tide as just turned, very recently turned, and awareness is just now dawning. This is a great time to give that awareness a major shove into the light, and Sanders has an opportunity to do just that.)
If you like, you can help Sanders give that boost here; adjust the split any way you wish at the link.