How Do the 2020 Candidates Rate on Climate Action?
Climate change is shaping up to be a major issue going into the 2020 presidential primary. A February poll found that climate action was a top issue for Democratic voters in early voting states, rivaled only by universal health care. Many candidates have promised to make the issue a priority if elected, but how to they compare to each other on the details?
1. Do they support the Green New Deal?
2. Have they taken action to keep fossil fuels in the ground?
3. Have they taken the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge?
"We're making it clear where 2020 candidates land on the policies and practices essential to any meaningful attempt at addressing the climate crisis," 350 Action's Executive Director May Boeve said in a statement reported by The Huffington Post. "Bold climate action that strengthens our economy and communities is not only what most Americans want ― it's also the reasonable and responsible way forward."
So far, the three candidates scoring the best are Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. The three meet all of 350 Action's key criteria.
Three candidates do not meet any of the criteria. They are former Maryland Representative John Delaney, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, and, unsurprisingly, current President Donald Trump, who is so far the only Republican 2020 candidate.
The others have a more mixed record:
1. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker — Booker has endorsed the Green New Deal and has a good record on fossil fuels, but has not taken the pledge to refuse fossil fuel money.
2. South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg — Buttigieg has endorsed the Green New Deal and taken the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, but there is not enough information on his stance on fossil fuel projects.
3. Former Housing and Urban Development Head Julián Castro — Castro supports the Green New Deal but has not taken the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge and his record on fossil fuels is not clear.
4. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — Gabbard has opposed new fossil fuel projects and pledged not to take fossil fuel money, but has said she is still considering the Green New Deal resolution, despite supporting the initial call for a committee on the idea.
5. California Sen. Kamala Harris — Harris has co-sponsored the Green New Deal, but she has not pledged to eschew fossil fuel money. She has voiced opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline but did not co-sponsor the Keep it in the Ground Act of 2017 or the 100 by 50 Act of 2017 that calls on the U.S. to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050.
6. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee — Inslee has made fighting climate change the focus of his campaign. He supports the Green New Deal and has taken the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, but his record on fossil fuel projects is more ambiguous, according to 350 Action's research document. For example, he has been targeted by activists in Washington state over a liquefied natural gas terminal and refused to take a stance on the Dakota Access Pipeline, but has opposed the Trans Mountain Pipeline and denied permits for what would have been the largest terminal for train-carried oil in the U.S.
7. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — Klobuchar has co-sponsored the Green New Deal, but has not signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge. She voted against the Keystone XL pipeline but has not co-sponsored the Keep it in the Ground or 100 by 50 Acts.
8. Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke — O'Rourke has spoken in support of the Green New Deal, but has spoken in favor of natural gas as a bridge fuel and was taken off the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge for violating its terms.
9. Andrew Yang — Yang has endorsed the Green New Deal and signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge, but his platform does not specifically call for an end to fossil fuel use, though he does call for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and wants the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon pollution and promote renewable energy.
The test doesn't just inform voters, it also encourages them to take action and tweet or call the candidates to pressure them on climate issues. It is possible that test has already had an impact. Since it was released Wednesday, Buttigieg signed the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge. His tweet announcing his signature was time-stamped about two hours after 350 Action's tweet promoting its test, and Buttigieg did not say if his decision was prompted by the release of the test.
Momentum! 🙌 Another 2020 candidate just signed the #NoFossilFuelMoney pledge! Thanks @PeteButtigieg for recognizing… https://t.co/8MpwsZiJIz— 350 Action (@350 Action)1553715511.0
Could mouthwash help stop the spread of the new coronavirus?
- How to Stop Touching Your Face to Minimize Spread of Coronavirus ... ›
- Vodka Won't Protect You From Coronavirus, and 4 Other Things to ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Naomi Larsson
For centuries, the delicate silver dove has been a symbol of love and fidelity.
Biodiversity and Habitat Loss<p>Their near extinction is a symbol of the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/global-biodiversity-outlook-targets-extinction-summit-new-york-pledge/a-54932895" target="_blank">biodiversity crisis</a> in the UK, largely driven by habitat destruction. Britain is now one of the countries with the most <a href="https://www.wwf.org.uk/future-of-UK-nature#:~:text=The%20UK%20is%20one%20of,than%20half%20are%20in%20decline" target="_blank">depleted nature</a> in the world according to the World Wildlife Fund. Half its plant and animal species are in decline and more than <a href="https://www.rspb.org.uk/about-the-rspb/about-us/media-centre/press-releases/let-nature-sing-wales/#:~:text=a%20natural%20tragedy.-,Over%2040%20million%20birds%20have%20vanished%20from%20UK%20skies%20in,unaware%20of%20the%20impending%20danger" target="_blank">40 million birds</a> have vanished in just half a century.</p><p>"[Turtle doves] are the canary in the [coal] mine because there are all these other species before it and after it," said Tree. "It's an umbrella for all the other species that are heading that way."</p><p>Turtle doves migrate south through Europe to sub-Saharan Africa between July and September, ending up in dry woodland and farmland areas of countries like Mali and Senegal for winter. </p><p>Droughts in West Africa and the Sahel region are believed to have contributed to the fall in turtle dove species recorded in northern Europe, with low rainfall reducing supplies of the seeds and insects the birds rely on for energy for the long journey home.</p>
Conservation and Farming<p><a href="https://www.operationturtledove.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Operation Turtle Dove,</a> a partnership project of charities including the Essex Wildlife trust, works with landowners and farmers to actively build turtle dove habitat.</p><p>Outten works with <a href="https://www.ebws.org.uk/birdsites/blue-house-farm-ewt-north-fambridge" target="_blank">Blue House Farm</a>, a 660-acre nature reserve in the UK county of Essex, where they have replicated weedy fallow plots. </p><p>"We work on it every year to make sure it's in the condition it needs to be with plants such as clovers and black medic," Outten said. "These plants are native to the landscape and produce the seed the birds feed on." </p><p>The birds eat a wide range of seeds from various plants that would have been abundant 50 or 100 years ago, added Guy Anderson, program manager for species recovery with The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). </p><p>"But it's simply true that with the gradual process of <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/farming-without-pesticides-how-can-we-make-agriculture-greener/a-52216796" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">intensifying our agricultural production</a>, the availability of those seeds has dropped and dropped," said Anderson.</p><p>Part of the project includes supplementary feeding — providing sources of food in the form of seed or grain. Under the Countryside Stewardship Scheme in England, farmers can receive financial support to create a turtle dove habitat. </p><p>Though they haven't recorded an increase in doves across the sites in the four years of working on the project, Outten said they are seeing improvements in how landowners and farmers manage habitat for the birds. </p>
A Turtle Dove Haven<p>The 3,500-acre Knepp Estate in West Sussex is another project taking a different approach and one of the few places where turtle dove numbers are increasing.</p><p>Isabella Tree and her husband Charlie Burrell converted their intensively farmed land into a rewilding project almost 20 years ago. They have let the land return to nature.</p><p>Just one year after they'd finished <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/uks-most-talented-architects-are-not-human/a-35952128" target="_blank">rewilding</a> the southern part of their property, they heard turtle doves for the first time. It's now a breeding hotspot for the birds with an estimated 19 pairs. Knepp is also home to <a href="https://www.rewildingbritain.org.uk/rewilding/rewilding-projects/knepp-estate" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">2% of the UK's population</a> of nightingales. </p><p>Tree is critical of supplementary feeding schemes that, in her view, are short term. She questions the chances of turtle doves getting to feed on scattered seeds before other mammals eat them first.</p>
- 41% of UK Species Have Declined Since 1970, Major Report Finds ... ›
- One in Eight Bird Species Threatened With Extinction, Study Finds ... ›
- Pesticides to Blame for UK's Declining Turtle Dove Population ... ›
We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.
Life-sized, ultra-realistic robotic dolphins could help end animal captivity by replacing living creatures in aquariums and theme parks.
- Keeping Large Mammals Captive Damages Their Brains - EcoWatch ›
- Scientists Combine AI With Biology to Create Xenobots, the World's ... ›
- Singapore Uses 'Scary' Robot Dog to Enforce Social Distancing ... ›
By Jessica Corbett
Green groups applauded Sen. Jeff Merkley on Wednesday for introducing a pioneering pair of bills that aim to "protect the long-term health and well-being of the American people and their economy from the catastrophic effects of climate chaos" by preventing banks and international financial institutions from financing fossil fuels.