It's Official: Bernie Sanders Says He's Running for President
[Editor's note: It's official, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Wednesday that he's running for president of the U.S. in 2016.
"I am running for president," Sanders told The Associated Press. "People should not underestimate me ... I've run outside of the two-party system, defeating Democrats and Republicans, taking on big-money candidates and, you know, I think the message that has resonated in Vermont is a message that can resonate all over this country."
"What we have seen is that while the average person is working longer hours for lower wages, we have seen a huge increase in income and wealth inequality, which is now reaching obscene levels," Sanders continued.
"This is a rigged economy, which works for the rich and the powerful, and is not working for ordinary Americans. ... You know, this country just does not belong to a handful of billionaires."
Sanders will make a more formal announcement about his presidential campaign today. He is the first official challenger for the Democratic nomination to Hillary Clinton, who announced her candidacy earlier this month.]
It looks like tree-hugging liberals will get their dream presidential candidate after all. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been hinting for months that he might get into the primary race but since he's an independent (and a for-real Socialist!) who caucuses with the Democrats in the Senate, it wasn't clear what banner he'd run under.
Now news sources such as Vermont Public Radio are reporting he'll announce his run Thursday as a Democrat. According to reports, he's planning to release a short statement this week and hold a campaign kickoff event in his home state in upcoming weeks. He'll join Hillary Clinton and Maryland ex-governor Martin O'Malley in the race. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb is also looking at a possible run.
WATCH: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders to Run for President, Focused on Climate, Corporate Power http://t.co/lAeKIoaPzt
— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) April 29, 2015
Sanders has been focusing his message on the decimation of the middle class and how the Trans-Pacific Trade deal currently under consideration would exacerbate that. But with a lifetime score of 95 percent from the League of Conservation Voters, he's also an environmentalist's dream. LCV has also praised Clinton's environmental record; she was the keynote speaker at their annual dinner in December.
“Unless we take bold action to reverse climate change, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to look back on this period in history and ask a very simple question: Where were they?" says Sanders. "Why didn't the United States of America, the most powerful nation on Earth, lead the international community in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and preventing the devastating damage that the scientific community was sure would come?”
Sanders is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, where he's usually taking positions that are polar opposites of those of Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK) who threw a snowball on the Senate floor to "prove" his contention that global warming is a "hoax." Sanders is also a member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
"As a member of both the Environment and Public Works and the Energy and Natural Resources Committees, Senator Sanders is uniquely positioned to fight for progressive energy policies and increased environmental protection—issues of great importance to him and to all Vermonters," says the Energy & Environment website, which features a photo of Sanders with 350.org founder Bill McKibben taken at last year's People's Climate March in New York City. "Senator Sanders is a leading voice on the need to address global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
Calling climate change "the greatest environmental threat facing the planet," Sanders was a co-sponsor of the Climate Protection Act of 2013 which would tax carbon and methane emissions from coal, oil and natural gas production and use the revenue to invest in energy efficiency and sustainable energy, including investments in wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and plug-in vehicles. Sanders also introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act to end subsidies and tax breaks for fossil fuel companies. He's an opponent of subsidies and tax breaks for the nuclear power industry as well.
And unlike Clinton, whom he worked with when she was in the Senate to pass the Green Jobs Act, which created a green jobs workforce training program, he hasn't been coy about where he stands on the Keystone XL pipeline.
In an interview with CNN in January, when the pipeline was under consideration in the Senate, he said, "The scientific community tells us, virtually unanimous accounts, that climate change is real. It’s already causing devastating problems and if we do not transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, this planet is gonna face some serious problems. The idea that we would give a green light for the transportation of 800,000 barrels of some of the dirtiest oils all over the world makes no sense to me.”
Sanders was also responsible for introducing an amendment to the Keystone Pipeline approval bill to put the Senate on record that climate change is real and human-caused.
In the January CNN interview, Sanders was asked if he was running for President. He replied, "I"m giving some thought to it. Taking on the billionaire class and Wall Street and the Koch brothers is not easy," and he expressed some pessimism that it would be possible in the future to elect a candidate advocating for the middle class and working people. While fossil fuel tycoons Charles and David Koch are looking over candidates to find someone in whom to invest the nearly $1 billion they've promised to spend on next year's presidential race, it's clear Sanders won't be getting their call.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Washington Redskins will retire their controversial name and logo, the National Football League (NFL) team announced Monday.
By Alyssa Murdoch, Chrystal Mantyka-Pringle and Sapna Sharma
Summer has finally arrived in the northern reaches of Canada and Alaska, liberating hundreds of thousands of northern stream fish from their wintering habitats.
A Good News Story?<p>On the surface, the <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/fwb.13569" target="_blank">results from our study</a> appear to provide a "good news" story. Warming temperatures were linked to higher numbers of fish, more species overall and, therefore, potentially more fishing opportunities for northerners.</p><p>Initially, we were surprised to learn that warming was increasing the distribution of cold-adapted fish. We reasoned that modest amounts of warming could lead to benefits such as increased food and winter habitat availability without reaching stressful levels for many species.</p>
Photo of Arctic grayling (left) and Dolly Varden trout (right). Alyssa Murdoch / Lilian Tran / Nunavik Research Centre and Tracey Loewen / Fisheries and Oceans Canada<p>Yet, not all fish species fared equally well. Ecologically unique northern species — those that have evolved in colder, more nutrient-poor environments, such as Arctic grayling and Dolly Varden trout — were showing declines with warming.</p>
Fish Strandings and Buried Eggs<p>Recent news headlines run the gamut for Pacific salmon — from their increased escapades <a href="https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/more-pacific-salmon-showing-up-in-western-arctic-waters/" target="_blank">into the Arctic</a> to <a href="https://www.juneauempire.com/news/warm-waters-across-alaska-cause-salmon-die-offs/" target="_blank">massive pre-spawning die-offs</a> in central Alaska. Similarly, results from our study revealed different outcomes for fish depending on local climatic conditions, including Pacific salmon.</p><p>We found that warmer spring and fall temperatures may be helping juvenile salmon by providing a longer and more plentiful growing season, and by supporting early egg development in northern regions that were previously too cold for survival.</p><p>In contrast, salmon declined in regions that were experiencing wetter fall conditions, pointing to an increased risk of flooding and sedimentation that could bury or dislodge incubating eggs.</p>
Headwaters of the Wind River within the largely intact Peel River watershed in northern Canada. Don Reid / Wildlife Conservation Society Canada / Author provided<p>Interestingly, we found that certain climatic combinations, such as warmer summer water temperatures with decreased summer rainfall, were important in determining where Pacific salmon could survive. Summer warming in drier watersheds led to declines, suggesting that lowered streamflows may have increased the risk of fish becoming stranded in subpar habitats that were too warm and crowded.</p>
The Fate of Northern Fisheries<p>The promise of a warmer and more accessible Arctic has attracted mounting interest in new economic opportunities, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpol.2019.103637" target="_blank">including fisheries</a>. As warming rates at higher latitudes are already <a href="https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/" target="_blank">two to three times global levels</a>, it seems probable that northern biodiversity will experience dramatic shifts in the coming decades.</p><p>Despite the many unknowns surrounding the future of Pacific salmon, many fisheries are currently <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/03632415.2017.1374251" target="_blank">thriving following warmer and more productive northern oceans</a>, and some <a href="https://doi.org/10.14430/arctic68876" target="_blank">Arctic Indigenous communities are developing new salmon fisheries</a>.</p><p>As warming continues, the commercial salmon fishing industry is poised to expand northwards, but its success will largely depend on extenuating factors such as <a href="https://www.eenews.net/stories/1060023067" target="_blank">changes to marine habitat and food sources</a> and <a href="https://www.yukon-news.com/news/promising-chinook-salmon-run-failed-to-materialize-in-the-yukon-river-panel-hears/" target="_blank">how many fish are caught during the freshwater stages of their journey</a>.</p><p>Even with the potential for increased northern biodiversity, it is important to recognize that some northern communities may be unable to adapt or may <a href="https://thenarwhal.ca/searching-for-the-yukon-rivers-missing-chinook/" target="_blank">lose individual species that are associated with important cultural values</a>.</p>
- New England Fishing Communities Being Destroyed by 'Climate ... ›
- Shrimp Fishing Banned in Gulf of Maine Due to Ocean Warming ... ›
- Atlantic Salmon Is All But Extinct as a Genetically Eroded Version of ... ›
A heat wave that set in over the South and Southwest left much of the U.S. blanketed in record-breaking triple digit temperatures over the weekend. The widespread and intense heat wave will last for weeks, making the magnitude and duration of its heat impressive, according to The Washington Post.
- Hot Weather and COVID-19: Added Threats of Reopening States in ... ›
- 50 Million Americans Are Currently Living Under Some Type of Heat ... ›
- Second Major Heat Wave This Summer Smashes Records Across ... ›
By Joni Sweet
If you get a call from a number you don't recognize, don't hit decline — it might be a contact tracer calling to let you know that someone you've been near has tested positive for the coronavirus.
Interviews With Contact Tracers<p>Contact tracing is a public health strategy that involves identifying everyone who may have been in contact with a person who has the coronavirus. Contact tracers collect information and provide guidance to help contain the transmission of disease.</p><p>It's been used during outbreaks of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), Ebola, measles, and now the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.</p><p>It starts when the local department of health gets a report of a confirmed case of the coronavirus in its community and gives that person a call. The contact tracer usually provides information on how to isolate and when to get treatment, then tries to figure out who else the person may have exposed.</p><p>"We ask who they've been in contact with in the 48 hours prior to symptom onset, or 2 days before the date of their positive test if they don't have symptoms," said <a href="https://case.edu/medicine/healthintegration/people/heidi-gullett" target="_blank">Dr. Heidi Gullett</a>, associate director of the Center for Community Health Integration at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and medical director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health in Ohio.</p>
“You’ve Been Exposed”<p>After the case interview, contact tracers will get to work calling the folks who may have been exposed to the coronavirus by the person who tested positive.</p><p>"We give them recommendations about quarantining or isolating, getting tested, and what to do if they become sick. If they're not already sick, we still want them to self-quarantine so that they don't spread the disease to anyone else if they were to become sick," said Labus.</p><p>Generally, the contact tracer won't ask for additional contacts unless they happen to call someone who is sick or has a confirmed case of the virus. They will help ensure the contact has the resources they need to isolate themselves, if necessary. The contact tracer may continue to stay in touch with that person over the next 14 days.</p><p>"We follow the percentage of people that were contacts, then converted into being actual cases of the virus. It's an important marker to help us understand what kind of transmission happens in our community and how to control the virus," said Gullett.</p>
Why You Should Participate (and What Happens If You Don’t)<p>A <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30457-6/fulltext" target="_blank">Lancet study</a> from June 16, which looked at data from more than 40,000 people, found that COVID-19 transmission could be reduced by 64 percent through isolating those who have the coronavirus, quarantining their household, and contacting the people they may have exposed.</p><p>The combination strategy was significantly more effective than mass random testing or just isolating the sick person and members of their household.</p><p>However, contact tracing is only as effective as people's willingness to participate, and a small number of people who've contracted the coronavirus or were potentially exposed are reluctant to talk.</p><p>"Contact tracers have all been hung up on, cussed at, yelled at," said Gullet.</p><p>The hesitation to talk to contact tracers often stems from concerns over privacy — a serious issue in healthcare.</p>
- Anti-Racism Protests Are Not Driving Coronavirus Spikes, Data ... ›
- Cell Phone Tracking Analysis Shows Where Florida Springbreakers ... ›
NASA scientists say that warmer than average surface sea temperatures in the North Atlantic raise the concern for a more active hurricane season, as well as for wildfires in the Amazon thousands of miles away, according to Newsweek.
By Andrea Germanos
Oxfam International warned Thursday that up to 12,000 people could die each day by the end of the year as a result of hunger linked to the coronavirus pandemic—a daily death toll surpassing the daily mortality rate from Covid-19 itself.
- These 6 Men Have as Much Wealth as Half the World's Population ... ›
- Climate Change Forces 20 Million People to Flee Each Year, Oxfam ... ›
By Jun N. Aguirre
An oil spill on July 3 threatens a mangrove forest on the Philippine island of Guimaras, an area only just recovering from the country's largest spill in 2006.
- 15,000 Gallon Oil Spill Threatens River and Drinking Water in Native ... ›
- Mysterious Oil Spill on Massachusetts' Charles River Spurs Major ... ›
- Disastrous Russian Oil Spill Reaches Pristine Arctic Lake - EcoWatch ›