Posts Tagged ‘Climate Change’

Hillary took to social media to expose the study that the Trump regime tried to hide by releasing it on the slowest news day of the year. This is her Facebook post. You can RT her Tweets here >>>>


Thought I would tack this on here. Trump promised the residents of Tangier Island that he would protect them from the rising tides. But, never mind. He doesn’t believe the study from his own administration, soooo … I’m guessing it’s all a big “screw you” to Tangier Islanders. I think of them every time the topic arises. This article was originally published in September, 2014.


On Tangier, a Disappearing Island

By Christian Storm

Going under
Christian Storm/Business Insider

This article originally appeared in Business Insider.

If you stand at the end of the dock in Crisfield, Maryland, and gaze out over the water, you might not catch the tiny shape of a water tower barely visible on the horizon. And when you look at a map you can just as easily miss the tiny island that the tower sits on, 12 miles from either coast in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. Largely unknown, Tangier Island, Virginia, is one of the most isolated and extraordinary places in the continental U.S.

It’s also in danger of disappearing. In 50 to 100 years, the water tower in the center of town may be all that’s left of the place.

Many of us have heard about far-off islands, like the Maldives or Kiribati, which are slowly sinking into the ocean because of erosion and rising sea levels. Far fewer know of Tangier, an island right here in the U.S. that’s currently only 4 feet or so above sea level at its highest point and that may soon suffer the same fate.

An Island Apart

tangier1Christian Storm/Business Insider

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Hillary and Al Gore, who “used to be the next president of the United States,”  teamed up to talk about climate change in Florida – a state at high risk with a coastline of 1,350 miles.  At the Kendall Campus of Miami Dade College, Hillary, typically wonky, reviewed an encyclopedic list of the effects of climate change.  Al Gore reviewed the 2000 election.

Conventional wisdom is that he lost by 537 votes in Florida. We do not know that for certain because he finally conceded rather than continue pushing for the recount when SCOTUS stopped it.  As he reminded the audience, they chanted “You won! You won!”  Principle/protest voters need to recall the role Ralph Nader played in the 2000 election.

No image more powerfully conveys the importance of every vote than Al Gore standing with Hillary Clinton. Bob Shrum, Gore’s former chief consultant, told Steve Kornacki “I think he won the election.  He didn’t get inaugurated.”  Gore’s 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, did win a few Oscars, and Hillary strongly recommended that you see it if you have not already.

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Joined by Gore in Miami, Clinton Lays Out Plan to Fight Climate Change

At a rally in Miami on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore laid out what’s at stake in this election by highlighting the urgent threat of climate change – a defining challenge of the 21st century. Clinton discussed the very real impacts of climate change on American communities, especially in Florida where one in eight homes—$400 billion in real estate—could be underwater by the end of this century. Clinton highlighted locally-driven clean energy and climate solutions and contrasted her plan to make American the clean energy superpower with that of Donald Trump, who dangerously calls climate change a Chinese hoax and would cancel the Paris climate agreement. Clinton said, “He doesn’t care what it would do to the planet.  He doesn’t care how much that would damage American leadership in the world.  He doesn’t care what it would do to the future we leave our kids and our grandkids. Well, he may not care – but we do. And that’s why this election is so critically important because on the ballot, it is not just my name. It’s every issue we care about it’s our values as a country.”

Clinton’s plan includes producing enough renewable energy to power every home in the country, cutting energy waste in homes, schools, hospitals and offices by one third, reducing oil consumption by one third through clean fuels and advanced cars and toyota trucks for sale logan ut, and investing in resilient infrastructure that will withstand extreme weather and the impacts of climate change.

Gore called Clinton the best candidate to confront the issue of climate change. He also said that she is poised to solve our nation’s biggest challenges, adding, “The choice is that clear. It’s that stark. The consequences for not just our children and grandchildren and future generations, but for all of us, are really quite significant […] If you are on the fence about whether to vote, remember what is at stake in this election. And if you think your vote does not matter, take it from me, your vote can make all of the difference in this election.”

Gore urged the crowd to vote early, and to register to vote ahead of Florida’s Wednesday deadline.

Clinton and Gore’s remarks, as transcribed, are below: HILLARY CLINTON: “Hello, Miami Dade College! It is so great to be here with all of you.

And I want to thank everyone for gathering and in particular, I want to thank all of the elected officials. Thanks to Congressman Patrick Murphy who I hope is the next senator from Florida. Thanks to Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Thank you to Mayor Phillip Levine of Miami Beach. Thanks to Mayor Phillip Stoddard of South Miami. Thanks to all the others who were part of the program. As we were coming in, we heard lots of energy coming from this crowd, and I was told as I was coming out, there’s an overflow, but they can hear us in the overflow, and we’re so happy you’re here as well! So thanks to the overflow crowd. But what I am most excited about is to be here with one of the world’s most foremost leaders on climate change: Al Gore.

About a decade ago, Al made a movie called ‘An Inconvenient Truth.’  Now, maybe some of you have seen it, but if you haven’t, I hope you’ll watch it tonight.  It doesn’t have a lot of special effects – but it does have a lot of drama.

And here’s the main message:  climate change is real, it’s urgent, and America can take the lead in the world in addressing it.  Right? We here in America can develop new clean energy solutions.  We can transform our economy.  We can rally the world to cut carbon pollution.  And above all, we can fulfill our moral obligation to protect our planet for our children and our grandchildren.

Now, let me just say – so, so let’s remember, let’s remember what’s at stake. I’m running against a guy who denies science, denies climate change, claims it’s a hoax created by the Chinese. So this is something that Al Gore’s been working on for a really long time. And I want you to know how far back he goes. It was in 1982 when he held the very first hearing on climate change in the House of Representatives with the world-famous climate scientist Jim Hansen. And then when Al became a senator, he continued to raise the alarm and look for solutions, and as vice president, he led America’s efforts to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol to cut greenhouse gas emissions. You take all this together, those 30 years of leadership led Al Gore to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

I was very proud because he had been determined and persistent, and in the face of a lot of people – in public life, in business, in elsewhere who were trying to diminish the importance of the science – he never wavered. And in the years since, the climate challenge has only grown more stark.  And I will tell you this, it is one of the most important issues at stake in this election.

Look at it this way. Our next president will either step up our efforts to address climate change, to protect our planet, to protect our health, and to create good jobs that cannot be outsourced by growing our clean energy economy. Or in the alternative, we will be dragged backwards and our whole future will be put at risk.

So we’ve really got to get this right. And if you need additional convincing, just remember what happened this week. Hurricane Matthew killed at least 26 people in our country, more than a thousand as far as we know right now in Haiti.  North Carolina is still dealing with serious flooding and will be at least for the rest of the week, if not longer.  We all need to support each other as our communities put the pieces back together and begin the long road back from this disaster.

That’s why I’ve encouraged everyone to give what you can afford to the Florida Disaster Fund or to Team Rubicon, the veterans organization working to respond to Hurricane Matthew, or to UNICEF, helping children and families on the ground in Haiti.

Now, some will say, ‘We’ve always had hurricanes.  They’ve always been destructive.’  And that’s true. But Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change.  Right now, the ocean is at or near record-high temperatures – and that contributed to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding that we saw in the Carolinas.  Sea levels have already risen about a foot – one foot – in much of the Southeast, which means that Matthew’s storm surge was higher and the flooding was more severe.

Plus, as you know, the impact of climate change goes beyond extreme events like hurricanes.  It’s become a daily reality here in Miami.  You have streets in Miami Beach and in Shorecrest that are flooding at high tide.  The ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system.  Sometimes, people call 311 because they assume a water main must have broken when actually it is the sea rising around them.

So, if you need proof that climate change is real and that it’s costly, there you go.  So at this rate, at this rate, my friends, my friends, please. Let’s focus on what’s really important in this election and in your future and the future of our country, because this is what I want you to hear and understand. At the rate we are going, one in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century, and when kids – like that adorable young boy over there on his dad’s shoulders – are grandparents, we believe that’s more than $400 billion worth of property in Florida at risk, and nationwide, it’s as much as $882 billion in property at risk.

But there’s also health consequences. Mosquitoes that carry diseases like the Zika virus and ticks that carry Lyme disease are expanding their ranges. And hotter summers and longer pollen seasons are making allergies and asthma worse, which is especially bad for our children. And look at what is happening in California, a brutal five-year drought. Wildfires have burned more than 9 million acres in our country last year.

And it’s also about national security. The Pentagon has identified climate change as a threat to our America’s national security.  The U.S. Atlantic Fleet is based in Norfolk, Virginia.  It’s the largest naval installation in the world.  And because of rising sea level, the base is frequently flooded, even when it’s sunny. So that’s why the Pentagon is looking at how climate change will affect readiness and operations, not just in Norfolk, but at all of our military bases around the world.

So you would think if you look at the facts, if you listen to the science, that even the most committed climate skeptic would say, ‘Ok, I agree, something’s happening here. We need to take it seriously.’

But unfortunately, there are still plenty of people – in Washington, on the campaign trail – who won’t face what’s happening right in front of us.

Donald Trump, is, quote, ‘not a big believer’ in climate change.  As I said, he said it’s a hoax created by the Chinese. And in our first debate two weeks ago, he tried to deny saying that. But that tweet is still there for everyone to see.

And I would wish that Donald would actually listen to people here in Florida, like Miami Beach’s Mayor Philip Levine and others who are doing incredible work to address these ‘Sunny Day’ Floods. Or maybe, he would listen to Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Alemán. Or maybe he would listen to Miami Beach Commissioner, John Elizabeth Alemán. John Elizabeth is a Republican, but she’s supporting our campaign—because she knows America can’t afford a candidate who doesn’t accept climate science. Or maybe Donald would listen to our military leaders who say climate change threatens our national security, or what about the ranchers in Colorado, or the mayors in Arizona or the community leaders in Alaska who say, ‘Our lives and jobs and families are being affected – please, let’s come together as a country and do something about it.’

We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House.  At all, that is absolutely unacceptable.

We need a president who believes in science and who has a plan to lead America in facing this threat, creating good jobs, and yes, saving our planet.

So here’s what I want to do.

First, we need to do a lot more on clean energy.  The clean energy superpower of the 21st century is probably going to be either Germany, China, or us—and I want it to be us. And I want you to be part of making it us.

And we need to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and create high paying jobs, building and installing more solar panels and wind turbines. Modernizing our electric grid. Retrofitting buildings. Building resilient, 21st century infrastructure, and we have to make sure no community is left out or left behind—not our cities or our small towns or our remote, rural areas.

Now, you wouldn’t know it if you only listened to my opponent talk about how terrible everything is. He has such a dark, divisive view of America, but that doesn’t tell the story about what’s really going on. It’s actually pretty exciting. In red states and blue states, local leaders are stepping up.  Rural electric co-ops are investing in community solar power and you see that across America – union workers in Michigan, union workers in Michigan are getting ready to build electric Chevys in a plant powered by clean energy.  Iowa, Iowa is already getting a third of its electricity from wind.  Wind turbines are going up in New England and on Lake Erie. Renewable energy is already the fastest-growing source of new jobs in America. I think that is so exciting – there are nearly 2 million people already working in energy efficiency.

And in Spartanburg, South Carolina, a project called ReGenesis is taking an old landfill and turning it into a solar farm. That landfill was a blight and a health threat, just 250 feet away from a residential neighborhood. Now, that same land will generate enough clean, renewable electricity to power 500 homes.

So this is what we can do. And I think Washington should back up and support doing more of that. As president, I want us to have 500 million solar panels installed across America by the end of my first term. And let’s generate enough renewable energy to power every home in America within the decade. Let’s make our buildings and factories more energy efficient and cut our oil consumption by one-third.

And we can get there by investing in cutting edge research, to keep developing cheaper and better clean energy technologies, investing in clean energy infrastructure and advanced manufacturing, putting big partnerships together between states, cities, and rural communities.

We can do all of this and create millions of good-paying jobs as we do. So I’m hoping that these good jobs will offer security and dignity while we produce the clean energy that will power the economy of the future. The clean energy solutions are being developed right here in America. We want them manufactured in America, installed in America, and putting people to work in America.

And while we do that, let’s make sure our communities are ready for the impacts of climate change that are coming right at us. We need to invest in resilient infrastructure. Now, sometimes that will mean building a seawall; other times, let’s be more creative – like in New York Harbor, where we are replanting oyster beds to form natural barriers to storm surge.  Sometimes we’ll overhaul an outdated sewer system to deal with flooding from heavy downpours.  In Philadelphia, they’re trying something else: green roofs, porous pavements, curbside gardens to help absorb storm water.

And here’s something we don’t talk enough about. Let’s make sure our hospitals can stay open and operational in any kind of disaster. Because sadly, I saw what happened in New York during Hurricane Sandy, newborns who had been on respirators had to be evacuated down nine flights of stairs in one New York hospital, because the electricity went off. Nurses, I love nurses – heroic, courageous nurses were carrying those babies and manually squeezing bags of air to keep them breathing. Now, here in Miami, you know how important this is. You have retrofitted the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital with a hurricane-resistant shell for exactly this reason. And every hospital in the country should follow your lead and build in more resilience.

And then finally, we have got to lead the world to confront the climate challenge. If we don’t do it, nobody will do it. We must confront the climate challenge. There’s no doubt about that. And so, let’s move on with the kind of leadership that the world as well as our country deserves.

When I was Secretary of State, I worked with President Obama to make climate change a top diplomatic priority.  We fought to get China and India and other major polluters to agree for the first time in history to be part of the solution.  In fact, we had to crash a secret meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark – slip past the guards – it was all very cloak and dagger.  But for a really important purpose, and because of that breakthrough, and a lot of patient, persistent work, and because of American leadership, 195 nations signed on to a global agreement last December.  It’s called the Paris Agreement.  And I am not exaggerating when I say it is our last, best chance to solve the global, climate crisis.

And what does Donald Trump want to do? He wants to cancel the Paris Agreement.  He doesn’t care what it would do to the planet.  He doesn’t care how much that would damage American leadership in the world.  He doesn’t care what it would do to the future we leave our kids and our grandkids.

Well, he may not care – but we do. And that’s why this election is so critically important because on the ballot, it is not just my name. It’s every issue we care about it’s our values as a country.

Climate change needs to be a voting issue. We need to elect people up and down the ballot, at every level of government, who take it seriously and are willing to roll up their sleeves and get something done. Please, we cannot keep sending climate deniers and defeatists to Congress or to state houses—and certainly not to the White House.

And if you care about climate, your Senate race is also really important, and I’ll tell you why. It is unacceptable, it is an unacceptable response for Marco Rubio, when asked about climate change to say, ‘I’m not a scientist.’ Well, why doesn’t he ask a scientist and then maybe then he’d understand why it is so important that he, representing Florida, be committed to climate change? That’s why I hope that you’ll elect Patrick Murphy to the United States Senate.

Look, we need leaders who can get results. It’s easy to stonewall. It’s not enough to protest: we need creativity, we need hard work.  And when it comes to climate change, we don’t have a minute to waste.

So, I know it’s easy to get cynical—especially about our politics. I get that. But this election matters more than any has in a really long time, and I believe that as strongly as I can, we’ve got to address this issue for our sakes, our children, our grandchildren. And it’s so critically important when you think about how leadership can make a difference.

And just look, if you will – look at the difference between your state, the Sunshine State, which has less solar energy than New Jersey has right now. And do you know why? Because you have a governor who has ordered the state government never to use the words ‘climate change.’ So my friends, this is a big deal in the election, and it is going to be a big deal for our country and our world. And there isn’t anybody – there isn’t anybody who knows more, has done more, has worked harder. I know he was in Miami just last year, training and educating people to be climate change activists.  I can’t wait to have Al Gore advising me when I am President of the United States. So please join me in welcoming our former vice president, a climate change leader and an all-around great guy, Al Gore.”


“Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you very much, Secretary Clinton, and ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for the warm welcome. I appreciated those kind words very much. I want to acknowledge all of the elected officials and distinguished guests who are here, and I want to say a special word of thanks to President Eduardo Padrón and Miami Dade College. I understand you’ve got a pretty good women’s volleyball team here, so go Lady Sharks. Is that what you say?

I’m here today with two very simple messages. Number one, when it comes to the most urgent issue facing our country and the world, the choice in this election is extremely clear. Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority. Very important. Her opponent, based on the ideas that he has presented, would take us toward a climate catastrophe. So that’s my first message: the climate crisis is and must be regarded as a top national priority and a top global priority.

Here is my second message: your vote really, really, really counts a lot. You can consider me as an Exhibit A of that truth. Now, for those of you younger – for those of you who are younger than 25, you might not remember the election of 2000 and what happened here in Florida and across the country. For those of you older than 25, I heard you murmuring just now. But take it from me, it was a very close election. Elections – well, here’s my point. Here’s my point. I don’t want you to be in a position years from now where you welcome Hillary Clinton and say, actually, you did win, it just wasn’t close enough to make sure that all the votes were counted or whatever.

Elections have consequences. Your vote counts. Your vote has consequences.

And in this election, the future of Miami and cities up and down the West Coast and East Coast of Florida are on the ballot as well. Indeed, the entire state of Florida and its future are on this ballot. So is our economy, our health, our national security. The common thread that binds all of these issues together: what we decide to do about carbon pollution and its damage to the ecological system of the Earth.

I don’t have to tell you here in Florida that the climate crisis is real. Yes, it’s true that some of your elected officials have not recognized that it’s real, but every single night on the television news is like a nature hike through the Book of Revelation. You look at the floods and the droughts and the mudslides and the fires and the incredible downpours, and as Secretary Clinton just mentioned, Hurricane Matthew just recently. You know, it spun up from a tropical storm into a category five hurricane in just 36 hours. That’s extremely unusual. And the reason that happened is the climate crisis is trapping so much extra heat in the Earth’s system, equivalent to what would be released by 400,000 Hiroshima-class atomic bombs going off every day. It’s a big planet, but that’s a lot of energy, and it’s warming the oceans – more than 90 percent of that heat energy goes into the oceans.

And so the southern Caribbean, where it spun up into a category five so quickly, was much warmer than normal because of that; and the Gulf Stream is way warmer than normal for this time of year for the same reason.

So this means also that all the water vapor coming off the oceans into the atmosphere is brought over the land and so we get these record downpours. Just in the last year, we have seen one-in-a-thousand-year downpours in Louisiana, West Virginia, Texas, Maryland. In Houston, in one 12-month period, they’ve just had two 500-year floods and one 1,000-year downpour. In one of them, they had as much water dumped on Harris County, Texas, where Houston is, as would have been put there by three and a half days of the entire flow of Niagara Falls. This is not normal. It is becoming the new normal, which is now a set of conditions that we have created with all of this man-made global warming pollution.

Secretary Clinton also mentioned the sea level rise. We have seen already – some of you who are a little bit older may remember Hurricane Andrew, when – yeah, absolutely. When Hillary and I were first campaigning together in 1992, Hurricane Andrew came through. Just since Hurricane Andres, the sea level in the waters around Florida have gone up three inches since Hurricane Andrew. And every vertical inch of sea level rise means four to eight feet of the water going inward and the storm surges on top of that. And yes, there are now, at high tide, sometimes ocean – fish from the ocean swimming in some of the streets of Miami Beach and Delray and Fort Lauderdale. And the rainfall in Carolina is – Secretary Clinton mentioned what they’re still dealing with there. They got 17 inches of rain because the warmer oceans not only make the wind speed much stronger than it has been in the past on average, but it also dumps all of that water on the land.

And she mentioned the role it plays in health. Just yesterday, there were six more cases of Zika announced in Dade County, and the public health authorities are doing a great job and really wrestling with it, and these tropical diseases have spread so quickly partly because of airline travel and the transportation revolution. But the changing climate conditions change the places where these tropical diseases become endemic and put down roots. The mosquitos mature faster, and then the virus in the mosquito incubates much faster, and they bite more often because they’re cold-blooded and when the temperature goes up, their metabolism goes up, and they spread the disease way more quickly.

So these and many other consequences, including the fires out West that Secretary Clinton talked about, are really wakeup calls for us. Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message. We cannot continue putting 110 million tons of global warming pollution into the atmosphere every day as if it’s an open sewer. We’ve got to stop that. We’ve got to wake up and recognize the need for change.

So most people know that we have to change this, but here’s the really good news that more people should know. We can change this. We now have the ability to change this. It’s going to be a long, hard fight. We’ve got a long way to go. But we now have the renewable energy technologies and the efficiency improvements and electric vehicles and motorbikes that still apply for cheap 125 motorbike insurance, also sustainable and organic agriculture and sustainable forestry and the other ways of changing our lives for the better that can sharply diminish the amount of global warming pollution that we’re putting up there. And Secretary Clinton is exactly right that we can create good jobs in the process, jobs that can’t be outsourced.

She’s also right that either China or Germany or some other country other than the U.S. could become the renewable energy superpower of this new century. One day last December, Germany, which is much higher in latitude than the U.S. and pretty cloudy at that – one day they got 87 percent of all their electricity from wind and solar and renewable energy. We can be on track to do that as well. And China – yes, China is the biggest polluter now, but they have begun to change big time. Their coal use is going down. Their overall emissions are going down. And they’ve just announced that this – next year, in 2017, they’re adopting a nationwide cap and trade program and they’re taking other measures to reduce and to create those jobs in China.

And in Paris – the Paris Agreement is a big deal. Yeah, it’s not enough. Yes, it needed to do more. But it is by far the biggest step forward the world has ever taken to solve the climate crisis. Every nation in the world, virtually – I think there were three or four little ones like maybe Nicaragua or something like that who didn’t – but virtually every nation in the world agreed to phase out these greenhouse gas emissions and go to net-zero emissions early in the second half of this century, and to begin that process now. And it sent a powerful signal to businesses and industries and investors. And I can tell you, that signal is being received. We hear news every single day of more businesses making that shift.

So the question in this election, and this comes back to my first message, is which of these candidates is going to continue the progress and actually increase the rate of progress? With Hillary Clinton, we’ll build on the progress made under President Obama with the Paris Agreement and she will seize the opportunities. After all, solar electricity and wind electricity is now way cheaper than it was years ago when some of us started sounding the alarm about this crisis.

Hillary Clinton knows this very well, and she’s worked with President Obama. Since the beginning of the Obama Administration, the cost of wind electricity has come down by half. Solar is down by 64 percent. LED is down by 94 percent. We have seen – we’ve seen electricity from solar increase 30 times over. Last year in the entire United States in the calendar year 2015, if you look at all of the new electricity generation that was added in the U.S. last year, what percentage of it do you think was solar and wind? Seventy-one percent, virtually zero from coal. And it’s already – it’s already creating millions of jobs and it continues to get cheaper and cheaper every single week. World records are being broken every month now as it continues to get cheaper.

Now, Hillary Clinton knows this not only because she has studied it and – not only because she’s worked with President Obama, but her work in the Senate emphasized this. Her work on child asthma and air pollution and helping to improve children’s health by cutting down on air pollution was very important. Her work on environmental justice, helping call attention to the fact that it’s the poor people and minority communities and people of color who are almost always victimized more than the rest of us on – by these environmental crises.

And she has proposed a terrific plan to install – well, she said it herself and I’m not going to repeat all of it, but I’ll just say this. When she put out her solar plan – a half a billion solar panels by the end of her first term and enough renewable energy to power every home in America – I looked at that plan very carefully. And I will say to all of you, you will hear a lot of candidates for office who will put out plans that have words you’re not even sure what they might mean because the words – there are ways to put things. I went through that with a fine-tooth comb, and I will tell you that her plan on solar panels and expanding renewable energy – it is right at the limit of what we can do, and that is exactly the kind of ambitious goal that we need from the next president of the United States of America.

Almost 100 years ago, America’s most famous inventor, Thomas Edison, said these words – it’s an exact quote: ‘I would put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power. I hope we don’t have to wait until the oil and coal come out before we tackle that.’

Now, I want to say a brief word – I’m going to return to my second main point here in a minute, but I want to say a brief word about something else that all of you can do. You can elect Patrick Murphy to the United States Senate instead of a climate denier. But here’s something else you can do. Vote ‘no’ on Initiative 1 on your ballot.

Hillary mentioned that there are fewer solar jobs in the Sunshine State, Florida, than there are in New Jersey. Actually, Florida also lags behind Massachusetts, which is even farther north. Despite having three times the population of Massachusetts, Florida has less than half of the solar jobs that have been created in Massachusetts. Massachusetts installed more solar energy last year alone than Florida has installed in its entire history.”

AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Ridiculous.”

AL GORE: “And one – yes, it’s ridiculous. That’s exactly right. And the head of one of the fossil-fuel-burning utilities here actually said last year, ‘Well, yes, Florida’s the Sunshine State, but remember, it’s also the partly cloudy state.’ Well, they are trying to cloud the truth by putting forward a phony-bologna initiative that sounds like it protects solar. It doesn’t protect solar. What – the things they claim protect solar are protections you already have. But they trying to fool you into amending your state constitution in a way that gives them the authority to shut down net metering and do in Florida what they did in Nevada and just kill the solar industry.

Now, this is a question – Our democracy has been hacked and the utilities – the fossil utilities here have spent more than $20 million to try to pull the wool your eyes. And $20 million can buy a lot of wool. So Amendment 1 would benefit the incumbent fossil fuel companies here in Florida by making it harder for homeowners to go solar.

Now, let me close by returning to my second message. The stakes in this election simply could not be higher. You will often hear people from podiums like this one say something like that at election time. I know; I’ve heard it. I’ve even said it before. But honestly, to those of you here and those within the – who can hear my voice by whatever means, this election really matters. The world is on the cusp of either building on the progress and solving the climate crisis, or stepping back, washing our hands of America’s traditional role as the leader of the world and letting the big polluters call the shots.

The choice is that clear. It’s that stark. The consequences for not just our children and grandchildren and future generations, but for all of us, are really quite significant. So because of that, please take it from me: Every single vote counts. Every single vote counts. If you are not registered to vote, do so today. If you are on the fence about whether to vote, remember what is at stake in this election. And if you think your vote does not matter, take it from me, your vote can make all of the difference in this election.

Vote early. Vote early and don’t let your friends sit this election out. Early voting begins here in Dade County on October 24th and in several other parts of Florida it begins on October 24th. If you have any confusion whatsoever about where you vote or whether you’re registered or whether you are going to the right polling place, visit iwillvote.com –iwillvote.com. Say it with me: iwillvote.com. One more time. Iwillvote.com.

Now, if you want to be really in touch with this election process and get really involved in taking other people to the polls, there’s a –if you like to text, then text ‘climate’ – the word ‘climate’ – to this number – 47246 – and you’ll get updates. You’ll get the information you need. And then even on Election Day you’ll get updates on your polling place. So remember, text ‘climate’ to 47246. Say it with me: 47246.

All right. Now, in closing, I’ve made two points. The climate crisis must be a top priority. We must have a president who gets it, who cares about it, who’s internalized it, who’s passionate about it, who’s determined to lead our country, and with our country to lead the world at the key moment when we really do have the opportunity to solve this climate crisis and make our country stronger and more prosperous at the same time.

My second message is – you know what it is – every vote counts. That’s why I am here and that’s why I will vote for Hillary Clinton. I know that my vote counts. I know that your vote counts. I hope you will consider carefully the future in making your decision this November or beginning when early voting starts when you go into the ballot box.

Together, we have the opportunity to look back on this year as a time when our nation finally chose to answer the alarm bells on the climate crisis and went into action to solve it. I know that there are still some who doubt in their hearts that we as human beings and we as Americans have the ability to bring about such a big and important change. Do we have the capacity? I’ll remind you that the will to change and build a brighter future is itself a renewable resource. Let’s make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States of America.”


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Hillary Clinton Statement on the Paris Climate Change Agreement

Hillary Clinton released the below statement following the conclusion of an international climate agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The agreement solidifies greenhouse gas pollution reduction targets from more than 180 countries accounting for more than 90 percent of global emissions; establishes transparency provisions to measure global progress and hold countries accountable; and mobilizes financial support and private-sector investment to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change and achieve sustainable economic growth.

“I applaud President Obama, Secretary Kerry and our negotiating team for helping deliver a new, ambitious international climate agreement in Paris. This is an historic step forward in meeting one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century—the global crisis of climate change.

“The Paris agreement is testament to America’s ability to lead the world in building a clean energy future where no one is left out or left behind. And it was made possible in part by every person, business owner, and community in the United States and around the world that stepped up to prove we don’t have to choose between growing our economy and protecting our kids’ health and future—we can do both.

“But we will only succeed if we redouble our efforts going forward to drive innovation, increase investment, and reap the benefits of the good-paying jobs that will come from transitioning to a clean energy economy. The next decade of action is critical—because if we do not press forward with driving clean energy growth and cutting carbon pollution across the economy, we will not be able to avoid catastrophic consequences.

“We cannot afford to be slowed by the climate skeptics or deterred by the defeatists who doubt America’s ability to meet this challenge. That’s why as President, I will make combating climate change a top priority from day one, and secure America’s future as the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.”

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Hillary Clinton: America Must Lead at Paris Climate Talks

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the second official 2016 U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate in Des Moines
Jim Young—Reuters Hillary Clinton speaks during the second official 2016 U.S. Democratic presidential candidates debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 14, 2015.

Hillary Clinton is a Democratic candidate for president

The climate change deniers, defeatists and obstructionists should know that their cynical efforts will fail

Climate change threatens every corner of our country, every sector of our economy and the health and future of every child. We are already seeing its impacts and we know the poorest and most vulnerable people in the United States and around the world will suffer most of all.

Despite the seriousness of the threat, the world has not always rallied to respond. For years, international negotiations were stymied by deep divisions between developed and developing nations, and by resistance on the part of the Chinese and others to taking responsibility for curbing carbon pollution. While President Obama has made strong progress cutting pollution and deploying more clean energy in the United States, he faces a Republican Party that alternates between denial of the reality of climate change, defeatism about our ability to do anything about it, and outright obstruction of the tools and programs we need to solve the problem.

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When asked, whether by the campaign or by poll-takers, media outlets, or even by friends, why they support Hillary Clinton for President, many people, I have noticed, have a ready short answer while I have been flummoxed.   How to have a simple answer when the reasons are so many,  so complex, and so deeply rooted in a long history has escaped me.  Today the light came on, and surprisingly, it is the same simple answer with which I argued for her nomination in 2008.  She always has a plan.

If Hillary argues in favor of a policy, she always has a plan behind the argument.  It is always sensible, well thought out, thorough, and surprisingly clear and simple for everyone to understand.

Yesterday, she unveiled her plan to combat climate change.  Below is her email with an informative video and a way for you to sign onto her effort along with a fact sheet issued by her campaign.

From this day forward I do have a short answer to that question – the same one I had in 2008.  I could even make it my hashtag: #HillaryHasaPlan.  Of course the long answer would incorporate a great deal more, but this is my short one: Hillary has a plan!


Friend —

Climate change is one of the most urgent problems facing our nation and our world. Tonight, I’m proud to announce the first steps of an ambitious plan to combat it and help make America a clean energy superpower.

If you’re with me, watch this video to learn about the beginning of my plan, then add your name to say that we must take immediate action to fight climate change:

Watch the video:

Too many Republicans in this race deny the very existence of this global  threat by reminding you that they’re not scientists. Well, I may not be a scientist, but I’m a grandmother with two eyes and a brain. That’s all it takes to know that we must immediately address climate change, one of the defining challenges of our time. I hope you’ll stand with me to do just that.

Watch the video, then add your name to join me in the fight against climate change:


Thank you,



Hillary Clinton’s Vision for Renewable Power

Hillary Clinton announced two bold national goals that she will set as president to combat climate change, create jobs, protect the health of American families and communities, and make the United States the world’s clean energy superpower:

  1. The United States will have more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of Hillary Clinton’s first term.
  2. The United States will generate enough clean renewable energy to power every home in America within ten years of Hillary Clinton taking office.

The next decade will be decisive for our transition to a clean energy economy and our ability to meet the global climate crisis. The two goals Clinton announced are part of a comprehensive energy and climate agenda that she will lay out over the coming months.

By achieving these goals we will:

  • Expand the amount of installed solar capacity to 140 gigawatts by the end of 2020, a 700% increase from current levels. That is the equivalent of having rooftop solar systems on over 25 million homes.
  • Add more power generation capacity to the grid than during any decade in American history, from a combination of wind, solar, hydro, geothermal, and other forms of renewable electricity.
  • Prevent thousands of premature deaths and tens of thousands of asthma attacks each year, meet our national and international climate targets, and move our economy along a path towards deep decarbonization by 2050.

How will we achieve these goals? Through a clean energy challenge to unleash American innovation.

First, Hillary Clinton will make it a top priority to fight efforts to roll back the Clean Power Plan. The Clean Power Plan is a crucial tool in our national strategy to reduce carbon pollution, level the playing field for and increase the deployment of renewable energy, and build a clean energy future. In the face of attacks from climate change deniers, we will need a champion in the White House to defend it and implement it effectively.

But smart federal standards set the floor, not the ceiling. We can and must go further.

Hillary Clinton will launch a Clean Energy Challenge that forms a new partnership with states, cities, and rural communities that are ready to lead on clean energy. She will outline this Challenge in detail in the coming weeks, and it will include:

  1. Climate Action Competition: Competitive grants and other market-based incentives to empower states to exceed federal carbon pollution standards and accelerate clean energy deployment.
  2. Solar X-Prize: Awards for communities that successfully cut the red tape that slows rooftop solar installation times and increases costs for businesses and consumers.
  3. Transforming the Grid: Work with states, cities and rural communities to strengthen grid reliability and resilience, increase consumer choice and improve customer value.
  4. Rural Leadership: Expand the Rural Utilities Service and other successful USDA programs to help provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy, not just to rural Americans but to the rest of the country as well.

As part of the Clean Energy Challenge, Clinton will ensure that every part of the federal government is working in concert to help Americans build a clean energy future. This includes:

  1. Transmission Investment: Ensure the federal government is a partner, not an obstacle, in getting low-cost wind and other renewable energy to market.
  2. Solar Access: Overcome barriers that prevent low-income and other households from using solar energy to reduce their monthly energy bills.
  3. Tax Incentives: Fight to extend federal clean energy incentives and make them more cost effective both for taxpayers and clean energy producers.
  4. Public Lands and Infrastructure: Expand renewable energy on public lands, federal buildings, and federally-funded infrastructure, including an initiative to significantly increase hydropower generation from existing dams across the US.
  5. Innovation: Increase public investment in clean energy R&D, including in storage technology, designed materials, advanced nuclear, and carbon capture and sequestration. Expand successful innovation initiatives, like ARPA-e, and cut those that fail to deliver results.

But this is only part of a comprehensive energy and climate agenda.

This is just the beginning of the energy and climate strategy that Hillary will present over the coming months, including ways in which the Clean Energy Challenge will improve the efficiency of our buildings and modernize our transportation system, as well as major initiatives in the following areas:

  1. Energy and Climate Security: Reduce the amount of oil consumed in the United States and around the world, guard against energy supply disruptions, and make our communities, our infrastructure, and our financial markets more resilient to climate-related risks.
  2. Modernizing North American Infrastructure: Improve the safety and security of existing energy infrastructure and align new infrastructure we build with the clean energy economy we are seeking to create.
  3. Safe and Responsible Production: Ensure that fossil fuel production taking place today is safe and responsible, that taxpayers get a fair deal for development on public lands, and that areas that are too sensitive for energy production are taken off the table.
  4. Coal Communities: Protect the health and retirement security of coalfield workers and their families and provide economic opportunities for those that kept the lights on and factories running for more than a century.
  5. Collaborative Stewardship: Renew our shared commitment to the conservation of our disappearing lands, waters, and wildlife, to the preservation of our history and culture, and to expanding access to the outdoors for all Americans.

Hillary Clinton is a proven fighter against the threat of climate change.

As Secretary of State, Clinton built an unprecedented global effort to combat climate change, making it a key U.S. foreign policy priority. She appointed the first Special Envoy for Climate Change to make the issue a top priority in U.S. diplomacy. She led the creation of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition global initiative and with President Obama achieved the key diplomatic breakthrough that yielded the 2009 UN Copenhagen Accord, the first international climate agreement in which major developing countries like China, India, and Brazil committed to reduce their GHG pollution.

As Senator, Clinton advanced initiatives to protect the American people from the threat of climate change and unleash the full potential of America’s clean energy economy. She introduced the Strategic Energy Fund Act and co-sponsored and supported legislation to extend the Wind, Solar and Ethanol Tax Credits. She championed the Clean Power Act to reduce harmful industrial pollutants and was part of a bipartisan coalition to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling.

Hillary was in Des Moines today where,  on the heels of unveiling her plan. she toured the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station with general manager Elizabeth Presutti and building superintendent Keith Welch, left, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station with general manager Elizabeth Presutti and building superintendent Keith Welch, left, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on as she is introduced to speak about her renewable energy plan, Monday, July 27, 2015, at the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton looks on as she is introduced to speak about her renewable energy plan, Monday, July 27, 2015, at the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton (C) tours the geothermal system during a visit to the LEED Platinum certified DART Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa July 27, 2015. General Manager Elizabeth Presutti (L) and Building Superintendent Keith Welch (R) conduct the tour.   REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton (C) tours the geothermal system during a visit to the LEED Platinum certified DART Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa July 27, 2015. General Manager Elizabeth Presutti (L) and Building Superintendent Keith Welch (R) conduct the tour. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the geothermal system during a visit to the LEED Platinum certified DART Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa July 27, 2015.    REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the geothermal system during a visit to the LEED Platinum certified DART Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa July 27, 2015. REUTERS/Scott Morgan

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station with building superintendent Keith Welch, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station with building superintendent Keith Welch, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton talks to the media, Monday, July 27, 2015, at the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton talks to the media, Monday, July 27, 2015, at the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station with general manager Elizabeth Presutti, left, and building superintendent Keith Welch, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton tours the Des Moines Area Rapid Transit Central Station with general manager Elizabeth Presutti, left, and building superintendent Keith Welch, Monday, July 27, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)



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Hillary begins the chapter at Cop15 in Copenhagen, December 2009.  She attended with President Obama.

It is now diplomatic lore.  Representatives of the most important nations they wanted to speak with, China, Brazil, India, and South Africa were somehow not to be found.  Concluding that this had to mean a secret meeting among them, Hillary and President Obama set out to find them at the summit venue.  When they did, they essentially broke into the meeting.  To me, this remains one of my favorite moments of their whole administration together.  It happened early.  Hillary does not say whether this affected their relationship in any way, but it gave some of us a ‘mental instagram’ moment that never made it onto Instagram.  The way Hillary tells it, it is a rollicking scene and you wish there had been photos.

We did, thankfully get to see this one.  We have no idea what she was doing, but we all loved this moment.

The upshot was this accord.

Photo Gallery and Text of the Copenhagen Accord


 The war on climate change began early.

Hillary Clinton on Energy and Climate

 Date: 04/27/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton stands at podium, addressing the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. State Dept Photo

She selected Todd Stern as Special Envoy for Climate Change and brought him with her on her first official trip to Asia.

Hillary Clinton at U.S.-China Partnership on Clean Energy

Hillary Clinton with Chinese FM Yang Jiechi

The minister and I agreed that, based on the good progress that has already been made, the United States and China will build an important partnership to develop and deploy clean energy technologies designed to speed our transformation to low-carbon economies. These technologies are essential, both to spur sustainable economic growth in our countries, and to contain the increasingly urgent problem of global climate change. Areas for useful cooperation include: renewable energy, the capture and storage of CO2 from coal plants, and energy efficiency in our buildings.

We also agreed that we share a common interest in working to promote a successful agreement that climate change talks be held in Copenhagen in December of 2009. We will hold regular consultations between senior officials in our governments on all elements of this broad collaboration.

In India, they bestowed a lovely flower garland upon her and then told her that nations that long contributed more to the the looming atmospheric disaster should take more responsibility than newly industrialized states with economies dependent on carbon power.

Hillary Clinton on Tour of ITC Green Building in New Delhi

… the challenge is to create a global framework that recognizes the different needs and responsibilities of developed and developing countries alike. And I not only understand, but I agree with the concern of countries like India. The United States and other countries that have been the biggest historic emitters of greenhouse gases should shoulder the biggest burden for cleaning up the environment and reducing our carbon footprint. And certainly President Obama has put our country on the path to doing that.

And no one wants to in any way stall or undermine the economic growth that is necessary to lift millions of more people out of poverty. So, I want to make two points as clearly as I can.

First, the United States does not and will not do anything that would limit India’s economic progress. We believe that economic progress in India is in everyone’s interest, not just India’s. To lift people out of poverty and to give every child born in India a chance to live up to his or her God-given potential is a goal that we share with you. But we also believe that there is a way to eradicate poverty and develop sustainably that will lower significantly the carbon footprint of the energy that is produced and consumed to fuel that growth.

And secondly, we in the United States, under the Obama administration, are recognizing our responsibility and taking action. So, therefore, addressing climate change and achieving economic growth, in our view, are compatible goals. And we know, as we look at the forecast of rising sea levels and changing rainfall and melting glaciers that India is a country very vulnerable to climate change. But it is also a country most likely to benefit from clean energy policies that are key to economic sustainability in the 21st century.

So, that is why I am very confident — and even more so after the discussion we just had, led by the minister — that the United States and India can devise a plan that will dramatically change the way we produce, consume, and conserve energy. And, in the process, start an explosion of new investments and millions of jobs. India already has the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, the knowledge base to be a big winner if we feed these opportunities of energy efficiency and renewable energy.

In Copenhagen, the larger, newly burgeoning industrial nations were concerned about environmental curbs restricting growth. Small island nations stood to lose habitable coastal land (as did and do inhabitants of coastal areas worldwide – including in the U.S.).   Desert regions were threatened by continued and worsening drought bringing famine and disaster.  All present were there because of concerns about environmental threats and were charged with the important work achieving an accord that would rein in the menace.

We already know how floods, drought, and famine  – which we refer to as ‘natural disasters’  – can devastate regions.  In our own country we now have a ‘fire season’ in the west.   If you are younger than 15 you may have lived with a ‘fire season’ all of your life, but this is a very new ‘season’ even to people still in college.

Hillary was looking beyond the human toll these catastrophes take and toward the lurking political implications as well as their potential exploitation by bad actors.  We do know how bad those actors can be.  When Hillary and Obama both accurately saw the climate issue as a security threat during the primaries, they were both right, and it was an issue they addressed as an ensemble.  We should all be glad for that.

Here is the press conference in Copenhagen she refers to.

Secretary Hillary Clinton’s Remarks at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Hillary in Copenhagen

It was not perfect and not legally binding, but the agreement that came out of Copenhagen was the first to reflect the softening of the division between developing and developed nations.  It did not achieve everything everyone wanted, but, Hillary points out, that is the nature of compromise.

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks at the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA) Ministerial

Secretary Clinton’s Statement On The Cancun Agreements

Video: Secretary Clinton Speaks to Climate and Clean Air Coalition

The Arctic nations were Hillary’s natural allies in the battle to curb climate change.

Hillary Clinton with Norwegian Foreign Minister Stoere in Tromso


Hillary Clinton at Climate and Clean Air Coalition Event in Stockholm

Hillary Clinton in Helsinki: The Climate Clean Air Coalition and Green Embassy Event

When she attended the Arctic Council in 2011,  she was the first secretary of state to do so. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a member of the delegation, shared the photo.  We see her standing near Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on the right of the photo.  Hillary signed the first legally binding agreement among the eight Arctic nations.

Hillary Clinton and Delegation Wheels Up from Greenland

The melting ice was opening new shipping routes, and Russia was quick, under Putin’s direction, to begin staking claims to possible underwater oil sources.  The implications of an “oil rush” in the Arctic have grave military implications.

All of the international action on climate change is geared to culminate in a summit in Paris next year where, perhaps, legally binding agreements can be achieved.  Hillary points out that many, especially small, threatened and fragile nations, look to the U.S. to lead and points out the value and necessity of leading by example.


Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ Retrospective: Introduction

Access other chapters of this retrospective here >>>>



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Secretary Clinton attended the Summit on Climate Change today with U.S. Ambassador to the U N, Dr. Susan Rice. Here are some pictures. If there is any press release on this later, I will post it here.

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Remarks at the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Loy Henderson Conference Room
Washington, DC
April 27, 2009

Date: 04/27/2009 Location: Washington, DC Description: Secretary Clinton stands at podium, addressing the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. State Dept Photo

Thank you, Todd. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.) Well, I’m delighted to welcome all of you to the State Department for this very consequential meeting. As I look around the table, I think I have met in bilateral forums with all of the countries here, if not in multilateral forums, over the last nearly 100 days. And at each and every one of those meetings, global warming, climate change, clean energy, a low-carbon future has been part of our discussions. And I’m very pleased to welcome the personal representatives of 17 major economies, the United Nations, and observer nations to this first preparatory meeting of the major economies on energy and climate.

I think it’s significant that this discussion is taking place here at the State Department, because the crisis of climate change exists at the nexus of diplomacy, national security and development. It is an environmental issue, a health issue, an economic issue, an energy issue, and a security issue. It is a threat that is global in scope, but also local and national in impact. I’m delighted that our Special Envoy for Climate Change, Todd Stern, will be working with you, as will Mike Froman, who sits at that nexus in the White House between the National Security Council and the National Economic Council.

You know the details or you would not be here. There is much going on in the world today that challenges us, and it is remarkable that each of your nations has committed to this because we know that climate change threatens lives and livelihoods. Desertification and rising sea levels generate increased competition for food, water and resources. But we also have seen increasingly the dangers that these transpose to the stability of societies and governments. We see how this can breed conflict, unrest and forced migration. So no issue we face today has broader long-term consequences or greater potential to alter the world for future generations.

So this morning, I would like to underscore four main points. First, the science is unambiguous and the logic that flows from it is inescapable. Climate change is a clear and present danger to our world that demands immediate attention. Second, the United States is fully engaged and ready to lead and determined to make up for lost time, both at home and abroad. The President and his entire Administration are committed to addressing this issue and we will act.

Third, the economies represented here today have a special responsibility to pull together and work toward a successful outcome of the UN climate negotiations later in the year in Copenhagen, and I’m delighted that Denmark could join us because they are going to host this very important meeting. And the Major Economies Forum provides a vehicle to help us get prepared to be successful at that meeting.

And fourth, all of us participating today must cooperate in developing meaningful proposals to move the process forward. New policy and new technologies are needed to resolve this crisis, and they won’t materialize by themselves. They will happen because we will set forth an action plan in individual countries, in regions, and globally. It took a lot of work by a lot of people to create the problem of climate change over the last centuries. And it will take our very best efforts to counter it.

First, I want for the American audience principally, but also for international audiences, to underscore what I said here just a few weeks ago when we had the meeting of the Antarctic consultative group. Some of the countries were represented here. The science is conclusive. The evidence and impact is getting more dramatic every year. Facts on the ground are outstripping worst-case scenario models that were developed only a few years ago. Ice sheets are shrinking. Sea levels are rising. Oceans are becoming more acidic, threatening coral and other life forms. So the imperative is clear. We are called to act, and future generations will judge us as to whether we do or not.

Second, the United States is no longer absent without leave. President Obama and I and our Administration are making climate change a central focus of our foreign policy. We are, as Todd has often said, back in the game. We don’t doubt the urgency or the magnitude of the problem. This forum is not intended to divert attention from working towards solutions, but to assist us in creating those solutions. And we are moving quickly. On April 17th, in a decisive break with past policy, our Environmental Protection Agency announced its finding, that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions threaten public health and welfare. This move will open the door for more robust tailpipe emission regulations.

President Obama has proposed a broad, market-based cap on carbon pollution that would include a mandatory national target through the year 2050, when emissions would be cut by 80 percent. A market-based cap will encourage game-changing private investments in clean energy and improvements in efficiency, streamlining our regulatory process, stimulating new jobs and growth, and setting us on the road to a low-carbon economy. We, with our stimulus package of just a few months ago and our continuing emphasis will make significant, direct investments in clean energy technology and energy efficiency. And our EPA is paving the way for more stringent auto emission standards.

Now, we are well aware that some see the economic crisis as an excuse to delay action. We see it in an exactly opposite way, as an opportunity to move toward a low carbon future. So we work on that internally and we look forward to working with all of you.

We believe that the $80 billion in President Obama’s recovering plan, which includes funding and loans for clean energy development, targets to double our country’s supply of renewable energy over the next three years. And we also are working very hard on programs to make homes and buildings more energy efficient. We think this is something that all countries can do in this immediate economic crisis to make this a green recovery, and some of you are far ahead in doing that. We are also reengaged in the UN framework convention negotiations and looking forward to working throughout this year.

Third, as major economies, we are responsible for the majority of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. We may be at different stages of development and we certainly may have different causes of the emissions that we are responsible for, but we think coming together and working to address this crisis is comparable to the G-20 nations addressing the global economic crisis. That is why I want to assure you that the United States will work tirelessly toward a successful outcome of the UN Framework Convention negotiations.

There is no sense in negotiating an agreement if it will have no practical impact in reducing emissions to safer levels. The math of accumulating emissions is clear. So we all have to do our part, and we need to be creative and think hard about what will work in order for us to achieve the outcomes we hope for.

It is going to be both a national and local responsibility, as well as a global one. I believe that this forum can promote a creative dialogue and a sense of shared purpose. Of course, each economy represented here is different. And some, like mine, is responsible for past emissions, some responsible for quickly growing present emissions. But people everywhere have a legitimate aspiration for a higher standard of living. As I have told my counterparts from China and India, we want your economies to grow. We want people to have a higher standard of living. We just hope we can work together in a way to avoid the mistakes that we made that have created a large part of the problem that we face today.

And it will be harder, not easier, if we fail to meet the challenge of climate change for all countries, particularly developing countries, to continue the growth rates that they need to sustain the increase in standard of living that they’re looking for.

And finally, I would hope that we could develop through this mechanism concrete initiatives that leaders of the major economies can consider when they meet in Italy in July. We have to come up with specific recommendations. Breakthroughs can and should come from anywhere and everywhere. That’s why creative diplomacy and genuine collaboration is called for. And I think proposals for transformational technological changes, creating markets for such changes, subsidizing them on a declining basis so that we can get those new technologies into the market, whatever combination of incentive and mandatory requirements that will accomplish this change in the short run, should be considered.

Being good stewards as we must be of this fragile planet that we inherit together, requires us to be pragmatic, not dogmatic. We have to be willing to embrace change, not just repeat tired dogma. And I think we have to be ready to do whatever it takes and whatever the earth demands to succeed in addressing this common danger to our future.

I remember many years ago, as a young woman, seeing the first pictures that came back from space of earth, and looking at that blue and green orb as it spun on its axis, and I remember being so struck about how it was this place of light and life in what appeared to be just darkness and no life, so far as we knew. We now bear the responsibility in this generation, and the United States is ready to do our part. We are ready to listen and learn and to participate as a partner and also as a leader at this critical juncture. We want to be sure that that fragile planet we inhabit continues to provide for the greatest opportunities for our children and generations to come. But in order to do that, we have a historic responsibility to come together and actually create a new history.

So I appreciate your coming. I look forward to the reports of your deliberations. And I urge all of us to do what we know we must do to put our world on the right track to deal with this crisis. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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Dialogue on U.S.-China Partnership on Clean Energy


Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State, Secretary of State
With Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd Stern And President of GE Energy China Jack Wen
Taiyang Gong Power Plant, Beijing, China
February 21, 2009

MR. WEN: Good afternoon, everybody. Welcome to our dialogue on U.S.-China partnership on clean energy. I am Jack Wen, business leader for GE Energy in China.Madame Secretary, as a company formed by Thomas Edison 130 years ago in your home state, New York, and also headquartered in Schenectady for renewable energy, GE is very honored to be part of your first trip to China as Secretary of State.

And also, GE has been working in China for the past 100 years, and we also view China as our other home.

And also, we are very delighted that Secretary of State, in her dedication, visits the power plant today. And this project really leads the industry in demonstrating advanced technology, maximized efficiency, and also minimized environmental impact. And GE is very proud to be able to participate in this project by providing our high-efficiency gas turbine equipment and technology. And this is another great example of U.S.-China cooperation and friendship.

And now, let me introduce Todd Stern. He is the U.S. President’s personal representative, the Secretary of State’s Special Envoy on Climate Change. He is holding a critical role, in terms of driving U.S. international policy on climate change.

So, with that, Mr. Stern. (Applause.)

MR. STERN: Thank you very, very much. Thank you, Jack. I am delighted to be here. I want to give special thanks to not only Jack, but to Mike Norbom of GE, and Wang Yongliang and (inaudible) who run this plant.

I am very pleased to be here in China on my first trip as the administration’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, and I am delighted to be joined by all of you here: students and researchers, faculty from Tsinghua University’s clean energy research and education center, and Tsinghua’s Institute of Energy and Environment Economics.

And I am extremely impressed by this plant. This is exactly the kind of thing that the United States and China have to do together. It is, as you know, a co-generation lifecycle plant. It not only produces electricity, but captures the heat that would otherwise be lost, and heats a million homes in Beijing, including the U.S. embassy. So, we are delighted about that. And it produces only half the emissions of an ordinary coal plant.

This is the kind of thing that we need to do more of. It is creative, it is effective, and it is profitable. And in an age where we are producing, through the use of coal and oil, greenhouse gases that are endangering us all, this is exactly what we need to do.

Climate change is an epic challenge. Scientists have been warning us about this threat for many years. And mounting evidence suggests that, if anything, scientists have underestimated the seriousness of the threat, not the other way around. In our view, nothing is more important for dealing with this threat than a U.S.-China partnership turning their full attention to it. Together, we produce about 40 percent of worldwide emissions, but together we can do great things.

Now, the United States recognizes its responsibility, as the world’s largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases, to be a leader in this fight. And we also recognize that China has enormous challenges, in terms of development, development needs and development pressures.

And yet, this is true. There is no way to preserve a safe and livable planet unless China plays a very important role, along with the United States. This is not a matter of politics or morality or right or wrong. It is simply the unforgiving math of accumulated emissions.

But if climate change amounts to a daunting challenge, it also presents enormous opportunity. The only way to address climate change, fundamentally, is to transform the global economy from a high to a low-carbon base, and that presents great economic opportunity. In our view, building a clean energy economy is not only something we can do consistent with economic growth, it is exactly what we need to do right now to build an economy that can compete, not only today, but tomorrow.

And let me say don’t believe people who tell you that we can’t do this now, that we have to go slow, that we need to wait until this economic crisis is over. The economic crisis is all the more reason why we need to act now. And in the United States, President Obama, in his stimulus plan that was just signed into law, included a major down-payment for clean energy to drive this movement forward in the United States.

China has already taken many important steps. You released an impressive white paper last October. It went through many of the steps that China is taking already. But more needs to be done, and the United States and China can do more together. We can learn from each other. We can engage in joint research and development. We can collaborate on projects involving renewable energy, efficiency in buildings, and the capture and storage of CO2 from coal plants. We can mobilize large-scale investment, and share technology, and we can discover the new technologies that will build a safer and more sustainable future.

I have worked for two Presidents, one also named Clinton, by the way, who liked to say about hard things, “We can do this.” And our new President, President Obama, likes to say about hard things, “Yes, we can.” If China and the United States make common cause on building a low carbon world and put our collective talent, know-how, and inspiration to the task, we will get this job done.

Thank you very much. And I would like to now introduce the principal speaker at this little session, somebody who it’s been a great privilege and honor for me to travel with on my first trip, the Secretary of State, who, along with President Obama, is bringing a broader, more collaborative approach to American foreign policy generally, as well as an intensive new commitment to the issues of clean energy and global climate change. Ladies and gentlemen, the Secretary of State of the United States Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I am delighted be here this afternoon. This is an extraordinary opportunity to see in action what I discussed this morning in my meeting with Foreign Minister Yang, and then with State Councilor Dai. And when I leave here, I will be meeting with other officials of the Chinese government, and I am particularly pleased that I have a chance to see some of the young people who are going to be making the difference in the future.

I want to thank Mr. Norbom and Mr. Wen. I want to thank Mr. Qiu Ming and Mr. Wang Yongliang and (inaudible) for having us here, and for what you’re doing here. That is more important than our visit, by many, many degrees. This represents such a wonderful collaboration. And, as Todd Stern, our Obama administration climate change envoy said, we need to figure out ways to do more and more of this.

In our discussions this morning with Foreign Minister Yang, we agreed in principle to a strategic and economic dialogue between our countries, which will be finalized when our two presidents meet together in London around the G-20 summit. And among the most important issues that we will discuss together is clean energy and climate change, and what the United States and China can do together. And there will be a big role for universities, and faculties, and researchers, and scientists, and technicians, and business people, and government officials, all together.

When, 30 years ago this year, the United States and China established diplomatic relations. We weren’t thinking at that time about climate change. There were other pressing global issues that we began to listen to one another, and talk together, and try to understand.

But today, we know that climate change and clean energy are two of the biggest challenges our countries and the world face. This cooperative clean energy venture here, at this power plant, acknowledges an inescapable fact, that the interdependent world in which we live requires us to find new ways to collaborate and cooperate in the face of unprecedented global challenges and untapped global opportunities.

Now, addressing climate change and promoting clean energy is not only a global environmental issue. It is a health issue. It is an economic issue. It is a security issue. And we have to look at it all together in that comprehensive way. And I know that the partnership we see here today can bear so much fruit.

General Electric has provided high-tech equipment to produce heat and power with half the emissions, and far less water usage than the coal plants that we typically rely on. And Chinese businesses build the steam turbines that help to power the plant. So it is a true collaboration.

There are a number of partnerships currently underway between our countries, and it’s not only at the national level, but business-to-business, business-to-municipality, and even this one, which is particularly impressive: California has partnered with the province of Jiangsu, where Chinese officials have found that, by replacing aging motors in factories and adopting more efficient responses, they can eliminate the need for more than two dozen coal-fired plants with no added cost.

In addition to the cooperative efforts that are linking states and provinces, cities in China and the United States are finding the economic and environmental benefits very attractive when they collaborate on clean energy.

So, what we’re seeing here is the kind of in-depth partnership that we want to encourage. I decided to come to Asia on my first trip as Secretary of State, because I think that the opportunities for us to work together are unmatched, anywhere in the world. We take very seriously in the Obama administration, the issue of climate change. And we are going to be taking strong action to lower carbon emissions dramatically, and develop alternative sources of energy. The stimulus package of $790 billion that President Obama just signed includes extensive new investments in clean energy.

And similarly, here in China, your government is recognizing the importance of developing smarter and more sustainable policies for growth.

Now, historically, as you know, the United States had the largest carbon footprint. But in the last year, China has surpassed us, and that is because of your growth. And I laugh with some of your officials. The United States, and certainly the Obama administration, we want China to grow. We want the Chinese people to have a very good standard of living. What we hope is that you won’t make the same mistakes we made, because I don’t think either China or the world can afford that.

We were industrializing and growing. We didn’t know any better. Neither did Europe. Now we are smart enough to figure out how to have the right kind of growth, sustainable growth, and clean energy-driven growth. This plant can be a model that can be adapted and replicated throughout our economies. And I think it is especially fitting that, as part of this new strategic and economic dialogue that we have agreed to in principle, clean energy and climate change will be at the center. Here we have seen, at this clean thermal plant, evidence of what we can do.

Our new energy secretary, Secretary Steven Chu, a famous scientist in the United States, is devoted to putting his extraordinary intelligence to work on behalf of clean energy. And I talked with him before I came on this trip, and he said he wanted to explore ways between universities in the United States and universities in China, where we can jointly develop intellectual property, where we can jointly come up with new technologies. That is the level of partnership we want, where we can each benefit from the fruit of our labor and our intellectual investment.

So, we have come a long way in the last 30 years, since we formalized relations. We will have many issues to discuss between our two countries. We will not always agree. No two people always agree. Two great countries like ours will not always agree. But we do believe that we can agree and work together on what is one of the most important issues that has ever, ever faced humanity. And I look out and see these bright young people, and I know that your future depends upon the decisions that we will make now.

I heard a Chinese proverb recently that says, “Dig the well before you are thirsty.” I love Chinese proverbs. (Laughter.)

The 21st century is testing us to determine whether we are smart enough to follow that advice. I think we are. And I know that we are going to do everything we can in the Obama administration to pass out a lot of shovels so we can dig a lot of wells so we can take care of all the thirst that is out there for a new future, a future of tremendous opportunity.

You know, in every generation, people are called upon to make difficult decisions. I remember very well in the late 1970s my husband was the governor of a small state, Arkansas. And President Carter invited us to meet Deng Xiaoping when he came to the United States. And I remember meeting that great leader, who began the 30-year march that China has demonstrated is able to create a thriving, dynamic, economic, and social miracle.

And so, now we have to take the next 30 years, and make our mark. And this is the area where I am most optimistic. So I will leave China tomorrow, encouraged by the possibilities of what a stronger relationship can mean for the Chinese and American people, for our economies, for our security, for our health, for our education, for our energy profile, but most importantly for your futures.

That, to me, is what politics is supposed to be about. Are people better off when you end than when you started? Are people’s lives more possible, filled with potential, or not? And I think we have such a tremendous opportunity ahead of us, and I look forward to playing a small role on behalf of my nation, with all of you here in China.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

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