Bernie Sanders May Represent Our Last Best Chance to Save the Planet

Updated on May 25, 2016

I always begin any global warming/climate change discussion with an observation: If it cannot be conclusively proven that a disaster of epic proportions will take place, that is no reason to ignore evidence that it will. If there is even a small but significant chance that the majority of climate scientists are right, then that possibility should be treated seriously, as it involves, many of them say, stakes up to and including the extinction of the species. What's amazing is no other candidate is even remotely talking about this but Bernie Sanders.

We know the predictions, whether we believe them or not, or more precisely in the global warming debate, whether we believe they are caused by human activity or not. Rising sea levels, permanent drought, loss of coastline, extreme, deadly weather events, and all the pestilential events that attend a global climate crisis. And at the heart of it, say the climate scientists who are on the side that it is caused by man, is the burning of fossil fuels we extract from the ground: coal, natural gas, petroleum.

Here is what I have to say about this: One thing we know is that, however much of these fuels are left, whether a little or a lot, it is 100 percent certain that they are not limitless, and one day they will run out. Why not not wait until the last minute to build the world that eventually must be built? The world not reliant on them?

The price per a barrel of oil has gone up from the ten and twenty dollars 30, 40, 50 years ago, to running into 100 now. This is the free market's perfectly logical way of saying it is getting harder to find and harder to get out when we find it. No conspiracy theory here.

This is exactly what Bernie Sanders is talking about, in concrete, well-developed, scientifically backed terms, with the best minds in the world behind him.

Do we really want our grandchildren to live in the midst of never-ending super-tornados and blazingly hot summers? If there is even a chance of it, wouldn't we want to do what we can to avoid this?

Sanders doesn't lie or pander that there will not be economic dislocation. He just beat Hillary in West Virginia, coal mining country, telling the miners that yes, jobs will be lost in the new economy, but the US government could spend billions making sure the people who lost the old jobs are trained and ready for the new jobs, of which there will be many. Instead we spend hundreds of billions on bombing countries like Syria and Iraq.

Companies like Exxon-Mobile will have a real problem, because Bernie will direct the Department of Justice to prosecute them for knowing about climate change, and lying about it.

Bernie will also fight the money coming into Washington from lobbyists who then get legislation which kills rapid advances in alternative energy sources, which are still taking place, but no thanks to the oil industry which is fighting progress tooth and nail.

Bernie wants to spend billions on jobs creating the high speed cargo and passenger rail systems that Europe, Japan, and many other countries already have, which are cheap and efficient ways to move things around. These are good, skilled labor and semi-skilled labor union jobs that rebuild the middle-class.

I recommend the Sanders campaign website's section "On the Issues" as, politics aside, just some really good reading. It is obvious that Bernie has been thinking about these things and what to do about them for a lifetime.

Let's face it, we are all facing some real big problems. Often the experts differ not on substance but on degree. We are hurdling toward a future when we might be even more dependent on each other than ever before, different countries, different communities. Like him or not, a serious thinker like Sanders might be our last best hope.


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    • Sandra Swine profile image

      JLP 23 months ago from California

      This was really good. It's very informative on Bernie's stances, which I believe we can never inform enough. A lot of people still don't understand who Bernie Sanders is or what he stands for. I think this piece has done an amazing job of representing him, capturing my attention and holding it all the way to the end. I say 2 thumbs up!