Democratic Presidential Candidates On Climate & Energy — Kamala Harris (RIP) & Mike Bloomberg

February 9th, 2020 by  

In this episode of our CleanTech Talk podcast interview series, Zach Shahan sits down again with Michael Barnard, Chief Strategist of TFIE Strategy Inc. and CleanTechnica contributor, to talk about the climate action plans (and other political matters) of current presidential candidates. This first part of a two-part series spends a lot of time discussing the Kamala Harris campaign (RIP) and Mike Bloomberg’s unique entry and position.

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Mike has recently spent time digging into climate action plans for leading candidates in the 2020 election, focusing primarily on Andrew Yang, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg. Mike and Zach kicked off the podcast by saying goodbye to Kamala Harris, who previously had the best climate plan.

According to Mike, Kamala’s climate action plan was the best out of the candidates in the field. Mike found her lack of a fan base striking with climate change being one of the top focuses of democratic voters and her plan being the strongest. According to Mike, Harris’ plan had the best coverage, was the best articulated, contained the clearest dates and targets, and was also the most presidential and statesman-like. Her strategy of pointing to existing draft legislation and initiatives, naming the existing democratic leaders who were responsible for them, and pulling it all together to create a broad coalition of power was Mike’s preferred strategy.

Zach and Mike then move on to talk about Mike Bloomberg’s entrance into the 2020 presidential race. Mike says that while Bloomberg was initially Republican, the divergence of the Republican Party from “observable reality” caused Bloomberg to identify instead as a Democrat. (NYC politics may have also had something to do with his previous party affiliation.) While according to Mike, Bloomberg’s campaign covers a number of important Democratic areas of concern and is both empirically and reality oriented, Mike asks: “Do we need another billionaire old, white guy from New York as President of the United States?”

Mike and Zach transition next into talking about how the general American public’s perception of conservative versus progressive differs from the standards of Western democracy. Mike notes that former President Barack Obama had a progressive-sounding platform, but was quite conservative in both practice and policy. When it comes to the current landscape of candidates, Mike says that Biden also sits to the right, Warren sits in the center, and Sanders is barely center left by standards of Western democracy.

Mike and Zach wrap up the first half of the podcast with a call to conservatives to take back the Republican Party by accepting and preserving the progress that has been made, being cautious about progress and developing conservative policies for major issues. Mike notes that the vast majority of people — whether conservative or progressive — want gun checks; want women to have access to abortion; want freedom of and from religion; and want action on the human causes of climate change. Mike calls for the Republican Party to move away from undemocratic practices and false narratives and toward meaningful policy on real major national and international challenges.

You can find the second half of this podcast soon on CleanTech Talk. To hear more on these topics, in addition to Mike’s start on his analysis of Pete Buttigieg, listen to the show!

Featured image of Mike Bloomberg and his daughters via MikeBloomberg2020 campaign, with color modification.


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About the Author

Winter Wilson is a Cutler Scholar and undergraduate student double majoring in Environmental Studies and Journalism at Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College, with a minor in French. Her academic interests include environmental communication, technology and social innovation, especially as they relate to international climate change mitigation and adaptation. Though Winter attends school in her hometown of Athens, Ohio, she takes advantage of her breaks to explore the world beyond. She spent her most recent break undertaking self-driven research on climate change and environmental justice in Southeast Asia. This year, she will be completing her dual thesis and supplementary documentary series on climate change communication. Winter is excited to contribute to and work with the team at CleanTechnica as a Summer Editorial Intern.