Real Live American Politicians Debate Climate Change in Public (Video)

Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren on climate.
So this doesn't happen much these days: top-level politicians engaging spirited, (semi-) nuanced debate over climate policy. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) and Elizabeth Warren are locked in a tight race for a Massachusetts senate seat, and they just had an hour-long debate. The final question regarded climate change (48 minutes in):

“Do you believe climate change is real, and, if so, what should the federal government be doing about it?”

Scott Brown affirms that he does indeed believe in climate change — a relief at a time when the Republican party is drenched in climate denial, even if saying otherwise would be quite unpopular in Massachusetts — and then doles out every known energy-related talking point under the sun, including the need to approve the tar sands pipeline (and carbon bomb) Keystone XL.

For her part, Warren notes that Brown has helped "rig the game" for oil interests, by voting to extend oil subsidies and taking campaign cash from fossil fuel interests, to the detriment of the clean energy industry. She also makes the reasonable point that should Brown win, and Republicans take over the Senate, that James Inhofe, perhaps the world's most prominent climate change denier, would be in charge of the E.P.A. Not sure how much that will resonate with most voters, but it should worry environmentalists and climate watchers.

It was also good just to see the issue raised — climate change has been the gaping black hole in this season's electoral political conversation.

Tags: Global Climate Change

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