Other’s Opinion: Climate change remains a key election issue

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, July 29, 2020

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The Free Press, Mankato

The coronavirus pandemic has understandably shoved aside many matters that the country was focused on.

But those issues remain and voters need to pay attention to the positions candidates are taking.

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Climate change has begun to return to the public stage.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden has been fleshing out his climate change policy, an ambitious plan that would use a variety of subsidies and mandates to help the country wean itself from fossil fuels and eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions over the next three decades.

Biden rightly focuses on how fighting climate change is an economic opportunity. For every advancement in clean energy a new opportunity for jobs and American-made economic development can follow.

“When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax.’ When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs,’ “Biden said in a recent speech.

Indeed, Trump has through his entire term viewed climate change as a hoax as he’s doled out subsidies and favors to the oil and coal industries

The president and those followers who deny climate change and mock science are fortunately an ever-shrinking minority of Americans.

Majorities of Americans say the federal government is doing too little for the environment, from protecting water or air quality to reducing the effects of climate change. And most believe we need to expand alternative energy sources, according to the Pew Research Center and other surveys.

While the choices on climate change between the presidential candidates is clear, voters should also pay attention to those running for Congress and the Legislature.

Slowing climate change before it’s too late will take a concerted effort on the federal, state, local and household levels.