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Climate change will drive voter turnout in America

climate-changeUSA election 2016DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION: Steyer: Climate change will drive voter turnout EE News Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter ClimateWire: Tuesday, July 26, 2016 PHILADELPHIA — Billionaire climate advocate Tom Steyer believes young Americans will cast more votes this year based on rising temperatures than in past presidential elections.

In an interview with ClimateWire last night, the founder of NextGen Climate also downplayed the idea of placing a price on carbon dioxide and dismissed the notion of swapping the Clean Power Plan for a carbon tax.

That’s a huge wedge issue,” Steyer said of young voters’ concern about climate change. “I think it’s a critical issue as to whether they turn out.”

NextGen is spending more than $25 million to encourage millennials to vote in November. Young adults currently account for the largest and most diverse population in the United States, and Steyer believes that could help Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump on Nov. 8.

Separately, Steyer’s group is partnering with five different unions to canvass working-class and minority neighborhoods, where the issue of climate change could help compel young voters to turn out this fall. Large percentages of African Americans and Latinos believe that global warming is occurring, and Steyer’s group is trying to turn those concerns into electoral action.

We’re spending a lot of time trying to do voter-to-voter contact in the swing states, trying to make sure they are aware of the facts, know the difference between the candidates and know how important their vote is,” Steyer said.

Inside the Wells Fargo Center last night, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and other speakers raised their own concerns about climbing temperatures on the first day of the Democratic National Convention.

“This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet,” Sanders told the audience packing the basketball arena.

“Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that — unless we act boldly and transform our energy system in the very near future — there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that when we do that, we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs,” he said. “Donald Trump? Well, like most Republicans, he chooses to reject science. He believes that climate change is a ‘hoax,’ no need to address it.”

Trump aims for Bernie supporters

Last night’s program also included a short video on climate change and its impact on the Everglades.

“The effects of climate change can no longer be ignored,” the narrator in the video said, noting that warming threatens seagrass and mangroves in the Everglades, which absorb carbon. It touted the Obama administration’s $2.2 billion funding for restoration of the Everglades, which among other things will help improve the local drinking water supply.

The video was followed by a speech from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the lone senator to endorse Sanders during the presidential primary campaign. He said Sanders “emboldened us” to push for 100 percent renewables but added, “We need to fight together with Bernie and Hillary.”…..Reporters Josh Kurtz, George Cahlink and Mike Soraghan contributed.

July 29, 2016 - Posted by | USA elections 2016

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