Republican candidates don’t bother to deny climate change


Derek Munyon
Arts & Entertainment Editor

The second national Republican debate took place on Wednesday, Sept. 16, and this time included one new face, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who arguably stole the spotlight from Donald Trump. This debate was shown on CNN and moderated by Jake Tapper, Hugh Hewitt and Dana Bash who were a bit more willing to attempt to get candidates to shut up than the moderators from Fox News last time.

Climate change, which is a major concern for many voters and something that the next administration will need to deal with, was finally brought up to the Republican candidates as it was left out of the previous debate altogether. Senator Marco Rubio and Governor Chris Christie fielded the question. Senator Ted Cruz attempted to pipe up as a denier before being shut down by Tapper.

While in the past, many Republican candidates, including Rubio, have denied human involvement in climate change or rejected its existence altogether. During the debate on Wednesday, Rubio admitted the existence of climate change.

Tapper asked the candidates why they wouldn’t approach the issue the way Reagan did, as an insurance policy. Rubio responded by basically saying that he would do nothing to battle climate change because it would hurt business.

“We’re not going to destroy our economy the way the left-wing government that we are under now wants us to do,” Rubio responded.

Rubio stated that any proposal put forth to fight climate change would make it harder to create jobs in America. On top of its effect on jobs, Rubio said that anything that America does ultimately would amount to nothing. It would only serve to hurt working families across the nation.

“America is not a planet,” stated Rubio, “and we’re not even the largest carbon producer anymore, China is.” Governor Christie agreed with what the senator said. Christie said that America doesn’t need a “massive government intervention” to deal with climate change.

The Governor said that New Jersey was able to reach their clean air goal by using economically feasible alternative energy sources, especially nuclear.

“Nuclear needs to be back on the table in a significant way if we want to go after this problem,” Christie said. While alternate energy resources are a great idea, and should be a priority, whether nuclear should be the answer is up to debate. Whether or not one believes in climate change being man made shouldn’t be the issue, we should be attempting to get away from our reliance on foreign oil. Instead of drilling for more of our own to do this, however, we should be developing new alternative and have no reliance on oil at all.

Jobs can come from developing new, 21st century technology instead of the archaic energy that we rely on currently.

If Rubio does believe in climate change, then his thinking is backward. Climate change will cost many more jobs in the long run than any changes we make. Citigroup has stated that climate change could cost the global economy more than $44 trillion, a long with the loss of significant landmass. California is already suffering major droughts, Chile has had a magnitude 8.4 earthquake and we’ve seen some of the most extreme hurricanes we’ve ever seen in recent years, these issues will just get worse with global warming.

“That’s like knowing that California is on fire but not wanting to do anything about it because of money,” said Ryan Beck, a graduate of Iowa State University and close follower of American politics, “even though letting it burn will be way more expensive.”

America may not be a planet, but it’s still part of this one and we should be doing what we can for it.