The climate change debate is real.
“I believe climate change is real.” That was Hillary Clinton, accepting the Democratic nomination. She was pretty clear about it.
Donald Trump? Not quite as clear.
On the one hand, there’s what he said to the Washington Post earlier this year: “I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.”
On the other hand, there’s the reason his company has given the Irish government for wanting to build a wall along a stretch of Atlantic Ocean in County Clare, Ireland, where he owns a country club: “the predictions of an increase in sea level rise as a result of global warming.”
Which tells us that there’s no telling what Trump might say when climate change comes up in the presidential debates that kick off later this month.
So what else is new?
For starters, our fall season of Intelligence Squared US debates, which launch tomorrow, September 7, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. And in keeping with our election year plan to track the issues that the candidates will be debating, we are starting with climate change in debate number one, where our motion will be:
Climate Change: The EPA Has Gone Overboard
At issue here are the Environmental Protection Agency mandates imposed by the Obama administration on states and power companies to reduce carbon emissions – the so-called Clean Power Plan. To be clear, our debaters – all experts and all well-loaded with facts, logic and a desire to persuade – are believers in climate change. But they disagree on whether the mandates will produce nearly as much good as they will cost, in dollars and jobs.
Now, Clinton likes the mandates, and wants to build on them, while Trump has called the EPA “a disgrace” and wants to abolish the agency altogether.
Perhaps both candidates will have something to learn when our debaters take the stage in D.C., and engage in what we like to call a “real debate.”