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Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, right, accompanied by former Vice President Al Gore, left, takes the stage for a rally at Miami Dade College in Miami, Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Clinton brings in Gore as closer on climate change

MIAMI (AP) — Al Gore laid out the environmental stakes of the presidential race in stark terms during a campaign stop for Hillary Clinton Tuesday, arguing that electing her opponent would lead to “climate catastrophe.”

Vice president during Clinton’s husband’s eight years in the White House and a longtime environmental activist, Gore served as a closer for Clinton on climate change as the Democratic candidate seeks to appeal to activists and to young people, who consider this a key issue.

“The choice in this election is extremely clear. Hillary Clinton will make solving the climate crisis a top national priority,” Gore said, before issuing a strong warning about Republican Donald Trump. “Her opponent, based on the ideas that he has presented, would take us toward a climate catastrophe.”

Gore’s history with Florida, the ultimate swing state, lent extra weight to his appeal to get out and vote. Gore won the popular vote in the 2000 presidential election, but lost the presidency to George W. Bush after a lengthy Florida recount and a shocking Supreme Court decision.

“Your vote really, really, really counts,” he told the crowd, which responded by chanting, “You won!”

Clinton, meanwhile, vigorously emphasized her plans to develop more clean energy, reduce fossil fuel production and build more weather-resistant infrastructure. She also continued her attacks on Trump, who has called climate change a “hoax” and said he would renegotiate the Paris Climate Agreement, an international treaty designed to curb the rise in global temperatures.

“We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House,” Clinton said.

During the primary contest against progressive Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton offered clean energy plans and came out against the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is opposed by environmentalists.

“Climate change is one of the issues where the difference between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump is night and day,” said Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. “For many of the core supporters we are seeking to galvanize in the remaining weeks of the campaign, including young voters, communicating the boldness of her plan is important.”

At the rally was Miami Dade College student Adam Demayo, 24.

“Every beach I go to is polluted,” said Demayo, a former Sanders supporter who said he is reluctantly voting for Clinton. “My children are going to, like, die. I want to dedicate my life to saving the planet.”

The world is on pace for the hottest year on record, breaking marks set in 2015, 2014, and 2010. It is about 1.8 degrees warmer than a century ago. Scientists have also connected man-made climate change to deadly heat waves, droughts and flood-inducing downpours.

Gore explored global warming in his 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Despite Clinton’s promotion of energy policies aimed at lessening climate change, there has not always been unanimity among her campaign aides about how strong that support should be. A series of hacked emails released Tuesday by Wikileaks sheds more light on the campaign’s discussions. The Clinton campaign has neither confirmed nor denied the authenticity of the released emails.

A message released Tuesday by Wikileaks from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked email account shows some aides were not totally on board with Clinton’s promise in June 2015 to raise fees on companies involved in oil exploration and fossil fuel production on federal land.

Clinton had broached the idea at her campaign launch in June 2015, but raising energy royalties could be politically explosive in western states where oil and gas firms have spent billions of dollars on extracting fuels.

In July 2015, campaign speechwriting director Dan Schwerin told Podesta in an email that “I think we’re going to have to make peace with our fossil fuels royalties, since she’s already promised that.”

On July 15, 2015, Clinton said she wanted to raise fees and phase out fuel extraction operating on public lands, but warned it could not be done quickly.

The hacked emails also show a discussion on how Clinton could show her opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline. Clinton originally said she shouldn’t take a position on the issue, because she didn’t want to interfere with the Obama administration as it considered whether to approve the project.

By August 2015, Clinton had decided to oppose it and the campaign discussed how to proceed. Wrote Schwerin on August 7, 2015: “We are trying to find a good way to leak her opposition to the pipeline without her having to actually say it and give up her principled stand about not second-guessing the president in public.”

Other emails in September 2015 show a discussion about making her position known in an op-ed column. But Fallon weighed in with concerns that such a move would look like “cynical political maneuvering,” and suggested letting the information leak out after a meeting with labor leaders.

Clinton announced her opposition during a town hall in Iowa later that month, in response to a question from the audience.

Stephen Braun and Bradley Klapper in Washington contributed to this report.

 

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

2 comments

  1. According to the AP article, in a campaign appearance to support Hillary Clinton, Al Gore argued that electing Hillary’s opponent would lead to a climate catastrophe. Quite the contrary, Hillary’s “clean energy plan,” the core of which is a promise to deploy a half a billion more solar panels by 2020 would be the real catastrophe. The cost to subsidize such a monstrosity of a program is unfathomable. The technology to store solar energy in sufficient quantities to produce energy when the sun does not shine has not been invented. Conventional power plants must be on continuous standby to fill the gap. The project would require huge government subsidies and huge penalties (taxes!) on cheaper energy sources to implement. Existing solar energy conversion technology will likely be obsolete before such a grandiose project could even be completed. The idea is sheer lunacy, and her campaign needs to be called out for even contemplating such a project.

    Caltech’s Nate Lewis, Argyros Professor of Chemistry, whose work is at the leading edge of research on solar power, has said publicly that “solar is … far and away the most expensive way we have of making electricity today, with costs ranging from 25 to 50 cents per kilowatt-hour for photovoltaic systems, that is to say solar panels. Solar thermal systems, … run 10 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is still too expensive. Nobody is going to pay that much for a substitution product, when they can get the original one for four cents a kilowatt-hour.”

    The facts are that trillions of dollars are likely to be spent to mitigate a possible non-issue, i.e., out-of-control global warming. John Christy, Alabama Climatologist, testified to Congress that out of 102 simulations of global temperature, only the Russian model was even close to actual temperatures. The Russian model probably included the influence of predicted global cooling due to reduced sunspot activity. John Fyfe, a Canadian climate modelling research scientist, publicly acknowledged that “there is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing. We can’t ignore it.”

    To add color to their article, the AP writers, along with a few other climate falsehoods, threw in a paragraph saying the world is about 1.8 degrees warmer than a century ago . The 1.8 degree value is simply the difference between a large negative outlier in temperature in 1916 and a large positive outlier (El Nino) in 2016. The actual increase in the average global surface temperature trend during that time period is about 1.0 degree, only a little more than one-half of the cited 1.8 value. Numerical analyses of the actual data clearly indicate a near-term decreasing trend in the rate of increase of the global mean surface temperature, and that trend could become negative by 2020 and continue negative for decades.

    If the models do not fit the data, the models must be wrong. The only issue settled about climate science is that current climate models and databases are not adequate to guide policy decisions. There is no great urgency to rush headlong in the wrong direction to build a half a billion more solar panels using obsolete technology. The cost of energy would rise precipitously to cover the cost of the solar panel project and likely create absolutely nothing of value for anyone with the exception of the solar panel manufacturers and possibly some connected politicians. The message should be to get the science right first before wasting trillions of dollars of the nation’s wealth.

  2. According to the AP article, in a campaign appearance to support Hillary Clinton, Al Gore argued that electing Hillary’s opponent would lead to a climate catastrophe. Quite the contrary, Hillary’s “clean energy plan,” the core of which is a promise to deploy a half a billion more solar panels by 2020 would be the real catastrophe. The cost to subsidize such a monstrosity of a program is unfathomable. The technology to store solar energy in sufficient quantities to produce energy when the sun does not shine has not been invented. Conventional power plants must be on continuous standby to fill the gap. The project would require huge government subsidies and huge penalties (taxes!) on cheaper energy sources to implement. Existing solar energy conversion technology will likely be obsolete before such a grandiose project could even be completed.

    Caltech’s Nate Lewis, Argyros Professor of Chemistry, whose work is at the leading edge of research on solar power, has said publicly that “solar is … far and away the most expensive way we have of making electricity today, with costs ranging from 25 to 50 cents per kilowatt-hour for photo-voltaic systems, that is to say solar panels. Solar thermal systems, … run 10 to 15 cents per kilowatt-hour, which is still too expensive. Nobody is going to pay that much for a substitution product, when they can get the original one for four cents a kilowatt-hour.”

    The facts are that trillions of dollars are likely to be spent to mitigate a possible non-issue, i.e., out-of-control global warming. John Christy, Alabama Climatologist, testified to Congress earlier this year that out of 102 simulations of global temperature, only the Russian model was even close to actual temperatures. More than 99 percent of the models greatly overestimated temperatures. The Russian model probably included the influence of predicted global cooling due to reduced sunspot activity. John Fyfe, a Canadian climate modelling research scientist, publicly acknowledged that “there is this mismatch between what the climate models are producing and what the observations are showing. We can’t ignore it.”

    The AP writers claim that the world is about 1.8 degrees warmer than a century ago. The value of 1.8 degrees is simply the difference between a large negative spike in temperature 1916 (La Nina event) and large positive spike in 2016 (El Nino event). The actual increase in the average global surface temperature trend-line during that time period is about 1.0 degrees, only a little more than one-half of the cited 1.8 value. Numerical analyses of the actual temperature data clearly indicate a near-term decreasing trend-line in the rate of increase of the global mean surface temperature, and that trend-line could become negative by 2020 and continue negative for decades.

    If the models do not fit the data, the models must be wrong. The only issue settled about climate science is that current climate models and databases are not adequate to guide policy decisions. There is no great urgency to rush headlong in the wrong direction to build a half a billion more solar panels using obsolete technology. The cost of energy would rise precipitously to cover the cost of the solar panel project and likely create absolutely nothing of value for anyone with the exception of the solar panel manufacturers and possibly some connected politicians. The message should be to get the science right first before wasting trillions of dollars of the nation’s wealth.

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