Jul 9, 2019

Bernie Sanders and AOC mull a "climate emergency"

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Photo: Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are floating a nonbinding resolution Tuesday to declare a "climate emergency" that demands a sweeping mobilization in response.

Why it matters: They're two of the highest-profile figures on the left. The resolution is also the first written product on climate that anyone has seen from White House hopeful Sanders in a while.

The intrigue: The resolution, like the Green New Deal, steers clear of policy specifics — something in short supply from Sanders thus far during his presidential run.

  • The Sanders campaign, unlike several key rivals, hasn't yet released a detailed platform.
  • And he hasn't yet unveiled the detailed climate legislation that his Senate office has been working on (though he's authored numerous bills in years past).

The big picture: The resolution offers a series of statements on the state of global warming — noting for instance that the last 4 years are the 4 hottest on record — and science on existing and anticipated harms.

  • It says global warming "demands a national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization of the resources and labor of the United States at a massive-scale to halt, reverse, mitigate, and prepare for the consequences of the climate emergency and to restore the climate for future generations."
  • It also says the economic, social and health benefits of said mobilization "far outweigh the costs of inaction."

What's next: Sanders, AOC and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, an Oregon Democratic and co-sponsor of the resolution, are holding a press call about it at midday.

Read the resolution:

Go deeper: AOC calls for $10 trillion to address climate crisis

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Investor pressure is driving climate action at fossil fuel companies

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The big picture: Climate-related reforms have received especially strong support from large institutional investors, yielding changes in disclosure, governance, compensation and more.

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TV news' climate change bias

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While newspapers are teaming up to double down on their climate change coverage, broadcasters are focusing on covering the byproducts of climate change — natural disasters and extreme weather.

Why it matters: Climate change tends to be a ratings killer for television, because it can be abstract and complicated to explain in short, visual bites. But as the economic and political debate around the topic increases, media experts will be looking at the ways television outlets cover the issue, as television is still the most common place for Americans to get their news.

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