Krugman: This Presidential Election Is an Up or Down Vote on the Survival of Humanity

Mar 1, 2016 by


The Republican Party has somehow managed to get even more destructive in eight years.

Paul Krugman this week brings into relief the environmental stakes of the presidential election — and how far the Republican Party has moved from the realm of sanity in 8 years:

 Just eight years ago the G.O.P. nominated John McCain, whose platform included a call for a “cap and trade” system — that is, a system that restricts emissions, but allows pollution permits to be bought and sold — to limit greenhouse gases. Since then, however, denial of climate science and opposition to anything that might avert catastrophe have become essential pillars of Republican identity. So the choice in 2016 is starker than ever before.

Yet that partisan divide would not, in itself, be enough to make this a truly crucial year. After all, electing a pro-environment president wouldn’t make much difference if he or (much more likely) she weren’t in a position to steer us away from the precipice. And the truth is that given Republican retrogression and the G.O.P.’s near-lock on the House of Representatives, even a blowout Democratic victory this year probably wouldn’t create a political environment in which anything like Mr. McCain’s 2008 proposal could pass Congress.

Krugman offers some hope that alternative solutions to “cap and trade” can bridge the divide, such as the Paris agreement and “something like the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan, which would use flexible regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency on major emitters.”

Read Krugman’s column in full

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