VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate John Hickenlooper On Climate Change
Given the Trump administration’s repeated denial of climate science data and global warming, many progressive Democrats like freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) have pushed for long-term plans like the Green New Deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions — using carbon taxes and other similar measures — and move toward more renewable forms of energy like wind and solar.
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D), a 67-year-old 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, spoke to uPolitics exclusively about what his strategy would be for combatting climate change if he were elected president. Right off the bat, the former Denver mayor explained how his educational background sets him apart from the rest of the crowded 2020 Democratic field when it comes to tackling issues related to climate science.
“Climate change is the single greatest danger that mankind has ever faced,” Hickenlooper said. “I’ve got a Master’s in Geology so I’m the only person running who’s got even a semblance of a scientific background.”
Hickenlooper went on to call discussions pertaining to the development of electric cars and transitions from coal to wind and solar “platitudes” that fail to truly address the specific issues that lie at the core of global warming.
“What about concrete? If we were to rank carbon dioxide emissions, the worst in the world is China, the second-worst in the world is the United States and the third-worst in the world is concrete,” Hickenlooper noted. “We’re not spending any money doing the research [on this subject.]”
Hickenlooper went on to cite moonshots as an example of technological developments that are not being invested in sufficiently.
“How do we make buildings and infrastructure with alternatives to concrete that are strong and last as long but don’t give out all this CO2?” he asked.
Hickenlooper also emphasized the importance of pushing for so-called “carbon capture” initiatives to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and voiced his support for putting a price on the gas and for investing “billions of dollars” more in research into new technologies and resources that would cut greenhouse gas emissions. The former Colorado governor added that he would rebate his proposed carbon tax to American voters.
“People will have an incentive to use less carbon in terms of how they use energy,” Hickenlooper added.