Category Archives: Donald Trump

9½ Minutes

FullSizeRender (1)

Want to quickly learn about climate change politics? All you needed to do was watch last week’s Presidential debates from Miami and consider a few numbers:

Two

That’s the number of Presidential debates held in Miami this week. One for the Democrats at Miami Dade College and one for the Republicans at the University of Miami.

Four

The total number of hours the candidates debated here in Miami, two hours at each debate for each party.

Six

The number of candidates still running for President and participating in the debates. Within this number, here’s another; Four, that’s the number of candidates that actually addressed climate change and sea level rise (meaning two, Trump and Cruz were never asked about, nor mentioned the topic).

Two

The total number of questions the media had for the candidates between the two nights on climate change and sea level rise. One each night.

10:30 PM

The approximate time at which the moderators brought up climate change and sea rise and within that number, here’s another; 1½ hours, that’s how far into a two hour debate it took before the candidates were asked about this topic each night.

9½

Nine and half minutes.

That is the total amount of time that the candidates and mass media devoted to this critical topic during both debates while here in Miami. Nine and a half minutes on an issue that will define my generation’s time on the planet.

At 10:27 PM the Democrats were asked about climate change and discussed it until 10:32, for five minutes. Senator Rubio was asked about the topic in the Republican debate around 10:30 PM and he and Govenor Kasich spent four and a half minutes sharing their views.

Since the debates, some have expressed being pleased that the moderators even asked about the topic and that some of the candidates talked about it. I don’t see it that way, I feel as if the moderators, Univision and CNN, let our community and country down by not asking more, by not pressing each candidate into sharing their views and discussing the topics in more depth.

The topic also deserved far more time, especially given where the debates were located. We know, and knew, that both Democrats support change, Sanders being very aggressive about what must happen; Clinton seeming more moderate in her views.

I learned that Kasich is open minded and wants, he said, to embrace alternatives including solar power. Rubio was, once again, a terrible disapointment. A total Fail as my friends and I would say. I could write an entire blog about how disapointed I was over his scripted answers and lack of leadership and, although I can’t yet vote, I can say that he will never, ever, receive a vote from me in the future and that the sooner we replace the man as our Senator with someone of substance, the better.

Whoever each party nominates, the candidates and media will be back in Florida before the election in November. And when that happens we must demand that the media and each candidate deeply discuss their views on global warming, climate change and sea level rise.

If we have any doubt that rising seas are a problem in our community, click here to see an article from today’s Miami Herald about the emergency measures that the City of Miami Beach is making because of this growing problem. And if you have any doubts that this is a global problem, click here to read an article about how Alaskan kayak tour outfitters are worried that the glaciers that they guide visitors to see will be gone within just a couple of years.

Now, allow me to end with a few more numbers…

2015

The hottest year on record in 136 years of data.

2045

The year in which it is predicted that seas may have risen by as much as 2 to 3 feet.

2100

The year in which it is predicted that seas could rise anywhere between 6 and 10 feet, if not higher.

It’s time to get started solving the problem and the next American President needs to help us (please) lead the way. Spending more than a few minutes on the topic in coming debates and months would be a good way to start. We and our planet deserve more than the 9½ minutes they collectively spent on it this week. Our country deserves nothing less and our planet, as well as my generation, demand it.

IMG_6642 (1)

If I Only Had A Brain

Scarecrow

“I could while away the hours
Conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain.
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain.” 

Let me start by stating the obvious. I’m only sixteen and I’m not old enough to vote. Heck, I do not have a political affiliation, but unlike the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, I do have a brain and my brain leads me to wonder if most of the politicians running for president either have one or are willing to use the one that they have.

Frankly, it does not matter to me if our next president is a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. What does matter to me is that whoever gets elected to the highest office in our government is dedicated to lead our country, and the world, to make the critical changes that are needed in order to both slow and stop global warming and sea level rise before places like South Florida disappear, underwater, forever.

The way the Presidential candidates are acting by avoiding this topic suggests they might not have or be using their brain. How else can one explain the lack of conversation in nearly any of the political debates thus far? The lack of questions from the mass media in these ‘debates’ also makes me wonder what they are thinking, or if they are thinking, or well, if they have a brain so to speak. How else can anyone explain so little discussion or debate or even questions on an issue that’s this important to our nation and the world?

In my view, the candidate that paints a vision for a future that does not rely on fossil fuels, a future where a place like the “Sunshine State” can become the “Solar State” (and in the process generate most of our power from solar power), a future where he or she inspires our country’s creative minds to find innovative solutions to our power needs like President Kennedy once did when announcing that America would find a way to put people on the moon in just a few short years, and someone that generally makes solving climate change and sea level rise one of his or her top priorities is a candidate that I am confident tens of millions of voters will be inspired by and vote for.

Democratic presidential candidates U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton debate duringthe first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada October 13, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTS4CQD

Sadly, the presidential debates for both parties have had little to no discussion about the candidates’ views on climate change. This week, here in Florida, that must change for many reasons including:

1) Voters and children of voters, including children in my generation who will soon inherit this growing global problem, deserve answers and desperately want solutions.

2) By the time that I am about 60 years of age, in about 45 years, scientists predict that seas will rise three feet, if not higher, here in South Florida. Three feet of sea level rise in a place like South Florida that is already close to sea level will be catastrophic in places like the Florida Keys, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, the Everglades, and others.

3) Many local communities including Pinecrest, South Miami, and Miami Beach are forced to lead the way in seeking solutions while our state’s governor and many of the people running for president stand by and do or say absolutely nothing. Miami Beach, for example, is in the process of spending $ 450 Million on a pumping system to remove the salty sea water that has covered many of its streets in recent years, and yet that is only the start of the solutions that that island community will need if it is going to survive.

If these local communities and their thoughtful leaders understand that we can’t wait to start seeking solutions and changing, then how is it that these supposedely educated people running for President avoid and deny the topic? I apologize for being so direct, but I have to ask whether they are stupid or just protecting the same industries and approaches that have caused this problem by pumping carbon into our atmosphere and oceans? And while we are at it why is the media not making a bigger issue of all of this for all of us?

Does Marco Rubio, for example, a former City Councilman from the City of West Miami, not care about this in his own community? Does he not care about his children’s future here in South Florida? How else can you explain how often he deines the role man has played over time in causing sea level rise or his lack of a vision to address this problem in a meaningful way? He’s either protecting his special interest supporters or not using his brain, but either is unacceptable.

4) According to the Army Corps of Engingeers, it is predicted that within 29 years the City of Key West will be subject to 15 inches of sea level rise above today’s levels and that it will suffer from flooded streets covered in salt water 300 days per year.

5) According to the World Resources Institute, Miami has the largest amount of exposed assets and the fourth-largest population vulnerable to sea-level rise in the world. Most experts estimate that updwards of $100 Billion (and growing) of property in South Florida is at risk from sea level rise over the next few decades.

6) According to NOAA, 2015 was the warmest year on record in 136 years of data breaking the record set just one year earlier in 2014.

I could go on and on with more scientific facts and figures, but the point is that the world’s climate is changing, that humans have played a significant role and in a place like South Florida sea levels are rising more each year. Our country and the world desperately needs a leader that understands that this is a serious issue that is not going away and is, in fact, accelerating to the point that it will soon change entire communities, enviroments and lives forever if the citizens of the world don’t act and if our leader’s don’t lead. Republican Debate

This week’s Republican debate on the campus of the University of Miami, as well as the Democratic debate at Miami Dade College, offers each candidate and the media a unique opportunity to take a deep dive into the topic of climate change. There is nowhere in the United States of America where the topic of global warming, and especially sea level rise, is more important than here in South Florida.

The time has come for the media to demand that each candidate express their views on global warming and sea level rise, whether it is a concern that they will address if elected, and if so, answer how they will lead our country and our community in the future as we strive to solve the coming catastrophe. Voters and viewers of all ages deserve nothing less than a robust debate so that we can all understand the candidates views and decide who is best able to lead our country and the world on this very important topic.

Here’s to hoping that CNN and Univision will demand real answers about what each candidate will do to help America address our planet’s warming climate and rising temperatures before it’s too late and in doing so that some of the candidates will stop acting like the Scarecrow who sings…

“I’d unravel every riddle

For any individual

In trouble or in pain. 

With the thoughts you’ll be thinkin’

You could be another Lincoln

If you only had a brain. 

Oh, I could tell you why the ocean’s near the shore. 

I could think of things I never thunk before

And then I’d sit and think some more. 

I would not be just a nothin’

My head all full of stuffin’

My heart all full of pain. 

I would dance and be merry

Life would be a ding-a-derry

If I only had a brain. 

Gosh, it would be awful pleasin’

To reason out the reason

For things I can’t explain. 

Then perhaps I’ll deserve you

And be even worthy of you. 

If I only had a brain.”

Lyrics from The Wizard of Oz‘s If I Only Had a Brain, written by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg

“I Want The Oil”

 “I’m looking to take the oil. I want to take the oil. I want the oil.

We have to stop the source of money, and the source of money is oil”.

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump

This morning, as I watched some of the national news Sunday morning political talk shows, one featured a phone interview with businessman and Republican candidate Donald Trump. When he was asked about the Middle East and the ISIS terrorism group he suggested that ending the flow of money that ISIS receivces from its loyalists from their lucrative oil businesses was his goal.

311779

“I’m looking to take the oil. I want to take the oil. I want the oil,” Trump said on ABC’s “This Week” television show. He continued by saying “we have to stop the source of money, and the source of money is oil.”

While I understand the sentiment about stopping the money that finances terrorists, I would like to see Mr. Trump and all of the candidates from both parties take his thinking at least one step further by ending reliance on fossil fuels in America. How about we, as a nation, come together and create solututions that end our reliance on fossil fuel based oil once and for all? I beleive that the candidates that make that their goal would have support from many Americans in next year’s Presidential election. Let’s not focus on ‘taking’ anyone’s oil and, instead, on how we can forever end reliance on fossil fuel based energy sources.

As I’ve said it before, I’m only sixteen and, as of yet, have no political affiliation. I am not republican or democrat. Heck, I’m not even old enough to vote! However, this is ridiculous. Our country’s dependence on foreign oil and its usage is causing our coastal states to essentially sink as the waters rise. The fact that many politicians in leadership positions are denying this and pandering to oil industry related special interests is appalling. Before we know it, many Floridians will become Georgians once our region is under water.

The good news is that people are starting to pay real attention. People are starting to ask hard questions and demand real answers. The science, of course, is indisputable. Consider that, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, since 1854 12.5% of all industrial carbon pollution has been produced by just five businesses (you guessed it, all oil companies);

oil company warmingAnd if that’s not bad enough, consider that 48% of all carbon on our planet is produced by just 20 entities. 15 of those 20 are oil companies, and the top five are the same as in the infographic above: Chevron, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and ConocoPhillips.

The Union of Concerned Scientists estimate that 63% of all industrial carbon and methane in our atmosphere since 1854 comes, globally, from just 90 entities.Industrial Carbon Producers

In 1963 then President John F. Kennedy challanged our country to send men to the moon by the end of that decade and within seven years, against all odds, the United States did exactly that and, in the process, changed the world. While candidates are looking to gain our attention and become the next President, I’d like to hear them talk about ending reliance on fossil fuels and bringing our Country together to create a solution for the world that will, again, change it for the better.

We need to stop the political rehtoric, stop allowing politicians from protecting special interests linked to the oil industry and begin focusing on ways to dramatically lower man made carbon emissions before its too late. We need to hear about specific plans to end reliance on fossil fuels and in doing so will not need to ‘take’ it as Mr. Trump suggested. If there is no demand then, it seems to me, that would solve two important problems.

My idea is to demand solutuions, yet also mandate that jobs here in America are protected, that no one loses their job. In fact, let’s mandate that solutions must be found, that reliance on fossil fuels must soon end (how about a goal to end it within 10 years?) and that those whose jobs would otherwise be impacted must stay employed, all-be-it in new energy roles and ways.

While I can’t yet vote for what I ‘want’, and hope many people who can vote desire, we need someone who will call for an end to our reliance on fossil fuels and, instead, demand new solutions. Someone who might say something along the lines of what’s at the bottom of this page as much, or more, than at the top;

 I’m looking to take the United States in a new direction, away

from its reliance on oil.  I want to take a new appropach to the oil.

I want our Country to end its reliance on the oil.

We have to stop the source of money, and the source of

money is oil, by creating new solutions to our energy needs.

New solutuons. Aggressive goals. That’s what we all need to hear about, support and demand of our leaders. The sooner, the better.

 

 

1 3 4 5