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Sanders v Biden

With Elizabeth Warren stepping out of the Democratic candidate race we are left with two tired old men who will probably now inflict untold damage on each other.  Neither is likely to come out of the race unscathed.   It is a battle between a 'socialist' left and a centrist.  Tired ideas headed up by tired old men. It is hardly inspirational stuff.

American politics seems to be stuck in a time warp and neither the Republicans nor Democrats have ideas robust enough to face the critical challenge of climate change.   Climate change doesn't split neatly into a left-right division.    It really needs youthful leadership with new ideas.  Someone capable of projecting a vision of a new horizon. 

Instead, we will have two potential leaders appealing to their separate camps of followers.  Those follow will entrench in their positions, and the risk is that it will alienate voters needed to win against Trump.  

American politics is stuck in a groove, and it leaves the populist demagoguery of Donal Trump in place. 

Let's be clear.  The two left in the Democratic race,  Joe Biden and Berny Sanders,  are 77 and 78 years old respectively.  

Of course, we should not be ageist about this.  There is no reason why a septuagenarian could not lead a country. 

But where have all the young men and women gone?  Where indeed have all the women gone?  Gone to the ground, everyone?  As Warren has said 'girls will have to wait again.' 

It is dispiriting stuff.  Both candidates are 'try, try, and try again' characters banging on with the same platforms.



Sanders is said to be the 'progressive' candidate.   Biden the 'centrist'.  Both model their policies to combat climate change on the 'Green new deal'.

Sanders calls his plans 'The Green New Deal".  Biden's is the "Clean Energy Revolution"   They would both sign back into the Paris climate accord.   Sanders would spend over $16 trillion over a decade on measures to combat climate change.  Biden would spend just $1.7 trillion.  Now that is a massive difference.  But is it anything more than out-bidding each other? 

Sander's plan would see electricity and transportation fueled by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030.  Here in the UK, that was also in the Labour plans at the general election which was modelled on the same "Green New Deal".   It is a huge task. 

Biden's plan is more conservative seeing zero net emissions by 2050.  Which of these is the more realistic?  One is undoubtedly bold.  Both are polar opposites to the Climate change denial of President Donald Trump.

Whichever version is adopted by the Democrats, the party will need to reach out to voters in a politically divided nation.   Will the candidates in the race for the Democratic nomination be able to avoid damaging each others case so much that it becomes difficult to sell to voters in the Presidential election?  Let's hope not.   If we are to prevent a climate catastrophe, we will need the United States at the forefront of tackling it.  

The next presidential election may be the last chance saloon for progressive policies on global warming. 


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