Today at the DNC, League of Conservation Voters (LCV) President Gene Karpinski professed the importance of uniting to elect Clinton in order to combat climate change. Earlier today LCV named “dirty, dangerous, denier” Trump a member of its “Dirty Dozen,” a list of candidates who “consistently side against the environment.” He is the fifth member—and Republican—on the 2016 list.
Throughout the race, the environmental voting bloc has remained divided between Clinton and Bernie Sanders, with establishment groups largely favoring the former secretary of state and radical, young activists flocking to the senator. But grieving greens have now gone the way that other melancholy Sanders supporters are likely to: coalescing around Clinton, mostly because the other option is so starkly terrifying.
During his speech, Karpinski pointed to an interaction between Trump and a young LCV volunteer that might represent the best-case scenario of how Trump will handle climate change: ignoring it. Megan Andrade, a graduate student in New Hampshire, questioned Trump at a rally there about what he would do to curb pollution that drives warming. Trump listened to the question, asked the rally if anyone there believed in climate change, decided no one was raising their hand (although some were), and turned his back to Andrade.
Unfortunately, Trump’s views are even worse than that, far from the (also bad) climate agnosticism of some Republicans. He has said he’ll send miners back to the coal pits and reverse President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. For greens, that’s a death sentence only Hillary Clinton can now overturn. Karpinski’s takeaway might be a stale refrain, but it’s also true: “The stakes could not be higher.”