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Bernie Sanders continues to rail against fossil fuels, insists all nations phase out reliance

Sanders received criticism earlier this week for calling on the DOJ to sue the fossil fuel industry.

Published: August 4, 2023 12:07am

In an op-ed published this week on MSNBC, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-V.T., issued a call to action for the world to battle climate change, saying that if "the United States, China and the rest of the planet do not act swiftly to cut carbon emissions decisively, our planet will face enormous and irreversible damage."

"At every level, in every country, we must work together to save the planet for our kids and future generations," he continued. Other climate change activists have for years predicted a "doomsday scenario." Al Gore famously declared in 2006 that we would reach a “point of no return” by 2016. Climate change celebrity Greta Thunberg tweeted in 2018 that warned "climate change would wipe out humanity unless all fossil fuels are phased out by 2023." She has since deleted that tweet.

A March 2023 report published by National Public Radio shows that China -- far from reducing carbon emissions -- is in fact building six times more new coal plants than other countries. Flora Champenois, coal research analyst at Global Energy Monitor and one of the co-authors of the report published by NPR said "Everybody else is moving away from coal and China seems to be stepping on the gas."

The BBC reported in 2021 that China was responsible for 27% of the planet's greenhouse gas production. 

Unaddressed by Sanders' op-ed was one of the difficult challenges in addressing any carbon emission problem: While many countries across the world are collectively pushing for a net zero carbon emissions target by 2050, developing, poor countries are especially dependent on energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas as they are much cheaper than renewables and more accessible to them. The New York Times ran an op-ed in 2013 titled "The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels."

The author, Consensus Center president and former Danish government environmental official Bjorn Lomborg, wrote that "a more immediate problem" than global warming for billions of people, is that they’re "desperately poor."

Despite supporting the renewable energy push, Lomborg deduced, "What those living in energy poverty need are reliable, low-cost fossil fuels, at least until we can make a global transition to a greener energy future."

A 2022 commentary at the Brookings Institution echoed this view.

Developing countries are being asked to "leapfrog" to renewable energy, wrote senior fellow Rahul Tongia. "For the poorest of the poor, the real need is electricity access, regardless of fuel."

Sander's op-ed compared fossil fuel executives to "embezzlers" and continued to say "when fossil fuel executives make calculated decisions that threaten millions of lives — and the planet itself — we are told that “it’s just business.” Sen. Sanders demanded "those most responsible" for the "global [climate] crisis" be held accountable. Earlier this week, he issued a joint letter to Biden’s DOJ insisting it bring lawsuits against fossil fuel industry leaders, which Morano dismissed as a mere money-making scheme. 

Just the News spoke with Climate Depot founder Marc Morano, who criticized Sanders’ op-ed for piling on to the seemingly endless outcries of climate change.

"Every day we wake up and find some new unelected bureaucrat is seeking to ban something to save the climate," Morano said. "Every day we're bombarded with unscientific claims of how the Earth is in some kind of unprecedented meltdown as every politician yammers on about the alleged 'climate crisis'."

"This is nothing more than a shakedown," Morano told Just the News. "Sen. Sanders is proposing politicians and Attorney Generals have the ability to blame every bad weather event on fossil fuel companies and extort them for huge sums of money, which, then, the politicians can use to help get themselves reelected and fill the government coffers."

"Make no mistake: Allowing Senator Sanders and Democrats to get huge checks from fossil fuel companies will not in any way change the weather or the climate, but it will make a lot of climate activists and bureaucrats richer," he added.

U.S. Oil and Gas Association president Tim Stewart also weighed in on Sanders’ joint letter with three other Senators, saying their logic is "silly," as "the federal government would have to sue itself for its contribution to climate change."

Sanders' office did not respond to requests for comment.

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