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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Climate Politics

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update -- recently published -- looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.

Climate change is an extremely important issue, but it has been a peripheral concern in presidential campaigns.  For most Americans, the impact has seemed abstract and speculative.  But the Western wildfires may be making it more visible and urgent.  The effects are not limited to coastal areas.  As of this week, the smoke had drifted as far east as Illinois.

Seung Min Kim and Brady Dennis at WP:
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden excoriated President Trump on Monday over his environmental record as wildfires continued to burn through much of the West and as the president used a trip to California to question the scientific consensus that climate change is a leading cause of the devastating blazes.

Biden said during a speech in Wilmington, Del., that the “undeniable, accelerating, punishing reality” of global warming was playing out in the wildfires and hurricanes that have marked the end of summer, arguing it is a problem that “requires action, not denial.”

Across the country in California, Trump sought to pin the blame for the fires on another culprit — forest management — while shrugging off warnings that human-caused climate warming will continue to make Western states a tinderbox with annual fires that destroy communities.

“It will start getting cooler. You just watch,” he said during a briefing with state and local leaders in McClellan Park, Calif.
The issue is showing up in Senate races: