It took the Superstorm, Hurricane Sandy, for N.Y. City Mayor Bloomberg to choose a Presidential candidate to endorse. Bloomberg had criticized both candidates for failing to candidly confront the problems afflicting the nation. On Thursday, Bloomberg announced his endorsement for President Obama, describing him as a leader who is far more likely to push for real action on climate change issues.
Bloomberg’s endorsement, posted on the Bloomberg View, led off by reiterating the devastation brought to his city and much of the Northeast and tying the pattern of frequent extreme weather events to climate change. Bloomberg notes that “In just 14 months, two hurricanes have forced us to evacuate neighborhoods — something our city government had never done before. If this is a trend, it is simply not sustainable.” He went on to say that even if the new pattern of frequent extreme weather events is not due to climate change, the risk that it is, and the cost of extreme weather events, should be enough to compel elected officials into action.
In New York City, Mayor Bloomberg has supported a comprehensive sustainability plan, PlaNYC, that has cut the city’s carbon footprint by 16%. He notes the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group is a world-wide effort of the worlds largest cities to take action on climate issues, while at the same time national governments are not doing so. But, Bloomberg says, “we can’t do it alone” and “we need leadership from the White House.”
Comparing between Obama and Romney, Bloomberg seems to want to like Romney but see’s that the 2012 Romney is not the 1993 or 2003 version of Mitt Romney. While as Governor of Massachusetts, Romney had a good track record on climate change issues, and signed a cap-and-trade plan that’s designed to reduce carbon emissions in the Northeast to pre-1990 levels. But since then Romney has flipped and flopped on just about everything, including support for climate change issues. As Mayor Bloomberg put it, “since then, he has reversed course, abandoning the very cap-and-trade program he once supported. This issue is too important. We need determined leadership at the national level to move the nation and the world forward.”
Obama, on the other hand, has “taken major steps to reduce our carbon consumption, including setting higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars and trucks .. has adopted tighter controls on mercury emissions, which will help to close the dirtiest coal power plants.”
Bloomberg’s endorsement did not focus on this one issue, but went on to name a number of others, including the Race To The Top education program, the woman’s right to choose abortion, and recognition of marriage equality for homosexuals.
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