On Politics With Lisa Lerer: Why House Republicans Are Bailing – The New York Times

It can no longer be said that climate change is a back-burner political issue.

After a seven-hour marathon forum on Wednesday night in which 10 Democratic presidential candidates put forward their ideas for tackling global warming, the issue seems to have catapulted to the top of the political agenda.

Now that we have some distance from the forum, what stands out was how truly substantive it was. Sure, there was plenty of talk about hamburgers, plastic straws and government-mandated light bulbs. But overall, the back-to-back interviews on CNN provided what might have been the most thoughtful and sustained discussion of climate policy ever heard on national television.

Some important things we learned: Every top Democratic candidate for president has a serious plan for dealing with emissions and moving the United States to carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest. They differ on key areas, like the extent to which nuclear energy should be a tool in decarbonizing the country and how fast to move away from natural gas. But the fact that most of the candidates onstage embraced some form of pricing carbon dioxide pollution — which economists say is the most efficient way to reduce planet-warming pollution, but which is deeply politically polarizing — is just one measure of how far the party’s consensus on this issue has come.

Want more? Read our five takeaways here.


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