Hillary Clinton recently tweeted a rejection of any perceived endorsement from Charles Koch, citing his climate denial, and his funding of misinformation efforts. I take it as a good sign that she’s being clear about that, but I find it a bit frustrating, given Clinton’s own stance on fossil fuels – namely the assumption that there’s a way to continue using them that’s “safe and responsible”:
Ensure safe and responsible energy production. As we transition to a clean energy economy, we must ensure that the fossil fuel production taking place today is safe and responsible and that areas too sensitive for energy production are taken off the table. Hillary knows there are some places where we should keep fossil fuels in the ground or under the ocean.
The “lesser of two evils” concept has become a reliable trope in American politics, and it seems to apply here as well. Clinton’s stance on climate change is better than any Republican politician currently in office; same with Obama. But in both of their cases, they are guilty of perpetuating the notion that we can somehow keep using fossil fuels without doing further harm to ourselves and the natural world.
Someone who accepts that we’re causing the climate to change, and that it’s a bad thing for us and many other species is far preferable to someone who doesn’t, but that doesn’t change the fact that that Clinton and Obama are still partially in denial about this issue. It is possible that at some point we will develop a way to use coal, oil, and natural gas in a way that doesn’t destabilize the climate and cause a wide variety of other kinds of harm, but currently that does not exist. If we get there, then we can revisit the notion of using fossil fuels, but until then, we need to be focused on creating an energy infrastructure that does not need them, and we need to do that as quickly as possible.