Americans are taking global warming more seriously than ever before.
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According to a Gallup poll conducted this year, 64% percent of U.S. adults say they’re worried about climate change and environmental issues, which is up from 55% in 2015, and the overall highest reading since 2008.
So, as voters head to the polls, the big question is—which candidate is better when it comes to preserving our environment?
“While Clinton’s stated positions on climate change and environmental issues are better than Trump’s, that’s kind of like saying death by strangulation is better than death by gunshot, because even if she follows through on her pledges Clinton will not come close to preventing climate meltdown,” Jill Stein, Green Party nominee tells FOXBusiness.com.
Stein has been very vocal about her concerns regarding climate change throughout her campaign, even calling it the “greatest existential threat humanity has ever faced.” She says both the Democrats and the Republicans put the issue on the backburner because they’re both funded by certain corporate interest groups.
“Follow the money funding with their parties, and it’s easy to understand why both Clinton and Trump pretend that maintaining a relative handful of insecure jobs in the fossil fuel industry is somehow better for our country than creating millions of jobs to transition our society to a sustainable future where we can survive and thrive,” she adds.
And, the candidates’ positions on environmental issues couldn’t be more different either.
Clinton calls climate change an “urgent threat” and wants to uphold the Paris Agreement, which is a global commitment to reduce the emission of pollutants that contribute to global warming. She has also pledged to voters that she will invest in clean energy, cut energy waste by implementing more robust efficiency and pollution standards, and cut subsidies on oil and gas.
Donald Trump, on the other hand, said in a tweet in 2012, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He has said on countless other occasions that he does not accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is real and thinks the “biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons.”
He also wants to dismantle the Paris Agreement, saying it gives “foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use right here in America.”
“These actions have denied millions of Americans access to the energy wealth sitting under our feet,” Trump said during a speech at the North Dakota Petroleum Council in May.
China’s top climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua, told reporters Tuesday that pulling out of it would be a huge mistake for a potential Trump administration.
"If they resist this trend I don't think they'll win the support of their people, and their country's economic and social progress will also be affected,” Xie said of the Trump campaign.
The one thing Trump and Clinton both agree on is the need for clean water. Trump has said it is the “most important issue we face as a nation for the next generation,” and Clinton vows to establish a Western Water Partnership to coordinate water use among agencies and states.
Stein says while Clinton has an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy, her “promotion of fracking will continue to drive our world toward the climate cliff.”
Stein adds that change needs to happen now and urges Congress to enact an emergency Green New Deal; a WWII-scale national mobilization to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy and make wars for oil obsolete.
“The Green New Deal will not only solve the crises of climate change and unemployment, it will tackle our other environmental crises that we now see in places like Flint, Michigan. We will clean up America by investing in clean air, water, food and soil for everyone, and enacting stronger environmental justice laws. We will also take strong measures to protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, parks, and pollinators,” she adds.