After watching and listening to this climate change segment of the July 31 Democratic Presidential Debate on CNN it seems to me that Andrew Yang (starting at 2:37), not accustomed to being on stage and national TV, and probably even a bit more challenged by the tight format of so little time per candidate with 10 candidates on the stage at once, might have flubbed this a little bit.
Like in the June debate when he was suddenly called upon and it took him a few seconds to even realize it, candidate Yang seemed a little bit unprepared.
I -think- he’s referring to sea-level rise, but only bec/ i can’t come up with another scenario involving moving people to higher ground.
1) He said we’re 10 years too late, but didn’t manage to say on what, exactly. The thing is, i do imagine he understands this stuff, and probably meant, too late to prevent at least some of the catastrophic effects, which is, of course true.
(2) But in a fast medium like TV and a crowded forum of 10 candidates in one night, a lot of people may have thought he meant, too late to fight climate change at all, even though the very next thing he said was, “along with” implementing climate change measures – and then he mentioned moving people to “higher ground” without explaining -which- higher ground or -where- or even specifically what he was talking about (which was apparently sea-level rise, which btw will not affect voters directly voting in the Iowa caucus).
(3) Even more cringeworthy, he tried to tie this into his central pitch, Universal Basic Income, which would not be enough, at $1,000 a month, to help property owners relocate from coastal areas, though it might help apartment dwellers in those areas. But we’re talking a massive Federal underwriting of mostly upper middle class to opulent homes, and the dollars to relocate those folks would possibly be in -competition- with dollars for his UBI program.
(4) So to tie in coastal relocation to UBI, his signature issue, was flimsy at best, confusing for the most part, and potentially dangerous if the takeaway for viewers would be, fuggit, we’re screwed, let’s just be depressed, or, let’s live it up cuz we’re all gonna die.
(5) I like Andrew, bec/ he brings up the impact of AI on the workforce, esp. interesting bec/ Trump said he’d knock down Obama regulations against coal, but in fact the coal industry has been declining for decades, bec/ of automation taking over human jobs. He does seem to be the one candidate actively addressing the future of work.
(6) I’m on his mailing list, and he’s really been begging for help to qualify for the September TV debate. He might not make it, chiefly bec/, rightly or wrongly, the DNC is challenging his supporter levels.
(7) Yang also made it seem like the US contribution to global climate change is only 15% worldwide (i’m not sure about that number) and that the rising economies of China and India are contributing more (which either is true or is becoming true). But (a) it’s hard to say if Yang himself has enough international trade or diplomacy experience to negotiate with leaders of those nations, and (b) the US still has the strongest economy and the best track record of innovation so he has to be more careful not to make it seem that it’s too late or irrelevant for the US to lead by example.
(8) I think Andrew Yang -might- make an interesting Secretary or Undersecretary of Labor or Commerce in a new Dem administration, if there is really strong support for UBI going forward.