Bird Dogs Kathy Byrnes and Ed Fallon were interviewed by Isabella Murray for the Iowa Starting Line website at Sanders’ Climate Summit with guest speaker Alexandria Oscario-Cortez. They discussed Bernie’s possible status as the new “Climate Candidate” and what he could do more on his campaign regarding climate change. The following is excerpt from the article:
Kathy Byrnes, director of Birds & Bees Urban Farm in Des Moines, said she doesn’t yet know if Sanders can take the ‘climate candidate’ title. “If Bernie would bump it up in his agenda to the level that it needs to be addressed, which is an absolute crisis, I could see him getting there. He’s got good ideas about it, but it feels like he’s not prioritizing it in a way that he needs to, to be the climate candidate,” she said.
Read their opinions (and those of other Iowans interviewed) by reading the full article below or clicking the link.
By Isabella Murray, Iowa Starting Line, November 9th, 2019
Sen. Bernie Sanders has his sights set on being the 2020 election’s “climate candidate,” and Green New Deal lead sponsor, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is helping him get there.
After the Vermont Senator trailed behind competitors Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg for voters who would choose a candidate based on climate in a Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday, Sanders was today boosted by a number of high-profile endorsers and surrogates at a Des Moines “climate crisis summit.”
“We understand, perhaps uniquely … that no president of the United States, not even the most honest and well-intentioned, can do it alone,” Sanders said around the third hour of the event. “What Alexandria was talking about, our campaign is about the need to build an unprecedented grassroots movement.”
The summit came a day after the candidate drew over 2,400 in Council Bluffs, which the Sanders campaign calls the largest crowd in the state so far in the 2020 cycle. Over 2,000 were in attendance at today’s event, which included a climate scientist-led presentation, a panel featuring artists and activists, speeches from international climate activist Naomi Klein and State Rep. Jeff Kurtz, before Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez spoke and engaged in a Q&A.
“Are we ready to talk about the Green New Deal?” Ocasio-Cortez asked the crowd after a long standing ovation. “2,400 people in Council Bluffs, last night. To talk about these issues.”
Kathy Byrnes, director of Birds & Bees Urban Farm in Des Moines, said she doesn’t yet know if Sanders can take the ‘climate candidate’ title.
“If Bernie would bump it up in his agenda to the level that it needs to be addressed, which is an absolute crisis, I could see him getting there. He’s got good ideas about it, but it feels like he’s not prioritizing it in a way that he needs to, to be the climate candidate,” she said.
Ed Fallon, a local talk show host from Des Moines, is also unsure that Sanders can take the spot, which he said was formerly occupied by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. Although Inslee campaigned for president nearly entirely on a climate platform, Fallon said he is optimistic about the fact Sanders and his campaign put together a climate-focused summit.
“I’m not sure yet [if Sanders can take Inslee’s spot]. Jay Inslee was clearly the candidate who was most cognizant of how much danger we’re in, and no candidate has yet stepped in to fill that void. Maybe it will be Bernie, too early to tell, but this is encouraging,” Fallon said.
Warren’s climate plan includes one plank of Inslee’s six-part platform, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris has used parts of Inslee’s “climate justice” plan, and former U.S. Housing Secretary Julián Castro followed Inslee’s timeline to replace all coal-fired power generation with zero-emissions sources by 2030.
Under a Sanders administration, the candidate said, America will end tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry, meet the recommendations of climate scientists by moving to 100% renewable energy in electricity and transportation by 2030, and create 20 million good-paying jobs under the Green New Deal, which climate experts call more ambitious than Inslee’s plans.
“Bernie has put forth the most ambitious climate plan that we’ve seen,” said event panelist Zina Precht-Rodriguez, a leader for the Sunrise Movement, a youth-climate activism organization.