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A Heartfelt Note To My New York Friends

Go Out On Tuesday and Vote For Bernie Sanders

Restore a NY Political Legacy

Climate change is a “global environmental crisis of unprecedented urgency

FDR's home and Presidential Library – he called the estate “Springwood”

FDR’s home and Presidential Library – he called the estate “Springwood”

In last night’s debate [Full Trancript], Bernie Sanders called climate change a “global environmental crisis of unprecedented urgency” and highlighted the key challenge of our time:

right now, we have got to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet.

Sanders called for a tax on carbon and bans on fracking and extraction of fossil energy resources (coal, oil, gas) on federal lands, the first step in a “Keep it in the Ground” strategy. Scientists warn that at least 80% of known fossil reserves must be kept in the ground if we are to avoid catastrophic warming.

He spoke passionately and clearly conveyed the critical sense of urgency:

Let me reiterate. We have a global crisis. Pope Francis reminded us that we are on a suicide course. Our legislation understands, Errol, that there will be economic dislocation. It is absolutely true. There will be some people who lose their job. And we build into our legislation an enormous amount of money to protect those workers. It is not their fault…

It is not their fault that fossil fuels are destroying our climate.

But we have got to stand up and say right now, as we would if we were attacked by some military force, we have got to move urgency — urgently and boldly.

Sanders put the climate challenge in historical perspective, and notably explicitly linked it to FDR’s New Deal and economic conversion for WW II:

What you do do is say that we are going to have a massive program — and I had introduced — introduced legislation for 10 million solar rooftops. We can put probably millions of people to work retrofitting and weatherizing buildings all over this country.


Saving — rebuilding our rail system.


Our mass transit system.


If we approach this, Errol, as if we were literally at a war — you know, in 1941, under Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we moved within three years, within three more years to rebuild our economy to defeat Nazism and Japanese imperialism. That is exactly the kind of approach we need right now.

Lead the world.

He also slammed Hillary Clinton for her efforts at the State Department to promote fracking around the world and the lack of US leadership on international climate control diplomacy, including the Paris agreement, which the father of climate science Jim Hansen called a “fraud”.

If that was all Sanders said all night, he would deserve to be President.

Obviously, Sanders could not summarize his full platform on energy, climate and the environment, so here is a link to read it and bulleted excerpts of the policy initiatives outlined:

  • Reclaim our democracy from the billionaire fossil fuel lobby
  • Accelerate a just transition away from fossil fuels
  • Invest in clean, sustainable energy
  • Revolutionize our electric and transportation infrastructure
  • Lead the international community to solve climate change and prevent international conflict

The stakes are very high – could not be higher – and the time to act boldly is short.

The need to fundamentally change the direction of the politics and economics of this country could not be greater.

This is the last opportunity we may have to try to meet the challenges we face – certainly the last of my lifetime.

Please get out and vote for Bernie on Tuesday! – and bring your family, friends, and neighbors!

I was born and grew up in New York. So did my mother and father. I was weened on the Revolutionary history, classic literature (from Irving’s Headless Horseman to Rip Van Winkle and Natty Bumpo), grand estates, and the rustic Hudson River school of painting and culture. The NY political tradition of FDR and the New Deal was gospel in our home. (Even Nelson Rockefeller got respect – and my grandfather worked on his Pocantico Hills Estate.)

I was blessed by countless hours on the glorious Hudson River and spent many days rambling the woods and estates in the historic Hudson Valley. We vacationed in the Adirondacks and Catskills and spent many weekends in Harriman Park and Bear Mountain. I saw Mickey Mantle play in Yankee Stadium (first Major League game I  ever went to as a Little Leaguer). School trips would take us to incredible places like Broadway plays, the UN, Rockefeller Center, and the Empire State building. I still recall the 1964 World’s Fair.

I loved New York before it was a tourism marketing slogan.

I went through NY public schools, began my education at Clarkson College up in the north country, graduated SUNY Binghamton and spent 2 years at Cornell’s graduate school – my thesis topic was on land use controls to protect the river valley aquifers of the southern tier (Big Flats).

I’ve lived in the lower Hudson Valley (Westchester & Putnam counties), the north country (Potsdam), the Southern tier (Binghamton) and the Finger Lakes region (Ithaca) for more than 25 years of my life. Good friends went to school in New Paltz, Cobleskill, Elmira, Fredonia, Syracuse, and Plattsburgh and I spent a lot of time in those places.

One of my Mom’s proudest achievements was to have worked with the Mario Cuomo administration as School Board President on a plan to cleanup and reuse the old GM plant in then North Tarrytown (now Sleepy Hollow).

I know and love the place. And I’ve got a lot of friends I grew up with still living there. So, I must appeal to my New York friends.

[PS – Hillary Clinton is no New Yorker! She’s a Wall Street Carpetbagger. Bernie is too much a gentleman to have pointed that out.]

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