The Only GOP Candidate With A Climate Change Solution Still Doesn't Quite Get It
Ohio Gov. John Kasich did something uncommon among Republican presidential candidates: He acknowledged climate change as being man-made. At the recent GOP debate on March 10 in Miami, the candidates were pressed on climate change — an issue that seriously affects the state of Florida. The other three candidates on stage (Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz) deny any human involvement in climate change, so Kasich made himself an outsider with his opinions on the issue. Although his proposals aren't exactly the most effective in solving the issue, Kasich proposed solutions for climate change and he is the only GOP candidate who has done so.
With the exception of Kasich, the remaining GOP candidates haven't deviated from their views on climate change. In fact, they're all staunch disbelievers of global warming: Trump has called it a "hoax," Cruz said it "ain't happening," and Rubio says the climate is "always changing," so basically why should we care, right? Kasich has proven that he believes otherwise and has been labeled a moderate Republican candidate on climate change.
During the recent GOP debate, Kasich threw out solutions like "clean coal" — technologies that will create hydrogen from water and trap the carbon dioxide byproduct when burning coal for power production — and using different forms of power, such as solar power and nuclear power. Although The Huffington Post criticized Kasich's solutions, saying they actually cause climate change. Still, Kasich is the only Republican candidate who both acknowledges that climate change exists and tries to put forth possible solutions for the issue.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans believe in global warming and that there is evidence to support it, according to a 2015 poll by the University of Michigan. When 75 percent of our Republican presidential candidates either deny global warming or don't take it seriously enough to propose solutions, Kasich's views on the issues become even more important.
In the GOP debate, Kasich talked about finding alternative and renewable energy sources so that we don't have to heavily rely on coal energy. Kasich used his home state of Ohio as an example to back up his proposals:
In our state, we've reduced emissions by 30 percent. But let me tell you also what we're trying to do. We want all the sources of energy. We want to dig coal, but we want to clean it when we burn it. We believe in natural gas. We believe in nuclear power.
Although opponents, like The Huffington Post article, argue that continuing to rely on coal-produced energy will only contribute to global warming, Kasich has taken a practical and progressive approach in his solutions; coal was the leading energy source in the United States in 2014, as it accounted for 39 percent of our energy production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Hopefully Kasich will refine his solutions for global warming, as supporters will likely question him on his proposal details in the coming weeks. Even if he doesn't figure out this whole climate change thing, at least he's made a name for himself as a reasonable human being on the GOP side who can consider possible solutions for this very real issue. At this point, it's either Kasich and his thin solutions, or Trump, the GOP front-runner who believes the Chinese government created the idea of climate change in the United States