Newly-declared 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke boldly claimed at an Iowa diner Thursday that “the future of the world depends on us.”
The comments came during a question about whether he supports the Green New Deal.
O’Rourke says he does, because the planet only has 12 years left if current trends continue.
Here’s an excerpt of the exchange:
O’ROURKE: “So, thanks for asking the question. Yes, sir.” (Applause)
AUDIENCE MEMBER: “Your thoughts on the New Green Deal.”
O’ROURKE: “The question is on the Green New Deal and by extension if you don’t mind I’ll take the spirit of the question. We face catastrophe and crisis on this planet even if we were to stop emitting carbon today right now at this moment. We know that the storms that we saw in Texas, Harvey — which dealt the landfall record amount of rain on the United States of America as long as we’ve been keeping records, that claimed the lives of too many of our fellow Americans, flooded people literally out of their homes and businesses, storms like Harvey are only going to become more frequent and more severe and more devastating and ultimately compromise the ability to live in a city like Houston, Texas. The droughts that we experienced in the panhandle of Texas, five years straight, and then we got a little bit of rain and then back into droughts again, those same scientists say those droughts will become more profound, some severe.
“At a town hall like this, I remember a young woman came in with her two children, she was skipping her son’s basketball practice to be there, she was going to talk to a Democrat even though she was a life-long Republican because she told me that what her grandparents planted on their farm, what her parents planted on their farm, that she is now trying to plant does not grow. She said climate change, Beto, is not something that we have to prepare for, it is something that is here. Let us all be well aware that life is going to be a lot tougher for the generations that follow us no matter what we do. It is only a matter of degrees.
“And along this current trajectory, there will be people who can no longer live in the cities that they call home today. There is food grown in this country that will no longer prosper in these soils. There is going to be massive migration of tens or hundreds of millions of people from countries that are literally uninhabitable or under water that are above the sea right now. This is our final chance. The scientists are absolutely unanimous on this, that we have no more than 12 years to take incredibly bold action on this crisis. My gratitude then for the young people who have stepped up to offer such a bold proposal, to meet such a grave challenge. They say that we should do nothing less than marshal every single resource in this country to meet that challenge, to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, to get to net zero emissions. Which means that not only must we emit less greenhouse gases, we must also plant those things that absorb greenhouse gases and carbon and we must invest in the technology that will allow us to clean some of it that’s in the air right now. Cane we make it. I don’t know, it’s up to every single one of us. Do you want to make it?”