Ask The Politics Guys: The Green Party

Earlier in the election season, Mike and Jay took a look at the platform of Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson. This week, they examine the platform of the ‘other’ third party – the Green Party, led this year by their presidential nominee Jill Stein. The Guys look at Stein’s positions on taxes, trade, the economy, immigration, foreign policy, military spending, criminal justice, education, and – of course – the environment.

2 thoughts on “Ask The Politics Guys: The Green Party”

  1. Hi guys,

    Ardent listener from the heart of Mormondom here in Salt Lake City, UT.

    So climate change came up again. I noticed that Jay tends to down play the risks. Conservatives/libertarians tend to do this. To me it’s a textbook example of motivated reasoning and I think it stems from their opposition to what proposed solution of more government regulation. It’s interesting since conservatives tend to be about personal responsibility, my rights end where yours begin, which I tend to agree with in principle. But I can’t think of a better example of foisting the consequences of your choices on others, some of who really will suffer quite sever consequences (poor people, through no fault of their own, are going to lose their homes to sea level rise in many places), than pollution. Pollution is what economists call externalities and there is real costs associated with it in health, lives, etc. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/01/29/the-staggering-economic-cost-of-air-pollution/ So my question is, what do you two think about factoring in the costs of pollution into the markets in some way as a solution to climate change? I’m wondering if that would be a way to get more conservatives onboard.

    I’d also like to point out that the US military (not exactly a bastion of pinko, liberal tree huggers) sees climate change as one of the biggest threats to future stability. Just look at what is happening in Venezuela right now. A drought combined with low oil prices is pushing the country to the brink of collapse. The Syrian war’s genesis was also a drought made worse by climate change. We will see a lot of war, violence and displacement that is going to push our systems to the brink as poorer countries fail under the increased strain of environmental change and collapse. And that’s not even taking into account some kind of catastrophic event like the the alteration of thermohaline cycles https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shutdown_of_thermohaline_circulation

    Thanks, guys!

    1. Tyler – I think you’re absolutely right, and I am most definitely in favor of finding a way to factor in the cost of externalities. Of course, we’re doing that now, in a sense, by deciding we’ll have future generations pay the cost, and generally either pretending it won’t be that much of a burden because ‘extremists’ are exaggerating the potential effect (which some are, sure, but even legitimate and conservative estimates of the costs are staggering) or because we’ll invent some technology that will clean things up for far less than it would currently cost. I’ll admit that there’s probably something to that latter position, which we’d want to somehow build in to a price for carbon-based energy.

      And that, to me, is one of the big problems. Coming up with an estimate for the cost of externalities even a few years into the future is incredibly tough, and I don’t see any way Republicans and Democrats will come to agreement. Sadly, I think only the irrefutable evidence of the tragedy of global climate change will get them to abandon their deep-pocketed energy industry supporters and see the light. And, of course, by that time the cost will almost certainly have gone up astronomically. Not a pretty picture.

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