Bernie Sanders has made fighting climate change a key issue in his 2020 presidential bid, and while many of his detractors have argued that the Vermont senator is focusing on it to appease millennial voters, a newly resurfaced video from two decades ago shows that Sanders considered climate change a big threat even then. As IJR reports, the video shows Sanders asking the American media to cover climate change much before it became a matter of national and global consideration.
Andrew Kaczynski of CNN shared a video from a 1989 C-SPAN interview where Sanders — then the mayor of Burlington, Vermont — criticized the media for not covering the effects of climate change enough.
“We face, as all people know, an ecological crisis at this time — whether it’s acid rain or the destruction of the ozone layer, the greenhouse effect,” Sanders said in February 1989.
“One would think that the CBSs and the NBCs of the world would be doing prime-time specials on these programs, having different scientists talking about the issues, involving people in understanding what’s going on in terms of our planet. They don’t.”
The resurfaced video is a stark reminder that Sanders making climate change a priority of his upcoming campaign is a decision which has not been made only to appease a certain section of voters. Check out the video yourself.
There's a 1989 C-SPAN interview where Bernie blasts the media for not covering climate change, "the greenhouse effect." pic.twitter.com/9uXk2qh8re— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) March 5, 2019
Not only did Sanders go on to bash the media for not covering climate change, but he also pointed towards the need to bring serious political change” in the country, which he said would be impossible to unleash unless the mainstream American media didn’t only focus on advertising revenues.
“I would say that we’re not going to bring about serious political change in this country until we deal with the media, which more and more is being swallowed up by large conglomerates,” he said.
The views espoused in this two-decade video are consistent with what Sanders has promised to make the mainstay of his 2020 campaign. When he announced his presidential bid earlier this year, Sanders made fighting climate change, providing free healthcare and free tuition fees, as the focal points of his campaign. He has also promised his own version of a “Green New Deal.”
At the time the video was shot, Sanders was convinced that to bring about “serious political change” in America, a third party was needed whose interests didn’t serve those propagated by either the Republicans or the Democrats. Probably the ensuing time in Washington politics has convinced Sanders that winning on a third-party ticket is impossible, but at least his messages have stayed consistent over a long period of time.