Democratic candidates buff green credentials By Cathleen Decker

Dandelion Salad

By Cathleen Decker
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
November 18, 2007

At a Los Angeles forum Dennis Kucinich, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards throw around vows to cut carbon emissions.

A Los Angeles forum on global warming Saturday provided three presidential candidates time to throw around vows to cut carbon emissions, spur a green economy and renew American leadership in the world.

But if the intent was to buff their green credentials, more than anything the gathering thrust into glaring relief the differing approaches of Democrats Dennis J. Kucinich, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John Edwards as each seeks the presidency.

First came Kucinich, the Ohio congressman and presidential longshot, who touted his modest-size house, efficient car and vegan diet as indicators of his personal parsimoniousness and vowed to guarantee an annual income to untold numbers of Americans.

Kucinich had no such difficulty.

Unlike most of the candidate debates so far, where he has been relegated to the sidelines, the format Saturday gave him equal standing. The event, held at the Wadsworth Theatre before hundreds of activists, was sponsored by the online environmental group Grist, as well as a host of other environmental organizations, including the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund.

All of the Democratic and Republican candidates were invited, but only the three showed up. Each offered a 10-minute speech and then answered a panel of questioners, leaving the stage before the next candidate strode on.

Kucinich vowed an administration that would push “massive” spending on mass transit, incentives for renewable energy and environmentally safe construction techniques, and said he would use NASA to press the country to develop “green technologies.” And he contrasted the other candidates’ lifestyles with his — replete with 1,600-square-foot home, dull-if-efficient sedan and restricted diet.

“If you want a leader who can reach out and lift this planet up, then we have to look at: How do you live?” he said.

He offered a precursor of Edwards’ later argument, countering a skeptical question about his ability to thwart the efforts of oil and gas companies to block global warming legislation.

“Imagine a president with no ties to those interest groups,” he said, adding: “Under a Kucinich administration, their control is broken.”

But he appeared to catch even fellow progressives by surprise when he promised to compensate coal miners and others whose livelihoods would be harmed by his environmental policies.

“I’m speaking of a guaranteed annual income,” he said.

“For everybody?” a panelist, looking surprised, asked.

“Absolutely,” Kucinich replied.


h/t: Dennis Kucinich for President (Official)

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5 thoughts on “Democratic candidates buff green credentials By Cathleen Decker

  1. Pingback: Dennis Kucinich’s Opening During Global Warming Debate (video) « Dandelion Salad

  2. Yep, Dennis is just proving that he has the balls to actually act on his words. Some vegans tout their lifestyle as if they are holy, but really it is just a choice we’ve all made at some point– all vegans ate meat at some point. Besides that, if there were only 1 vegan who wouldn’t be an asshole about being vegan, it’d probably be Dennis Kucinich.

  3. Kucinich’s modest means leave a much smaller footprint on the environment. A small house and frugal car are great for reducing carbon but he goes much further. No one talks about the fact that methane is far more damaging than carbon dioxide-and feedlots for animal production are a major source of methane. Want to help? Have some rice and broccoli instead of that mistreated antibiotic and hormone fed cow.

  4. So K’s argument is that he’s a better person because he’s a vegan, so everyone who loves nice free-range hamburger on the 4th of July should vote for him and he will save us from our wicked ways?

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