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.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.