South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) continued his presidential campaign in Iowa with an outdoor town hall on the grounds of Roosevelt High School in Des Moines on Saturday night. After his opening remarks he addressed written questions from the audience which were randomly selected from a large glass jar.
A question and answer on climate change:
Question: First plan of attack for climate change.
Pete Buttigieg (D): Woo. Great question. I’m guessing that’s on the mind of a few people who are here. Look, we are coming up on the point of no return. Scientists tell us tell us we’ve got until 2030 before we hit the horizon of catastrophe. The real deadline isn’t 2030, it’s 2020, because if we don’t have the right kind of president now we’ll never be ready by 2030 to take those steps we’ve got to take.
So, there’s a whole bunch of things that we’ve got to do quick. We’ve got to quadruple Federal investment in renewable energy, energy storage, carbon storage. We’ve got to have a carbon price and dividend. Now, they way I would do it is, we assess a price on the cost of carbon, then we rebate it right back out to the American people with a progressive formula so most of us are more than made whole. ‘Cause it’s not about taking money out of the economy. It’s about making sure that the economy reflects the true cost of carbon. [voice: “Yeah!] Now, uh, big fan of carbon tax and dividend. I like that. [laughter] There we go.
But, look, I’m going to be honest with you, I think every one of us running for president ha a plan, as I do, to get our economy to be carbon neutral by 2050. We all do, and, of course, I think mine is the best one. But, [laughter] they all have the technical dimensions that are gonna be needed. The real question is, is any of it gonna get done. Otherwise all of our clever, elegant scientific proposals get multiplied by zero in terms of the impact they actually have. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important that we see to it that climate is a national project that everybody is part of the solution to.
That’s why we gotta tell people, some of whom have felt like they’re being clubbed over the head and told they’re the problem, and invite them to be the solution. For example, we cannot solve this problem without recruiting the energy, the support, and the creativity of America’s farmers. [….] We gotta send a message that we want climate solutions to come from America’s farm, farms in a way that we would be as proud of the quest for the carbon neutral farm as we are of solar panels and electric vehicles. And we can do it. But we’ve got to invest in it.
We can’t just tell farmers we want them to farm sustainably. If we want to unlock the potential of carbon capture in soil and covered crops and other things that we can do on America’s farms, we’ve got to invest in them. If we can find billions of dollars to pays farmers to not be able to sell their goods to China, you’re damn well sure we ought to be able to find billions of dollars in order to support farmers in leading the way to find a solution to the problem. [applause][cheers]
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) – Town Hall – Des Moines, Iowa – October 12, 2019 (October 13, 2017)