Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

"There is no 'middle ground' when it comes to climate policy," said Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Sanders Says Biden's "Middle Ground" Approach to Climate Crisis Would "Doom Future Generations"

The Vermont senator and 2020 presidential candidate said the U.S. must commit to "fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels"

Jake Johnson

Without mentioning Joe Biden by name, Sen. Bernie Sanders on Friday slammed the centrist climate policy reportedly being crafted by the former vice president's 2020 campaign as a dangerously inadequate approach that would "doom future generations."

"There is no 'middle ground' when it comes to climate policy," the Vermont senator tweeted, quoting from a Reuters report on Biden's efforts to develop a climate plan that would leave the door open to so-called "fossil fuel options."

"If we don't commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations," wrote Sanders, who is also a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. "Fighting climate change must be our priority, whether fossil fuel billionaires like it or not."

As Common Dreams reported in April, Sanders won praise from environmental groups after he unveiled a sweeping climate agenda calling for a Green New Deal, an end to oil exports, a complete ban on fracking, and a moratorium on all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

Environmentalists were not pleased with reports of Biden's middle-of-the-road approach to confronting the climate crisis, which has pushed a million species to the brink of extinction and threatens the future of human civilization.

Echoing Sanders and the chorus of green groups voicing their concerns, Greenpeace USA climate campaigner Charlie Jiang said in a statement, "There is no such thing as a middle ground on climate change."

"We either doom millions of people to climate catastrophe or we don't," said Jiang.

Author and climate activist Naomi Klein also weighed in, tweeting, "there is bold, transformative action or there is sinking ground, burning ground, and churning ground."

Climate scientists joined environmentalists in criticizing what is known of Biden's draft plan—which will reportedly center around re-joining the Paris Climate Agreement—as insufficient to the task of dramatically curbing carbon emissions, as the scientific evidence says is necessary to avert planetary disaster.

"The greatest fault in his proposal is the suggestion that natural gas can be part of the solution," Michael Mann, head of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, told HuffPost. "The solution to a problem created by burning fossil fuels cannot be the burning of fossil fuels."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Fears of Hate-Inspired Serial Killer Grow as 4th Muslim Man Murdered in Albuquerque

"We're scared for our families, we're scared for our children," said one local Muslim leader. "And we are incredibly confused about why this is happening."

Jake Johnson ·


UN Chief Denounces Shelling of Ukraine Nuclear Plant as 'Suicidal'

To avert a public health calamity, Ukrainian officials are calling for the Zaporizhzhia site to be demilitarized and run by a team of peacekeepers.

Kenny Stancil ·


Big Pharma Bemoans 'Tragic Loss' as Democrats Take Modest Action to Curb Drug Prices

Patient advocates, meanwhile, applauded passage of the Inflation Reduction Act as a "historic victory for consumers and a historic defeat for Big Pharma's monopoly control."

Jake Johnson ·


Sanders Says Senate Bill 'Nowhere Near' Enough as Dems, GOP Tank His Amendments

The Vermont senator nevertheless supported final passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, calling it "a step forward" on climate and drug prices.

Jake Johnson ·


Senate Barely Approves Scaled Back Legislation on Climate, Taxes, Healthcare

But thanks to Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), there was a huge, last-minute win for the private equity and hedge fund industries

Common Dreams staff ·

Common Dreams Logo