Michael Grunwald @MikeGrunwald Senior writer, @POLITICOMag. Editor-at-large, The Agenda. Author of The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. Sep. 04, 2019 1 min read

OK, OK, a few thoughts on Julian’s sassy thread about my climate piece, and where we do and don’t disagree about centrism and radicalism.

One problem, and maybe it’s a problem with my magazine piece, is that we’re mushing together two kinds of climate radicalism. 2

First there’s the idea that we need radical action to fix the climate. This is true! Even some boring centrists like me and Biden agree. 3

It will take incredibly dramatic policy and culture change to decarbonize by 2050. But as my story points out, all the Ds pledge to do it. 4

I’m just saying it’s risky politics. The left weirdly insists we need sudden massive upheaval and also eh, America will be fine with it. 5

Again, though, even centrists like Beto and Klobuchar are taking that risk. The science says the planet depends on it. 6

Then there’s the other climate radicalism, the GND idea that focusing on climate isn’t enough, that the entire system needs to change. 7

Julian and other progressives make strong arguments for this kind of structural revolution; boring centrists like me tend to be skeptical. 8

I won’t debate the substance now; I’ll just point out it’s a double dose of radicalism. 9

The left is saying yes, we have a climate emergency, but also a health and jobs and justice emergency, all equally urgent. 10

Conveniently, the left says the solution to all these emergencies is the same bold agenda the left pushed before the climate emergency. 11

Maybe! But politically, adding universal health care and the rest of the never-enacted liberal agenda to the climate ask seems risky, too.11


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