As you know, writers in New York’s coolest borough have nothing better to do on a Friday night than to watch political talk shows. So it was that I was watching HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday and I got to see him interview Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders is a strong climate hawk who has authored a carbon tax bill with Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and a bunch of bills to improve energy efficiency, boost renewables, and cut corporate welfare to fossil fuels. Sanders has always mentioned climate change as one of the key issues that is motivating him to run.
On Friday, though, he moved it to the center of his pitch to potential supporters. Maher noted, “Where I think you could do really well is with younger voters … are you on Tinder?” Sanders, 73, seemed to actually know what Tinder is. At least, he laughed as if he did and talked about his campaign’s social media presence.
Then he pivoted to an issue that he thinks young people care about, saying, “I think what we want to do is to have, Bill, the idealism of kids. And what the kids are saying, for example, is that this country should lead the world in transforming our energy system and dealing with climate change. And that’s an issue we’re gonna talk about a whole lot.” Sanders went on to praise Pope Francis for issuing an encyclical calling for action to reduce climate change.