Democratic presidential candidates are pushing their plans to combat what they call man-made climate change. While some of the proposals would cost less than others, one economist says they have one thing in common: they all would make Americans' lives worse.
"It's a trillion here and a trillion there," says Nicolas Loris, an economist focusing on energy, environment, and regulatory issues for The Heritage Foundation. "Each of these plans really follows down the same path – which is tax, regulate, and essentially ban the use of natural resources that have made our lives more prosperous, wealthier, easier, [and] more comfortable."
And according to Loris, regardless how many trillions of dollars the candidates are purporting to spend, their plans are "all going to do the same thing, which is make Americans worse off by driving up energy prices, by using taxpayer dollars to support crony companies, and to do really nothing to impact climate change or the environment."
In fact, Loris believes people's lives are likely to be worse off in these scenarios.
"That's because we're going to be allocating more resources to things that aren't going to make a difference to improve the environment rather than have a wealthier, more prosperous society where we can allocate more resources to a whole number of environmental causes – including climate change, if we want to," he explains.
Ten candidates for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination participated Wednesday in back-to-back climate town halls hosted by CNN in New York. A second set of climate-focused town halls will be televised by MSNBC later in the month.
Skeptics beg to differ, but the candidates rank man-made climate change as one of the biggest threats facing the United States.
But how do voters feel about that?
During the CNN town hall on climate change, each of the ten Democratic candidates were given the opportunity to discuss the proposals they intend to enact if they make it to the White House. For example, Senator Bernie Sanders said he would support U.S taxpayer-funded abortions in Third World countries as way to combat climate change – and Julian Castro called for mandated indoctrination of public school students in favor of climate change.
Conservative political scientist Dr. Charles Dunn believes that pushing solutions to address alleged manmade climate change isn't a winning issue for Democrats in 2020.
"Those ideas are so bad that they do not poll well," says the professor emeritus of government at Clemson University. "The kinds of things that Sanders and Warren and others are advocating are weak; they are not ideas of strength."
On other hand, says Dunn, President Donald Trump can run with confidence, touting the strong economy and reduced unemployment during his time in office.
"The polls show that people like his ideas. And he ran such a campaign in 2016. He proved what he could do in challenging the incumbent ideas. So Democrats are running on ideas that are weak. They're built out of fearfulness and not out confidence."
Dunn has gone on record saying he doesn't think anyone among the Democratic hopefuls can defeat Trump.