How should we address climate change?
Mike Gravel is a former Democratic United States Senator from Alaska, who served two terms from 1969 to 1981, and a former candidate in the 2008 presidential election. He is chiefly known for his efforts in ending the draft following the Vietnam War and for putting the Pentagon Papers into the public record in 1971.
Born in 1930 to immigrant parents in Massachusetts, Gravel enlisted in the Army in 1951 and served in West Germany. A self-stated dyslexic, Gravel was educated at Columbia University%u2019s School of General Studies in New York, where he drove a taxi to support himself. Gravel's first steps into politics were in the Alaska House of Representatives, before he won his party's nomination to the U.S. Senate in 1968. During the 1980s, after Gravel lost his senate seat, he worked as a real estate developer, consultant and stockbroker.
Gravel is a strong supporter of direct democracy, and specifically, the National Initiative, which refers to proposals to allow for ballot initiatives at the federal level.
Question: How should we address climate change?
Mike Gravel: Should be a global solution. Who thinks that this is just an American problem of climate change? How arrogant we Americans are that we just think that we’re the only ones that suffer this. These are complex issues. But let me tell you one thing with respect to Iowa. I am opposed to ethanol. Ethanol is going the wrong way, and these are tax advantages that are given to large corporations. And all it is – and let me put this real pointed to you – it is screwing the average farmer to produce a gallon of equivalent gasoline like ethanol takes 12,000 gallons of water. If this generation continues to go at the water table like they’re doing to produce ethanol, the farmers of the next generation won’t be able to farm in Iowa. And that is a national policy that is absolutely the stupidest policy that we could devise. There are ways that we can solve these problems, and farmers in Iowa know what I’m talking about. We’ve disrupted the wheat market. We’ve disrupted these other countries that . . . on production. And also Archer Daniels Midland and a few other countries could rip it off from the taxpayers. I’ve had it up to here with that, and I become president we’re gonna look at this thing a lot more thoroughly than we do now. And if we’re . . . if we’re gonna have help to the farmers, let’s make sure it gets to the farmers that need the help; not the farmers that are clipping coupons and living in Florida during the wintertime.
Recorded on: 10/23/07
This is a global problem, with global solutions.
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