Transcript: Sen. Bernie Sanders’s speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on April 12, 2014 – Part 10

Part 10 – Partial transcript of remarks by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics on April 12, 2014:

I want to say another word on an issue which is very troubling to me, and it’s an interesting issue because it’s brought some strange bedfellows together.

You know, we pride ourselves on being a free society. And we need a serious national conversation about what that means. What does it really mean?

Are you a free society if every telephone call that you make ends up in an NSA file? I don’t think so.

Are you living in freedom if some of your email exchanges are intercepted or there is knowledge on the part of the government about the websites that you visit?

I don’t think so, and that is why I voted against the USA Patriot Act and the re-authorization of USA Patriot Act. [Applause]

So we have obviously got to be vigilant against terrorism. It is a very serious issue. But I do not think we have to undermine the Constitution of the United States to do that.

Let me touch on – I keep saying this important issue and that. Everyone of these issues is gigantically important and we could talk about it for hours onto itself. But there’s one that sticks out having to do whether or not does the planet really survive and that is the issue of climate change.

Despite what you may see on Fox TV or in the media in general, the debate about the reality of climate change is over. The scientific community is overwhelmingly in agreement that climate change is real. It is caused significantly by human activity. That right now we are seeing devastating results of climate change in terms of floods, in terms of heat waves, in terms of forest fires, in terms of extreme weather disturbances. And what the scientists tell us is that situation will only get worse unless we boldly address the problem, significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions and move toward sustainable energy.

And I say this – I don’t mean to be overly partisan today. I am partisan, obviously. And my Republican colleagues disappoint me, to say the least, every day.

But while we can have disagreements on so many issues, it is very frightening to me – and I think to you – that you have virtually the entire Republican Party rejecting science in terms of climate change.

They don’t reject science in terms of cancer research. They don’t reject science in many, many areas. But because of the power of the fossil fuel – the oil companies, the coal companies, the gas companies – because of that power, they are willing to push aside what is the overwhelming scientific evidence.

And the truth of the matter is that if we are aggressive in reversing climate change – if the United States of America become the leader – we can have a huge impact in moving China, moving India, moving other countries.

And by the way, when we move to issues like energy efficiency and weatherization – in Vermont right now, we are weatherizing thousands of homes. I’m sure you’re doing it here in New Hampshire. And by the way, your Senator Jeanne Shaheen has been very active on this issue. And when you do these things, you cut people’s fuel bills very, very significantly. You cut greenhouse gas emissions. What else do you do? You create jobs. That’s what you do. So we should do that. [Applause]

Ah, be patient. I’m coming to the end. [Laughter]


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