Hillary Clinton took Donald Trump to task yesterday (11 October) for his denial of the existence and gravity of climate change and said that the transition to a clean energy economy would create high-paying jobs.
"We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House at all," Clinton said during a rally in Miami, Florida, flanked by climate activist and former Vice President Al Gore. "We need a president who believes in science and has a plan to lead America in facing this threat and creating good jobs."
Clinton said that she would "accelerate" the building and installation of solar panels, wind turbines, and to modernize the American electric grid, retrofit buildings and create other clean energy infrastructure.
During the first presidential debate on 26 September Trump denied that he has called climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.
"He tried to deny saying that," Clinton said, "but you know that tweet is still there for everyone to see." A user on the news aggregation website Reddit compiled 50 tweets where Trump had questioned climate change. Back in 2008 a Vanity Fair article also noted that Trump "doesn't even believe in global warming."
His views fly in the face of the collective work of thousands of scientists globally. Space agency Nasa notes that at least 97 of published climate scientists agree that changing trends over the past century are the result of human-generated carbon emissions.
In a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Monday, Trump said that the US Environmental Protection Agency is killing the country's energy companies and that he thinks the solution to creating jobs lies in natural gas. Shale fracking for natural gas has seen a boom in production under the Obama administration. He also mentioned creating jobs for miners and has supported a ramp-up in coal production, despite the fact that the US' natural gas fracking industry is largely responsible for the industry's decline.
Despite low oil prices renewable energy has seen a massive drop in price over the past year. Clinton called it "already the fastest growing source of new jobs in America".
Companies around the world seem to see a bright future in clean energy. General Electric (GE) has just announced the $1.65bn (£1.34bn) purchase of a company that designs and manufactures wind blades and has factories in the US.
World leaders hurried this autumn to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement negotiated last December before the transition of power from Barak Obama to the next president on fears that Trump would win. In May Trump said he would "cancel" the landmark global climate deal and pull funding from United Nations climate programmes. The deal sets out rules to limit climate change below a 2°C increase globally.
Now that the agreement has "entered into force" after the EU signed on to the deal early this month, experts say it would be much more difficult to tear it up.
"The clean energy super power of the 21st Century is probably going to be either Germany, China, or us," said Clinton, "and I want it to be us."