By Ben Geman - 10/18/13 12:01 PM EDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) says global warming poses "a far more serious problem than al Qaeda" and accuses energy companies of being willing to "destroy the planet" for profits.
“Big business is willing to destroy the planet for short-term profits,” Sanders said.
“And because of their power over the political process, you hear a deafening silence in the U.S. Congress and in other bodies around the world about the severity of the problem. Global warming is a far more serious problem than Al Qaeda,” he said.
The comment arrives in a broader economic critique of what Sanders, the Senate's most left-leaning member, calls a “hypercapitalist” society plagued by huge inequalities in wealth and political power.
Sanders alleges the Republican Party has become “extremist” but also criticizes Democrats. A tidbit from the interview:
Let me tell you a story outside of school. I go to the Democratic caucuses every week, and every week there is a report about fund-raising—Republicans have raised thus and thus; this is what we have done. In the six years I’ve been going to those meetings, I have never heard five minutes of discussion about organizing. It’s about raising money. Not five minutes to say, “Look, West Virginia, we have rallies, we’re doing this, we’re doing that, we’re knocking on doors.” In six years, I have heard no discussion about that at all.