The Green General: Sanders on energy

By:  Nicole Gaudiano

WASHINGTON — The topic of the day was climate change, but Sen. Bernie Sanders turned for a moment to lessons learned in war.

Standing alone on a stage before a green backdrop, the Vermont independent recalled how rapidly the U.S. economy had switched from civilian to military production after President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared war on Japan in December 1941.

“We were able to go on the offensive, not only in the east against Japan but in Western Europe,” Sanders said, speaking at a recent climate-change conference here. “A year and a half later, the war had essentially been won.”

As Sanders spoke, he waved his hands and pointed at the audience. His voice boomed in his signature staccato style above the clinking of plates and glasses. He had a modern-day message, and he wanted people to hear it:

“People tell me ... that we are not capable of transforming our economy and transforming our energy system and creating the jobs that will stimulate this economy,” he said. “I would strongly disagree.”

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