Buttigieg: Using a Straw or Eating a Burger Means You Are 'Part of The Problem'

Compares climate change to the Great Depression, World War II

September 5, 2019

South Bend mayor and 2020 presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (D.) said during an appearance on CNN's New Day Thursday morning that people who eat hamburgers or use plastic straws are "part of the problem."

The presidential hopeful discussed Wednesday night's climate town hall, which saw 10 Democratic candidates advocate for a variety of ways to combat climate change.

"I think that it makes a lot of people feel very helpless. Because yes, we can all do away with our plastic straws—and I haven't drank out of a straw for the past six months because I'm so worried about what's happening in the ocean—but people feel helpless when it's something that existential," said CNN host Alisyn Camerota. "So what do you do about that?"

"Right, and that's one of the things: I think the downside to us facing just how colossal of a challenge this is, is it can feel paralyzing," Buttigieg responded.

"But we can rise to meet this and be proud of it. That's part of what my climate plan is about. It's not only about all of the things we've got to do technologically and with regulation and so on. It's about summoning the energies of this country to do something unbelievably hard."

"If you look at the moments when this country rose to a major challenge, overcoming the Great Depression, winning World War II, going to the moon, it required something out of all of us. And I think we could be standing taller," he continued.

"See, right now we're in a mode where we're thinking of it mostly through the perspective of guilt, from using a straw to eating a burger. Am I part of the problem? In a certain way, yes. But the most exciting thing is that we can all be part of the solution."