Activists Outside the 2020 Debate Are Demanding That Climate Change Take Center Stage

“You can’t come to Miami without talking about climate change.”

Just a few hours before the second round of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are set to face off, dozens of local activists in Miami, Florida held an “Underwater Climate Rally,” calling for more discussion about climate change at the second Democratic debate. A coalition of local environmental groups organized the march to the Arsht Center in Miami, where this round of debates is being held, with marchers sporting signs calling for a specific climate change debate and pushing for the Green New Deal.

Melissa Baldwin, co-organizer of Miami Climate Month, which organized the rally, says from the moment she and her fellow organizers found out the first debate would be in Miami, they wanted to “put a spotlight on climate change, because you can’t come to Miami without talking about climate change.”

Climate change and fossil fuels have already disturbed the daily lives of Floridians. Sea level rise and warming temperatures threaten cities like Miami. Kim Ross, ReThink Energy Florida leader, resident witnessed people in her community in Tallahassee feeling helpless after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, which damaged Gulf Coast ecosystems.

“This isn’t something in the future,” Ross says. “This is something that’s happening now and needs to be addressed now.”

At the first 2020 Democratic debate on Wednesday night, Democrats spent less than 10 minutes talking about climate change. Though not an extensive conversation, that was still more time spent talking about climate change than in all of three debates combined between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016.

Baldwin tells Mother Jones that climate and energy policy needs a prolonged conversation at every debate because “climate change is an issue that affects every other issue: agriculture, the economy, including tourism.”

She recalls a friend saying, “Who wants to go to Disney when it’s 105 degrees outside?”

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate