The next president of the United States must be prepared to address global warming as the crisis it is, and take bolder, faster action than ever before. But the media is still ignoring the issue, giving cover to politicians who refuse to acknowledge the urgency.
We need to put climate solutions on the national political stage. One powerful way to do that is through a presidential primary debate dedicated to the issue. Holding a climate-centered debate would highlight the climate crisis at a time when more people than ever are tuned in to national politics – and force candidates to explain their positions so that voters can judge whether their actions would meet the scale of the crisis. That’s why IPL is partnering with a dozen other groups on this important action.
On June 6, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair Tom Perez said the party won’t host an official climate debate or allow candidates to participate in unofficial debates. The backlash has been fast and fierce, over 50 DNC members – more than 10% of the voting membership – submitted their own resolution calling for a debate. Before the DNC’s next meeting on June 29, we need to ramp up the pressure and tell Perez and the rest of party that we need a climate debate.
In the primary season, unless the DNC prioritizes the issue, we know that news networks and other debate host organizations won’t ask more than one or two token debate questions on climate change. We have to demand that the climate issue leads.
As people of faith and conscience we are deeply concerned about the impact climate change is having on our world and on the most vulnerable members of our society. We must know how the world’s most powerful leader would address the world’s most urgent crisis.