Because “The World Is on Fire,’ DNC Urged to Back Climate Debate

Eric Smith / Flickr Tom Perez Who Is He And...
Eric Smith / Flickr

As activists sustain pressure on the DNC Saturday to vote on favor of a climate debate, advocacy group Progressive Democrats of America said that three presidential candidates added their names to an open letter to the committee demanding such a single-focused debate.

Welcoming the signatures from Tom Steyer, Tulsi Gabbard, and Marianne Williamson, PDA executive director Alan Minsky said, “The Democratic Party needs to show it is ready to respond to the existential climate threat by delivering the American people a televised climate debate.”

Tom Weis, climate advisor to PDA, suggested that if the DNC doesn’t vote in favor of a resolution to hold a climate debate—which it has the chance to do on Saturday— it would defy the party’s own governing platform.

“How are Democrats going to mobilize America ‘on a scale not seen since World War II’ to combat the ‘global climate emergency,’ as the Democratic Party Platform asserts, if they won’t even hold a climate emergency debate?” asked Weis. “The world is on fire and Democrats need to sound the alarm.”

The DNC is currently holding its summer meeting in San Francisco, and, as of this writing, is debating the resolution.

On Thursday, climate activists were outraged after the organization’s Resolutions Committee voted down a resolution that called for a climate-focused debate among 2020 presidential primary candidates.

Members of the Sunrise Movement interrupted that meeting, shouting, “Which side are you on?”

Sunrise’s call is backed by Brianna Westbrook, vice chairwoman of the Arizona Democratic Party. “Our survival is at stake. It’s time for the political and media establishment to act like it,” Westbrook wrote Friday in a tweet, which pointed to a Sunrise petition to the Democratic National Committee to hold a climate debate

“Without a comprehensive plan regarding addressing the effects of climate change within the next 10 years,” voter Tova Wolking of Oakland recently wrote in a letter-to-the-editor, “none of the candidates’ other policy plans matter.”

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