The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has so far resisted calls to hold a Democratic presidential debate specifically on global warming. But Democrats in Miami-Dade County, Florida aren’t letting the DNC off easy.
In a statement issued Monday, the Miami-Dade Democratic Party’s executive committee unanimously called on the DNC to host a climate debate in which all 2020 hopefuls will be asked about their plans to address what the Miami-Dade Democrats say is “at the forefront of concerns for residents of Miami-Dade and communities across our country.”
“[I]t is imperative that the candidates present and discuss their plans to address our climate crisis,” the resolution read.
The text of the resolution noted that “Miami-Dade County and the State of Florida are ground zero for the damaging effects of climate change and rising sea levels,” that “the disastrous effects of climate change and rising sea levels are already being disproportionately felt by poor communities and communities of color,” and that “the Democratic Party is and has historically been a leader in developing and proposing policies that combat climate change and its effects.”
Democrats in the biggest county of the nation’s biggest swing state — which also face devastation from rising seas — want a climate change debate during the party’s presidential primary pic.twitter.com/GDh45vZBVT
— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) June 11, 2019
Miami-Dade is Florida’s most populous county, and Florida itself is the fourth-largest state in the U.S. with more than 19 million residents, as well as the largest so-called “swing state” in that its voters went for three Democrats and three Republicans in the last six presidential elections.
A 2018 article in the New Yorker reported that roughly 20% of Miami could be underwater by 2045 due to the projected rise in sea levels, and another article in Business Insider listed Miami as one of the 30 cities that could be underwater by 2060. This means that Miami is perhaps the most at risk of feeling the immediate effects of global warming. At the macro level, global warming could trigger a mass extinction event, as a UN committee report in May warned that one million of the planet’s eight million species could go extinct in the next few decades due to global warming.
The initial resistance from the DNC to holding a debate centered around global warming was initially brought to light by Washington Governor Jay Inslee (D), whose 2020 presidential campaign is almost exclusively focused on global warming. Inslee tweeted that in addition to not hosting a climate debate, the DNC said it would exclude him from future debates if he participated in any global warming debate not sanctioned by the DNC.
.@JayInslee says in a statement that the DNC turned down his request for a climate debate and "if we participated in anyone else's climate debate, we will not be invited to future debates." pic.twitter.com/uT628MnoS0
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) June 5, 2019
Multiple 2020 candidates have offered their specific plans to address global warming. However, former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been the frontrunner in early polls from corporate-owned media outlets, has a climate plan that is not only criticized for its failure to eliminate reliance on fossil fuels, but for plagiarizing policy proposals almost verbatim from a group with financial ties to the fossil fuel industry.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has previously been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, Al-Jazeera America, and NPR, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or send him an email at carl at gritpost dot com.