Quantcast
Connect with us

‘Downright irresponsible and shameful’: DNC and NBC ripped for Democratic debate that spent less than 10 minutes on climate emergency

Published

on

“Our survival is worth more time than vague, irrelevant, and trivial questions posed 80 minutes into the debate.”

After 2020 Democratic presidential candidates spent less than ten minutes on the global climate emergency during the first primary debate in Miami, Florida Wednesday night, environmentalists and progressive critics argued it is now clearer than ever that the DNC must agree to host a debate focused specifically on the crisis that poses an existential threat to human civilization.

“It’s absurd to host a debate in Miami and spend only a few minutes on the climate crisis. This is downright irresponsible and shameful.”
—Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement

Climate journalist Kate Aronoff noted in a blog post for The Guardian that it took “nearly an hour and a half” for NBC moderators to ask the first direct question about the climate emergency, which “could make large swathes of the planet horrifically uninhabitable by the end of this century.”

NBC should be ashamed of itself. So should [DNC] chairman Tom Perez,” Aronoff wrote. “Members of the Sunrise Movement—which pushed the idea of the Green New Deal into the national spotlight late last year—are sitting in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., pushing the DNC to organize a debate dedicated solely to the potential end of human civilization. As tonight proved, it’s desperately needed.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Tamara Toles O’Laughlin, director of 350 Action, echoed Aronoff’s assessment in a statement after the debate came to a close, pointing out that more time “was spent fixing microphones” than discussing the crisis that is already wreaking havoc across the planet.

“This sets up the election of our lifetimes with a tone of insufficient seriousness to address the magnitude of the climate crisis, its impact on communities, and the courage it requires to invest in real solutions,” O’Laughlin said. “It is tone deaf to the calls of the people and a show of selective hearing from the Democratic National Committee.”

ADVERTISEMENT

When asked by moderator Chuck Todd to name the “greatest geopolitical threat” to the United States, just four of the ten Democratic candidates on the stage—Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.Y.)—answered “climate change.”

O’Laughlin pointed out that the Green New Deal, a far-reaching and popular proposal to confront the climate emergency while creating millions of decent-paying jobs, was not mentioned once during the debate.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to a Washington Post transcript, the phrase “climate crisis” was used just twice Wednesday night—both times by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee—while “climate change” was mentioned eleven times over the course of the two-hour debate.

As HuffPost reported, “Only five of the ten candidates onstage had a chance to respond to four questions on the issue directed at individual contenders, making it impossible to compare everyone’s stances. Discussion of a topic that only first came up 10:22pm local time ended abruptly at 10:29pm.”

O’Laughlin said she is “unimpressed by the ongoing disregard for a real presidential platform for candidates to dig deep and commit to real action and solutions to the crisis at hand.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“We deserve a climate debate to give these issues a serious hearing, where we can truly inspect the candidates leadership as we face this existential crisis as a nation.”

The first of two scheduled debates in Miami came as youth activists with the Sunrise Movement camped out at the headquarters of the DNC to pressure the committee to host a climate-specific 2020 debate.

ADVERTISEMENT

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, Perez announced that the DNC would not host a climate debate despite grassroots demands, but promised that the primary debates would feature “more robust” climate discussions than ever before.

But Wednesday night’s debate suggested that Perez’s promise was hollow, green groups said.

“It’s absurd to host a debate in Miami—a city where millions of people could lose their homes due to sea level rise that’s also only 20 miles from the Everglades where massive fires are out of control—and spend only a few minutes on the climate crisis,” Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the Sunrise Movement, said in a statement. “This is downright irresponsible and shameful.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Tonight’s debate made it crystal clear that the media and the political establishment are out of touch with our generation. Our survival is worth more time than vague, irrelevant, and trivial questions posed 80 minutes into the debate to a few minor candidates.”

While expressing disappointment with Wednesday night’s debate, Prakash said the fact that tens of thousands are speaking up and pressuring the Democratic leadership to treat the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves is a reason to be hopeful.

“There is something big happening in this country,” Prakash said. “Young people are 32 hours into a sit-in at the DNC. Tens of thousands of people are organizing and raising their voices to demand our leaders start taking the climate crisis seriously. We are growing stronger every day and we are going to win.”

ADVERTISEMENT


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Mike Pence to headline ‘intimate’ $35,000 per couple fundraiser at gay-owned private club

Published

on

Location reportedly revealed by chef during hearing on felony assault and domestic violence charges

Vice President Mike Pence will headline a $35,000-per-couple fundraiser at a private club owned by two gay men in Aspen, Colorado Monday evening.

The invitation, sent by Bob Jenkins, vice chair of Pitkin County Republicans, calls it "an intimate high dollar reception," and says, "we would like you to participate if possible. Additionally, please quietly spread the word," according to The Aspen Times.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

‘Warning lights are flashing,’ says Elizabeth Warren, detailing plan to stave off impending financial crisis

Published

on

Democratic presidential hopeful warns of "a number of serious shocks on the horizon that could cause our economy's shaky foundation to crumble."

"Warning lights are flashing," Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote Monday, predicting an economic crisis within two years unless federal regulators and Congress take swift action.

The Democratic presidential contender outlined the reasons for her concerns and plans to address them in Medium post entitled "The Coming Economic Crash—And How to Stop It."

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

How Julian Assange turned his London refuge into an election meddling command post

Published

on

What We Read last Week: Our Investigative News RoundupWikiLeaks Founder Met Russian Agents in the Ecuadorian Embassy

Surveillance reports obtained by CNN reveal that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received in-person deliveries, potentially of hacked materials related to the 2016 US election, during a series of suspicious meetings at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The reports also describe how Assange turned the embassy into a command center and orchestrated a series of damaging disclosures that rocked the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States. Despite being confined to the embassy while seeking safe passage to Ecuador, Assange met with Russians and world-class hackers at critical moments, frequently for hours at a time. He also acquired powerful new computing and network hardware to facilitate data transfers just weeks before WikiLeaks received hacked materials from Russian operatives. These stunning details come from hundreds of reports compiled for the Ecuadorian government by UC Global, a private Spanish security company. They chronicle Assange's movements and provide an unprecedented window into his life at the embassy. They also add a new dimension to the Mueller report, which cataloged how WikiLeaks helped the Russians undermine the U.S. election.

Continue Reading
 
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

Join Me. Try Raw Story Investigates for $1. Invest in Journalism. Escape Ads.
close-image