Quantcast

Activists at DNC Headquarters Demand Climate Debate

Politics
Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. of the Hip Hop Caucus in front of the DNC headquarters in Washington, DC on June 12. Mary Frances Vorbach / Greenpeace

By Eoin Higgins

We want a climate debate.

That's the message from more than a dozen progressive groups and organizations who descended on the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) Wednesday to demand the party devote a debate to the climate crisis in the presidential primary debates.


The demonstration featured speeches and the delivery of 200,000 petitions to the DNC demanding the party provide a space for candidates to discuss how they will handle the crisis.

"The DNC is making it clear that the adults who got us into this crisis are unwilling to be the leaders to now solve this problem," U.S. Youth Climate Strike national finance director Karla Stephan said in a statement.

"We're not giving up — and we're not settling for soundbites," said Stephan. "We demand action."

The protest is a direct response to a Tuesday post on Medium from DNC chair Tom Perez, who wrote that it would be unfair to prioritize one issue over others. The DNC "must remain neutral in both practice and perception," wrote Perez.

"If we change our guidelines at the request of one candidate who has made climate change their campaign's signature issue, how do we say no to the numerous other requests we've had?" Perez wrote. "How do we say no to other candidates in the race who may request debates focused on an issue they've made central to their own campaigns?"

However, as The Daily Beast's Gideon Resnick pointed out, the climate crisis isn't seen as a marginal issue to the party's base.

The progressive argument against Perez is that a debate around climate change does not amount to a simple "pet issue," but rather one that voters and candidates alike have prioritized as an all-encompassing threat impacting people's everyday lives.

Green groups sounded off on the DNC decision in a series of statements.

"The irony of Tom Perez and the Democratic National Committee rejecting a climate debate while holding the upcoming debate in Miami, a city already impacted by storms and sea level rise, is not lost on us," said 350 Action's North America director Tamara Toles O'Laughlin.

"The DNC is effectively denying the will of the people, when really they should've learned lessons from the 2016 election," added O'Laughlin. "All of us deserve to know how the next U.S. president plans to act on Day One to protect our health, safety, and democracy."

Time is running out, said CREDO Action campaign manager Brandy Doyle.

"We don't have time for this," said Doyle. "We can't wait another four years for the Democratic Party to start taking the climate crisis seriously."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Baby orangutan and mother orang utan seen walking in Jakarta, Indonesia. Aprison Photography / Moment / Getty Images

By Tara Lohan

To be a good wildlife photographer, you need an expertly trained eye. But good ears help, too.

Read More
Worker spraying toxic pesticides or insecticides on corn plantation. D-Keine / E+ / Getty Images

Poor people in developing countries are far more likely to suffer from exposure to pesticides classified as having high hazard to human health or the environment, according to new data that Unearthed analyzed.

Read More
Sponsored
Power to heat, to cool, to drive the world's industries. Renewables can supply it all. Jason Blackeye / Unsplash

By Paul Brown

Virtually all the world's demand for electricity to run transport and to heat and cool homes and offices, as well as to provide the power demanded by industry, could be met by renewable energy by mid-century.

Read More
Phthalates, a group of chemicals used to make plastics more flexible and harder to break, affect health in many ways. Tatyana Tomsickova Photography / Moment / Getty Images

By George Citroner

  • Exposure to phthalates was associated with autism traits in boys (but not girls) between ages 3 and 4 years, according to a new study.
  • However, the risk was diminished in women who took folic acid during their pregnancy.
  • This study is the first to find that folic acid supplements provide a protective effect from phthalates.

Exposure in the womb to a group of endocrine-disrupting chemicals called phthalates was associated with autism traits in boys (but not girls) between ages 3 and 4 years, according to a new study.

Read More
A coral and fish community at the Great Barrier Reef, northeast of Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia, on Aug. 28, 2018. Francois Gohier / VWPics / Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Researchers released a sobering study this week showing that all of the world's coral reefs may be lost to the climate crisis by 2100.

Read More