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Record high temperatures as candidates and media descend on Miami for the first Democratic debate

4 min read

Miami’s hot today. Hotter than the Devil’s balls even hotter than a Lanbi Pike Nan Ji Sitwon in a sweltering Little Haiti cafe.

Of course, Miami is either pleasantly warm or hot-year round. We haven't really had a cold winter in many years (though unusual – we can get snowfall). Summer is brutal in Miami, it is the season of the infamous Miami heat.

But, we should not be this hot in June. Oppressive, smothering heat usually arrives in August and stays through September and October. Those are the days when residents stay inside when the Cape Verde season starts when powerful hurricanes spin off the coasts along with higher sea levels and storm surge could wipe the city off the map. 

The city is a tourist and investor magnet, a massive fun in the sun metropolis with an international resort vibe. Local governments in Southeast Florida recognize the clear and present danger that a heating planet will have on us. Miami-Dade, Palm Beach, Broward and Monroe counties all joined the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. The Compact works in mitigating the causes and adapting to the consequences of climate change.

The GOP has the state of Florida in a vice-like grip with the help of benefactors such as the NRA, Big Sugar, Investment Bankers, and the private prison industry. Addressing climate change is anything but a priority for these people. Rick Scott even banned the words “climate change” and if you need a chuckle, just listen to his fool of a Disaster Management manager being mocked by legislators of both parties.

And Donald Trump? Fuck him.

Miami is not the only city breaking heat records. Honolulu, Paris, Madrid, and Anchorage, along with most of the planet, are baking.  

Which brings me back to Miami, because beginning tomorrow, the Democratic presidential candidates and the media descend on the city for the first Democratic primary debate. 

Vox noted:

Now climate change is a high priority for Democratic voters and elected officials. Some of the strongest activist energy in this election cycle is targeted at limiting greenhouse gases through proposals like the Green New Deal.

“A lot has changed over the past few years as climate change has increasingly become a voting issue,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) told Vox in an email. “The DNC is deservedly feeling pressure to do a far better job on climate than in the last primary debates.”

So a presidential climate change debate would be a strong step toward correcting this imbalance in attention. Former New York Times environmental reporter Justin Gillis argued that such an event would not just be a messaging exercise but a useful way to test a candidate’s mettle for the job with a real-world crisis:

All the candidates want to curb fossil fuel emissions, but there is far from a consensus on how to do it. Should nuclear power be part of the solution? A tax on carbon emissions? Tougher regulations? The candidates disagree. Let’s hear what they have to say. If we do, we’ll also see which candidate, under competitive pressure, displays the rhetorical skills the party needs to make this a winning issue in a national election. If the DNC continues with this ludicrous position of stamping out climate discussion in the primaries, we’ll never find out.

Paul Rosenberg of Salon asks some pointed questions to the Democratic party on their refusal to have a climate change a climate debate. As Salon notes, voters, candidates, and activists all want a Democratic debate on climate. Why are Tom Perez and the DNC refusing? 

The Democratic Party is making two huge mistakes right now — and they’re related, both in terms of the muddled, backward-looking thinking and the cluelessness about how to communicate to the American people. Democratic leaders are still blocking impeachment in the House — based on a bevy of mistaken arguments rooted in a misremembered past — and blocking a debate on climate change in the 2020 presidential campaign. That too is based on a visionless miasma of misdirection that includes debate rules reformed to fight the last war, the continued influence of donations from the fossil fuel industry, and Democratic National Committee chair Tom Perez’s myopic claim that it’s “just not practical.”

“What's actually unrealistic,” the Sunrise Movement tweeted in response, is “the Democratic establishment saying we'll stop climate change when they aren't even willing to have a debate on it.”

Together with the global Climate Strike movement, the Sunrise Movement, organizing via the #ChangeTheDebate hashtag, represents a generational shift in consciousness about the global climate crisis, which has been called “this generation’s Vietnam War.” In this light, the DNC’s disconnect from younger voters, whose support is so crucial and who represent the future, is blatant evidence of political malpractice.

“Once you have one single-issue debate, then every debate needs to become a single issue debate in order to address the concerns,” Perez said, in his effort to save face. But climate change isn’t a single self-contained issue, activists responded. “Climate is not an 'issue' — it's the backdrop for all other issues,” author and activist Naomi Klein tweeted. “It's the fabric of life on Earth and it is unraveling.”

Well done video. Bravo.

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