The Democratic Party Just Got Hit With Hundreds of Thousands of Demands for a Climate Debate

“We’re not settling for soundbites.”

MaryFrances Vorbach/Greenpeace

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Activists gathered Wednesday at the steps of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington, DC, to demand a climate change debate for the 23 contenders in the 2020 Democratic primary.

As Mother Jones reporter Rebecca Leber wrote Tuesday:

The pressure for a debate on climate change is only escalating since the Democratic National Committee rejected a call to devote one of its dozen debates to a subject that’s grown in urgency and salience among the Democratic base.

At Wednesday’s rally, organizers delivered more than 200,000 petition signatures, collected by groups like Greenpeace, US Youth Climate Strike, Sunrise Movement, 350 Action, and Women’s March National, asking the DNC to organize a climate debate.

One of the activists, Karla Stephan of US Youth Climate Strike, told Mother Jones that even if the DNC doesn’t agree to hold a debate centered on climate change, she wants the candidates to at least to agree to one so they can still hold the debate. If candidates engage in debates not sanctioned by the DNC, they risk being barred from the main stage.

Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic frontrunner, reportedly expressed his support for a climate change debate Tuesday in a video that Greenpeace recorded in Iowa. Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA, said that they will “continue pressing every candidate to support a climate debate,” adding that the debate “has to do with economic justice, racial justice, generational justice.”

“All of these groups have power on their own, but together we are unstoppable.” Stephan said, “We’re not settling for soundbites.”

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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