From Joe Biden’s Bloody Eye To Beto O’Rourke’s Plea For Puerto Rico, Here’s What Happened At The CNN Climate Change Town Hall
Last night, the top ten ranking Democratic presidential candidates participated in a seven-hour marathon discussing the impacts of climate change. The candidates were each given 40 minutes to discuss their plans for combatting the ever-growing threat of climate change and fielded questions from audience members. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from the event.
Julián Castro framed the fight to combat climate change as a fight for civil rights.
“We know that this climate crisis is going to affect all Americans and all the folks around the world, but, as I mentioned a little bit earlier, we also know that it’s going to hit some people particularly hard,” Castro said when asked about racial environmental injustice. “After I announced my campaign, the first visit that I made was not to Iowa or New Hampshire. It was to San Juan, Puerto Rico to tell the people of the island there that we were with them and that we would make sure that they could recover from Hurricane Maria.”
Castro continued to reference an older man he met in Puerto Rico who was still trying to rebuild and fix his home that had been devastated by the hurricane two years ago. He then used the moment to talk about the overall environmental injustices plaguing poor communities, like Flint, Michigan.
“I know that too oftentimes, it’s people who are poor, communities of color, who take the brunt of storms that are getting more frequent and more powerful.,” Castro said. “So my plan actually calls for new civil rights legislation to address environmental injustice, including to make sure that there is a private right of action to file lawsuits against polluters.”
Beto O’Rourke was asked directly about the treatment of Puerto Rico.
“It makes me angry as well,” O’Rourke said about the response to Hurricane Maria. “I hope it makes everybody angry, the way we’ve treated the people of Puerto Rico, our fellow Americans, who were left in harms way without the necessary investment in infrastructure to mitigate the storms that we knew were going to hit them that are only more severe, more frequent, more devastating thanks to our excesses, our emissions, our inaction in the face of climate change.”
O’Rourke continued by calling out President Trump and his decision to move funds from FEMA and diverting them to the U.S.-Mexico border to detain more children.
Cory Booker pledged to create an administration where every agency works within the confines of fighting climate change.
“Climate is not a separate issue,” Booker told the audience. “It is the issue, the lens through which we must do everything that we do. It is an everyday mission. That means every one of my departments, every one of my agencies, every one of my cabinet members from the Secretary of Defense to the Secretary of Agriculture, has to be coming up with an aggressive climate change plan.”
Bernie Sanders is calling for a global effort to mitigate the devastating impact of climate change.
“I think we need a president, hopefully Bernie Sanders, that reaches out to the world, to Russia and China and India, Pakistan, all the countries of the world and say guess what? Whether you like it or not we are all in this together,” Sanders told the crowd. “If you are concerned about the children in your country and future generations, we’re gonna have to work together.
The Vermont senator went further and called out the money spent on arming countries and called for that money to be used to save the environment before it is too late.
Elizabeth Warren is tying the greed of corporations and their devastating impact on the environment to Washington.
“How is it, in a democracy, that we have a handful of corporations, that year after year keep dragging in bigger and bigger profits are the oceans keep rising, while your home disappears, while your children have asthma, while people die? That’s not right,” Warren said. “And the reason it is happening is Washington. Washington could have put a stop to this decades ago but they didn’t. Washington is corrupt.”
And, of course, people are pretty concerned that Joe Biden had one eye turn bloody during his time on that stage.
When asked about China’s CO2 emissions, Biden appeared to have had a blood vessel burst in his eye. He spoke about how China is one country that needs to make real changes to make sure they adhere to the Paris Climate Agreement that they had signed onto. In response, Biden called on sanctions to be levied against China if they continue to export coal technology.
Who was your favorite during the Climate Change Town Hall?