Election 2020 Open Thread: No Separate Climate-Change Debate, Per DNC

And I, for one, approve that decision…

Combating climate change is vital, so cordoning it off as a ‘special interest’ — especially considering that every single Democratic candidate has already spoken in favor of reversing the current administration’s malign negligance — is not a practical strategy…

Much as I hate to agree with Yglesias, he’s not wrong here:

This is probably as close to ‘shade’ as Tom Perez can get:

152 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    “I thought a lesson from 2016 was, you don’t change the rules when a candidate asks you to,” Perez said. “The president is the multitasker-in-chief.” (1/2)

    What rule in 2016 did we change? Perhaps the unwritten rule that the Democratic primary should be limited to Democrats?

  2. 2
    different-church-lady says:

    Look, these hills aren’t going to die on themselves.

  3. 3
    Yarrow says:

    I’m not for single issue debates during the primaries. Seems dumb. I want to learn how the candidates respond on lots of issues.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    The only reason this is not a nothingburger is because there are too many people who like to find “moral” excuses for not helping us defeat fascism.

  5. 5
    germy says:

    This decision is as baffling as it is alarming. Our planet is burning— the least we can do as a party is debate what to do about it. https://t.co/A7uvwTJSku— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 24, 2019

  6. 6
    Baud says:


    He lost a few points in my book.

  7. 7
    germy says:

    Climate change is an existential crisis that threatens all of us—and we need to take bold action now to stop it before it's too late. That's why we need to have a #ClimateDebate.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) August 24, 2019

  8. 8
    Baud says:


    A little better. She didn’t try to portray a mundane decision as alarming or baffling.

  9. 9
    Chyron HR says:


    The rainforest is on fire! We need more people standing around talking about the problem and we need it several weeks from now!!

  10. 10
    germy says:

    The #ClimateDebate was never about me or my campaign. It was always about solving this existential threat.
    I’m out of the race, but I feel stronger than ever — we must have a #ClimateDebate.— Jay Inslee (@JayInslee) August 23, 2019

  11. 11
    germy says:

    Today @TheDemocrats have another opportunity to support a #ClimateDebate. No other issue threatens human civilization’s future while simultaneously affecting every other issue we must solve. Voters deserve to know candidates’ plans for action & a more sustainable future.— Al Gore (@algore) August 24, 2019

  12. 12
    Brachiator says:


    I’m not for single issue debates during the primaries. Seems dumb. I want to learn how the candidates respond on lots of issues

    Yep. Good point.

  13. 13
    Chyron HR says:

    I understand that the “Climate Change Debate” is a flagrant attempt to put the Democratic candidates in a situation where they might produce sound bites that Bernie can take out of context to smear them as “pro-global warming”, but what I don’t get is why the Sunshine Justice Revolution expects Democrats to just go along with their cunning plan without even bothering to come up with a convincing argument for it.

  14. 14
    Brachiator says:


    Today @TheDemocrats have another opportunity to support a #ClimateDebate. No other issue threatens human civilization’s future while simultaneously affecting every other issue we must solve. Voters deserve to know candidates’ plans for action & a more sustainable future.— Al Gore (@algore)

    Sadly, I don’t think that most voters care. The problem still seems abstract, and many proposed “solutions” are unpalatable.

  15. 15
    germy says:

    @Brachiator: Abstract? Even with all the “five hundred year floods” we’ve been getting every year? The fires in CA? And I don’t see transitioning from fossil fuels as unpalatable.

  16. 16
    Anne Laurie says:

    @germy: OF COURSE every sane Democratic candidate is gonna tweet a very public Statement of Principled Alarm now. Perez (the DNC) is the bad cop to their totally-woke good cop; like the Sunrise Movement ‘activists’, it’s all political kabuki.

    Spoiler: Playing the bad cop is one reason we have a DNC… and an RNC, too.

  17. 17
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: Meh. That’s just dumb. There isn’t really a “debate” about what to do about it, at least in broad strokes. Getting into specifics on one issue in the primaries can do more harm than good.

  18. 18
    germy says:

    @Chyron HR:

    I understand that the “Climate Change Debate” is a flagrant attempt to put the Democratic candidates in a situation where they might produce sound bites that Bernie can take out of context to smear them as “pro-global warming”,

    Even Elizabeth Warren and Al Gore are in on the plot!

  19. 19
    Baud says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    it’s all political kabuki.

    Agreed. A candidate who acts reasonable has a chance to earn some points with me.

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    @Anne Laurie: Agreed.

    @Baud: Me too.

  21. 21
    germy says:

    Last days of Krypton and at this point Jor-El is having a discussion with his wife about launching their infant son into space.

  22. 22
    Baud says:


    launching their infant son into space.

    Who leaked my climate change plan?

  23. 23
    Yarrow says:

    Young people have the most on the line with climate change because they’re going to be dealing with the worst effects from it far more than older folks who will mostly be dead in 50 years. If the people who are going to have to deal with the worst of it come out to vote then we can move forward on doing something about it. If they don’t then we won’t. It’s pretty simple.

    Whining about a debate and having or not having a debate isn’t going to make a difference. Show up to vote, young people. Make change happen.

  24. 24
    germy says:

    @Baud: Wrap him in a blue and red blanket with the B insignia. He’ll be a hero and inspiration wherever he lands.

  25. 25
    tobie says:

    @Chyron HR: A climate debate wouldn’t have to be in Sep or Oct. I don’t believe a debate is scheduled for Nov. The scale of the changes we’ll need to address climate change makes switching to single payer seem like child’s play in comparison. If a two hour debate doesn’t work, we can try other formats. Having each candidate discuss her or his climate initiative with a journalist with suitable expertise would also work. But I do think this is a discussion we need to have. Climate change is not an issue like any other.

  26. 26
    Baud says:


    Official debates draw the most audience, so that’s why they want to leverage the debate to highlight climate issues. But it’s simply impossible for the Dems to not give equal time to every other important issue our voters care about. That’s the nub of it.

  27. 27
    Anne Laurie says:

    @germy: Or: Fourteen-year-old tells her kewl friends, Of *course* I wanna come to your sleep-over beer pong party, but my mean parent won’t let me!

  28. 28
    Wapiti says:

    Why can’t the candidates discuss this outside of a televised debate? Debates are a really crappy way to get real answers and solutions. Why don’t they do it as a summit of sorts, with a reasonable amount of staff-prepared, candidate-delivered positions, and resulting in some consensus built planks for the party to work with?

  29. 29
    Chyron HR says:


    Now that there’s no risk of it actually happening? Of course Warren can claim she really, really wanted to do it.

    (Also, I note that you still didn’t attempt to present a convincing justification for why it needs to happen.)

  30. 30
    germy says:


    Show up to vote, young people.

    Nothing inspires young people to vote like Good Cop/Bad Cop games by Democrats. Works every time.

  31. 31
    tobie says:

    @Baud: I’m open to other formats. Town halls, in depth interviews or round tables on climate change would likely be more substantive. But I do believe that climate change affects everything from public health to immigration to labor policy to foreign policy to science initiatives and so forth and that it’s high time we prioritize this discussion in one format or another.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    germy says:

    @Chyron HR: I’d like to see candidates discuss their differences on the subject. I’d like to see the candidates (those with more ambitious plans and those with more conservative plans) defend their reasons. Nothing wrong with healthy debate.

  34. 34
    smintheus says:

    How many presidential elections have come and gone without a single question about climate change being posed at even one of the presidential debates? And now the subject is supposed to be too important to devote a primary debate to? The smell of bullshit right now is stronger than when all the neighboring farms are manuring at the same time in spring.

  35. 35
    Baud says:


    There are already other formats scheduled to take about climate.

    And no matter what you think about climate, you’ll never get enough Dems not to feel slighted if their issue doesn’t get the same respect.

  36. 36
    Chetan Murthy says:

    Nobody seems to have mentioned or discussed the obvious downside of a debate: lots of clips for GrOPer oppo teams to harvest. Maybe the answer is “they’ll find something, they always do”, but OTOH, if Kevin Drum is right, and most Americans are not yet ready to change their lives, then any candidate who actually wants to address AGW is painting a target on their chest (metaphorically, politically, not literally) by being explicit about their plans.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    James E Powell says:

    Bottom line is that proposals to deal with climate change are not going to beat Trump.

  39. 39
    TS (the original) says:

    Every democratic party candidate has concerns and/or actions related to climate change. The time to debate the issue is when a democrat & a GOPer are on the debate stage. Watch the pundits, the russians and the GOP shut up about it when that stage is reached.

  40. 40
    Miss Bianca says:

    OK, can I just do a long rant, here? it is relevant, I promise. I am ready to set fire to the entire slate of Colorado Democratic Party officers, I swear to dog. I need to get talked down.

    So, apparently the DSCC (that would be the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee) has come out in favor of ex-governor Hickenlooper. Well, this got certain Colorado Democratic Party officials into a twist, and had one of them declaring that we needed to send a fiery letter to the DSCC castigating them for plumping for someone as white, male and heterosexual as Hickenlooper and just trashing him by way of saying, “you shouldn’t be declaring for any candidate right now.” Which is a fine, fair point, but I just COULDN’T with people piling onto “seconding the statement”, to the point where our state chairwoman basically had to say, “I’ll draft a statement and anyone who wants to can sign onto it.”

    So I lost it and sent this screed in reply:

    Gee, I must be a BAD DEMOCRAT, because I only care about winning the election with whatever candidate wins the primary. And I don’t give a damn who that candidate is, frankly. Because a stuffed marmot will be a better representative for the state of Colorado than Cory Gardner. And so will ANY Democrat.

    You like a different candidate? Fine. Campaign for that person. Make your case. Put your energy into that. And, sure – if you want to tell the national organizations that “hey, we’re excited about ALL our candidates right now, and we wish you would hold off on any endorsement till 2020,” then great. Find a way to say that, please, without TRASHING ANOTHER DEMOCRAT, whatever you think of his/her/their politics, accomplishments in office, race, sex, orientation, or ethnicity.

    I live every damn day with a bunch of rabid right-wingers looking to overturn every norm of government on the local level the way the Republicans are doing it on the national level. I , and the Democrats who dare to actually represent themselves as such in our county, are fighting just to find a way to make our voices heard about “2nd Amendment Sanctuary Counties” and “Recalling Jared Polis is a stupid waste of money, energy, and represents a flouting of the majority of voters’ will” without painting a large and literal target on our backs.

    I have zero time, patience, and energy for intraparty warfare.

    We all are the face of the Democratic Party in this state. I for one have decided that I am going to set an example of esprit de corps. Practice making my point about Candidates X and Y *without* ginning up outrage, bad faith attacks, and unnecessary rancor. Oh, or attacking A tall order for me, as I have strong opinions and a big mouth, but one I pledge to undertake as an exercise in self-discipline, if for no other reason, because EVEN IN MY TINY BLOOD-RED COUNTY, we all disagree about what the ideal candidate should look like, act like, and sound like. And I risk alienating people by saying, “oh, Candidate H? Sorry, he’s too white/male/hetero for me.”

    The absolute ONLY thing I admire about Republicans is their unwavering devotion to doing whatever is necessary to gain power. They can’t govern worth a damn, because they don’t care about that, but they are masterly at getting into power. Part of that strategy is rallying behind *their* candidates, and convincing the public that the enemy is Democrats.

    Sadly, all too many Democrats appear to agree with them. We are pretty good at governance, because we actually care about it, but we are piss-poor at doing what it actually takes to get into power. Which is, pull together and focus on the real enemy.

    Maybe none of the rest of you has ever seriously studied the Weimar Republic, the Third Reich, and the rise of the Nazis. I have spent countless hours doing so. I am pretty far to the left of what would be considered normal liberal, by American standards. And I am haunted by the image of German Communists and Socialists at each other’s throats *in the concentration camps*, as they were waiting to be put to death by the Nazis they couldn’t be bothered to stick together to oppose.

    I refuse. I have absolutely NO intention of signing onto any message that rails against the DNC, the DSCC, the DCCC, the “Democratic establishment,” any Democratic candidate for office, or any other Democratic Party organization. Enough.

  41. 41
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: I have no idea what you’re talking about here.

    @Chetan Murthy: In the first discussion of this issue this morning (or was it last night?) the issue of providing oppo to Republicans was raised. It’s an obvious downside. Since this climate change debate issue is being pushed by the Sunrise Movement it’s already questionable to me. I don’t trust them. They’re like the Justice Dems. Ratfuckers.

  42. 42
    Lapassionara says:

    @Miss Bianca: Bravo!

  43. 43
    tobie says:

    @Baud: Yes, I’m aware of the climate forum and will be following it. Not all candidates are participating, which is unfortunate. Still think climate change is not one issue among others but I’m on my phone right now and not skillful enough at typing to elaborate.

  44. 44
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    The candidates who will impress me the most are the ones who clearly grasp, and describe, how climate change is linked to every other broad issue: economic inequality, national and global security, mass (im)migration, infrastructure, and on and on. It should be clear that none of these exists in a vacuum. I want a candidate who recognises the connections, can explain them to a lay audience, and has at least the outline of a plan to address them.

  45. 45
    Baud says:


    Still think climate change is not one issue among others but I’m on my phone right now and not skillful enough at typing to elaborate.

    You don’t have to explain. Your position is justifiable. But you can’t reason out of the slight that other groups would feel if their issue didn’t have its own night.

  46. 46
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca: That’s awesome. Need a cigarette after reading that and I don’t smoke. Someone should front page it here and it should be read aloud at the beginning every freaking Democratic committee meeting henceforth.

  47. 47
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Yarrow: I don’t think the Sunrise Movement are ratfvckers, but I do suspect they’re what the Stalinists called “useful idiots” — perfectly sincere & perfectly naive catspaws.

  48. 48
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Miss Bianca:


  49. 49
    germy says:


    I have no idea what you’re talking about here.

    See comment #16.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Nice rant!

  51. 51
    different-church-lady says:

    @germy: If 2016 didn’t convince you that close to “most voters” are dumb as rocks, then I don’t know what to say.

  52. 52
    Baud says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    if you want to tell the national organizations that “hey, we’re excited about ALL our candidates right now, and we wish you would hold off on any endorsement till 2020,” then great. 

    Fair. It wasn’t clear to me at first that they were going to go beyond that and trash Hink for his identity. Hopefully your email will cause a rethink.

  53. 53
    sukabi says:

    @germy: climate debate yes — as long as it’s moderated by folks that 1) know a bunch about climate science and 2) is NOT in the format put on by the network’s like they’ve done with the other candidate debates. Those are pretty much worthless.

  54. 54
    Yarrow says:

    @Anne Laurie: My impression is they are some of both. I don’t think they’re all that good at politics.

  55. 55
    germy says:

    @sukabi: I definitely agree. No Chuck Todds or Jake Tappers framing the debate with GOP talking points.

  56. 56
    Baud says:


    know a bunch about climate science

    The science really isn’t an issue for our side, however.

  57. 57
    Yarrow says:

    @germy: I understand AL’s comment. I don’t understand your use of it. Are you suggesting that somehow this back and forth on a climate change debate is going to influence people voting one way or the other? Or if they held a climate change debate that would be the magic bean that made young people vote? I don’t think it’s going to make a bit of difference either way–not this back and forth and not if they held the debate.

  58. 58
    gene108 says:

    WTF is there for Dems to fucking debate?!?!

    Sen. Warren: Sec. Castro, I think you take a too broad approach to cap-and-trade rules for carbon emissions. My plan would be more focused on the fossil fuel industry, with incentives for finance firms to invest in emission transportation.

    Moderator: Sec. Castro, I see you have your hand up to respond, but it’s now Sen. Gillibrand’s turn

    Sen. Gillibrand: Thank you, Moderator, my plan to battle climate change, along with cap-n-trade for carbon emissions, stricter emissions controls for fossil fuel burning industries – just like my colleagues promised – will also include tax incentives for energy efficient homes and offices, as well as penalties for violators not complying by ‘xxx’ date…

    Democrats don’t disagree on climate change/global warming

    What’s there to debate about? Carbon tax should be 1.65% or 2.23%?

  59. 59
    sukabi says:

    @Baud: maybe not, but you can bet network chosen moderators would skew ignorant and rely on gop talking points.

  60. 60

    Personally I think American civic culture should have lots more debates all the time, and they can be single-issue debates if people want to have them.

    The fact that two non-DNC organizations (CNN, some other network) are having a bunch of candidates around for climate discussions makes me happy. It’s the greatest threat to civilization as we know it, which I’m rather fond of, and I’d like to better understand the differences between the candidates’ ideal policies and, just as important, how effectively they communicate around their disruptive policies.

  61. 61
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Yarrow: I keep coming back to that one tweet that basically said, “the one candidate who made climate change his main issue got less than 2% in the polls. That’s bad news for the people. That’s bad news for the world. But that’s not the DNC’s fault.”

    And sure enough, right after I posted my rant, along comes someone who sends a picture of her grandchild to the list, burbling the message that only climate change matters now that she’s a grandma and she’s no longer ‘vote blue no matter who.’

    And that’s when I decided – before I popped a blood vessel replying, “hello, are you telling me you are an OFFICER IN A COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY and you would NOT ‘vote blue no matter who?'” –

    That I’d better take my rant to B-J, where everyone *knows* I’m not a fucking lady like my nymsake, and more or less accepts it at this point. ; )

  62. 62
    Yarrow says:


    WTF is there for Dems to fucking debate?!?!

    Exactly. At best it would be a debate about minutiae. Minor differences in policies. If people care about climate change they can vote for Democrats. That’s the bottom line. Every Democrat will be better than any Republican.

  63. 63
    gene108 says:

    @Miss Bianca:


  64. 64
    different-church-lady says:

    We don’t need climate change debate. We need climate change accord.

  65. 65
    Chris Johnson says:


    There is no POINT in having a debate

    We are FUCKED and we’re gonna die by inches (and then by millions) as climate goes bonkers, and it’s not because Dems weren’t prepared to figure stuff out.

    It’s because the Kochs didn’t die quick enough. It’s because Putin took over our government. It’s because fucking Republicans made extra money, alongside oil barons, from blowing enough smoke long enough that there was no recourse. We are FUCKED. Invest in technologies for protecting lucky homeowners from ten-thousand-year storms, fifty-thousand-year floods. Say goodbye to Florida, New Orleans, fucking big chunks of India… it is too late.

    This is not a DEBATE. Whining about whether Tom Perez allowed a ‘debate’ is like playing kazoos with your own flatulence on the deck of the Titanic using kazoos made out of the lifeboats. It is becoming time to decide which millions of people are to be murdered when their whole nations become unfit for human habitation and they must flee or die. There is no ‘climate debate’.

  66. 66
    rikyrah says:

    Tell it 👏 👏

  67. 67
    rikyrah says:

    Democrats believe in climate change and science. We are not the ones who need to be questioned

  68. 68
    HRA says:

    @Major Major Major Major:
    I thought I read the candidates were not allowed to debate in any place that was not organized by the DNC,

  69. 69
    Yarrow says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    along comes someone who sends a picture of her grandchild to the list, burbling the message that only climate change matters now that she’s a grandma and she’s no longer ‘vote blue no matter who.’

    Christ. Who are these people? Since this is a climate change thread, making sure people know that every single Democrat will be better on climate change than any Republican would be should be a goal of the party. Republicans and their funders are the party of climate change denial and have been for decades. How is that not well known? That’s the real issue that should be highlighted and repeated over and over again.

  70. 70
    Baud says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    And sure enough, right after I posted my rant, along comes someone who sends a picture of her grandchild to the list, burbling the message that only climate change matters now that she’s a grandma and she’s no longer ‘vote blue no matter who.’

    “The climate crisis is urgent” is utterly inconsistent with “we can wait for a better Dem.”

  71. 71

    @HRA: the CNN one at least is a town hall, which plenty of candidates have had. Not sure what became of that rule.

  72. 72
    rikyrah says:

    @Miss Bianca:

  73. 73
    Baud says:


    I think that’s right. They can do other type of events though.

  74. 74
    m.j. says:

    The sad fact is without any ability or desire to learn and understand, science is boring for most people. Hell, it’s a lot of boring twaddle for most politicians. What we need are debates with car chases and explosions.

  75. 75
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Baud: Thank you. That’s a way more succinct and less confrontational way to make the same point as my: “Are you buggier than batshit?! What the hell are you smoking that makes you hallucinate that even old “Frackenlooper” won’t be a way, way better vote on environmental issues than Cory fucking Gardner?!”

  76. 76
    Jay says:

    Who supports a #ClimateDebate?

    🌎 20 of 23 Democratic presidential candidates

    🌎 Nearly 2/3rds of Democratic voters

    🌎 100+ DNC voting members

    Why won’t @DNC leadership listen? pic.twitter.com/jc0jDbsClf— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) August 23, 2019


  77. 77
    Baud says:


    Because the DNC is being responsible.

  78. 78
    Butter Emails says:

    The DNC made the smart play here. They play the bad guys by denying the request for a climate specific debate, as well as denying the Republican propagandists an orgy of clips about banning hamburgers, air travel and stealing the food from coal miners mouths. The candidates all get to issue statements about the importance of climate change and how they totally wanted to participate in this debate.

    Look. This is the solution to Climate change.

    Within the next 10 years, we need to move to or be every close to a 100% renewable electric grid and all transportation needs to be powered directly or indirectly be the electricity produced by that grid or an alternate carbon neutral source. In addition all industry, commerce and agriculture must also be carbon neutral or better.

  79. 79
    Anne Laurie says:


    We don’t need climate change debate. We need climate change accord.

    Quoted for truth!

  80. 80
    gene108 says:


    Since this is a climate change thread, making sure people know that every single Democrat will be better on climate change than any Republican would be should be a goal of the party.

    Democrats are better at everything, than Republicans, unless you think a more unequal, more repressive, and less diverse society is better.

    What I don’t get is why aren’t Democrats, with a media platform – could be a paid contributor to a cable news show, an MSNBC prime time host, newspaper columnist, etc. – point out (1) Republicans have only one economic strategy: Tax cuts for the rich, and (2) these have always failed deliver whatever Republicans promised.

    There’s 39 years of empirical evidence for this.

    Republicans pilloried the Obama Admin, because one of the economic team said the stimulus would cap unemployment at 8%.

    It’s like we just accept the fact Republicans will lie, and we just have to live with it.

  81. 81
    Jay says:

    Disclosures show a Brazilian official is working with a Trump-boosting lobbying firm to promote mining, agribusiness and other corporate opportunities in the Amazon https://t.co/WBLY49B2Ai by @lhfang— Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) August 23, 2019

  82. 82
    Anne Laurie says:


    “The climate crisis is urgent” is utterly inconsistent with “we can wait for a better Dem.”

    Granma is no longer debating politics; Granma is using cute baby pic as (wouldbe) winning card in her personal More Pure Than Thou contest.

    (As you know. But these people!… )

  83. 83
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jay: You know, “Sunrise Movement” can DIAF, far as I am concerned.

    For that matter, *any* fucking “liberal” or “leftist” organization that’s decided, along with the Republicans, the media, and Nature Herself, apparently, that “The REAL problem with American politics right now is that the Democrats are Democratin’ wrong!” – and not that the Republicans have gone full-on, full-bore, FASCISTS on all our asses and maybe THAT’s just one of many, MANY anchors round our necks as we battle our way forward to even GET to the point where we can *start* to address climate change – and that gosh, golly gee, maybe we should be SUPPORTING Democrats and engaging them on our pet issues instead of nattering on about what *isn’t even open to debate* among Democrats –


    That is all, thank you.

  84. 84
    Baud says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    See my comment at # 4. Grandma is heading down that road.

  85. 85
    Jay says:

    The Fraser River sockeye salmon run is just 13% of what was expected and warmer water is a major reason why. These generous fish hold entire First Nations cultures and complex ecosystems on their backs, in the ocean and in the forest. https://t.co/MDZdd0N0sb via @torontostar— Naomi Klein (@NaomiAKlein) August 24, 2019

  86. 86
    Fair Economist says:


    WTF is there for Dems to fucking debate?!?!

    Well, the point would be to make a big deal out of mild disagreements on details, which don’t matter anyway because Manchin, so the media could create some division among Democrats and run with their fave “Dems in Disarray!” line.

    The DNC is obviously being total sellouts by not going along /s

  87. 87
    HRA says:


    Thanks, Baud.

  88. 88
    Jay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Got it, “they are protesting wrong!!!!!!”

    When the Democratic Party takes back the Senate and the White House, because of all the paid for fearmongering, buying of politicians, and denialism by the surviving Kochsuckers, you are going to get the weakest climate change policies they can get away with.

    We got that in Canada with Trudeau.

    So, another decade will be wasted in inaction.

    We, in the comfortable West, will actually try to do something effective, when it’s far too late.

  89. 89
    Baud says:


    No one is above criticism. No one is entitled to unearned status.

  90. 90
    Starfish says:

    @Miss Bianca: As soon as Hickenlooper quit running for President, every out of state person was like “Hickenlooper will make a fine candidate” without knowing anything about him at all. We have 14 candidates running for an open seat, and there really is no reason for the DSCC to be in it. When it comes to fundraising, all four of the top candidates for that senate seat are white and male. I think one of them may be gay.

    Mike Johnston has raised $3.3 M
    Dan Baer has raised $1.3 M
    Andrew Romanoff has raised $1 M
    John Walsh has raised $770 K

    All other candidates have raised less than $200K. I love those other candidates, but it will probably be a white dude. I am a little disappointed because I gave money to a candidate who does not break that $200K threshold.

  91. 91
    debbie says:


    Is my memory deceiving me when I think I remember climate change being brought up at each of the debates? Is there a Democratic candidate who has not offered their position or plan on climate change?

  92. 92
    Betty Cracker says:

    Given the uniquely urgent nature and global scale of the climate crisis, I think the DNC could have made a strong case for hosting a debate focused on that topic alone. We’re always bitching about anemic youth turnout. I don’t think this will help.

  93. 93
    Jay says:

    @Fair Economist:

    Or, you know, they could debate about how taking effective action against climate change isn’t going to be anything like the Kochsuckers talking points circulated by your wingnut uncles facebook rants,

    And which Rethug climate stunt was the stupidest.

    Not so much as a debate, more like a round table, tackling rethug talking points and nameing and shameing them.

  94. 94
    debbie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Nice! Give ’em heck!

  95. 95

    @Jay: but they are protesting wrong, and are not the only democrats protesting about climate change.

    I want to know what the candidates would do about Chinese and Indian emissions.

    (Please spare me complaints that we “offshore our pollution” there, it’s easy to remove from the analysis and does not affect the horrific trend lines of those countries’ CO2 emissions)

  96. 96
    Starfish says:

    @Betty Cracker: Agreed. We are not going to turn out the youth running Joe Biden as the candidate and ignoring climate issues.

  97. 97
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Chris Johnson:

    playing kazoos with your own flatulence

    Jeez—is everyone ripping off Baud’s platform now?

  98. 98
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Jay: “Cram it, clownie,” as the little kid snarled when he kicked Bozo in the shins.

    *You* may happen to imagine that purity trolling masquerading as activism is going to accomplish jack or shit other than bad feeling, but I don’t. Speaking as one who actually has to, you know, VOTE in the goddamned US election and, as a Democratic Party officer, figure out the most inclusive possible ways to persuade EVERY persuadable voter to make it happen, in a tent that’s almost laughably big and unwieldy since the Republicans went from being “rational opposition” to “blood-gargling fascist racist sociopaths” – I am going to stick with saying, “I don’t appreciate leftier-than-thous pissing on and belittling current Democratic efforts.”

    Either you join the party of your political choice and CHANGE IT IN YOUR IMAGE or you don’t join the party, but then SHUT THE FUCK UP because the party you refuse to join isn’t listening to you.

  99. 99
    Jay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    It’s the biggest political issue for the Millenials, who will be the largest eligible voting block in 2020.

    While the majority of the Boomers are buying the fearmongering about “living standards” being circulated by the Kochsuckers,

    For the majority of the GenX and Millenials, the “Climate Change” plans are “too little, too late”.

    A Climate Change debate would have been a good platform to try to show that the Kochsuckers fearmongering is lies and make it clear that the Climate Change Plans are a start, not an end.

  100. 100
    different-church-lady says:

    Any chance of promoting Miss Bianca to front-page status?

  101. 101

    command+f “recapture” | “sequestration”

    0 results

    This is a critical component of a realistic climate policy that’s completely missing from most discussions of the topic, this thread included. Reducing future emissions is not enough, not least because we don’t control China and Africa’s industrial policies. I would like to hear the candidates asked about this.

  102. 102

    @Miss Bianca: It’s really important to spend an hour or two having candidates discuss whether using sea water or fresh water is best to put out the fire; Bernie says that only artesian spring water from Vermont will work. //

  103. 103
    J R in WV says:


    …older folks who will mostly be dead in 50 years. …

    If I make it 50 more years, I would be… hmm they told me there would be no math here… I would be 118, which I really hope doesn’t happen, unless remarkable advances are made in treating age related illnesses, of which I have several already.

    …Actually 118 seems low, is that really only 50 years away?

  104. 104
    Jay says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    You don’t have a clue about effective protesting.

    You don’t protest Moscow Mitch on Climate Change, because he doesn’t care and isn’t going to give you anything.

    You protest Democratic cantidates and Legislators, so that they give you “more”, not less.

  105. 105
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Is Joe Manchin better than Cory? Yes, but not much.

  106. 106
    Spanky says:

    Count me in as another vote for “WTF is there to debate about?” But it sounds like the DNC is getting a lot of pushback from the Sunrise Movement (?? Never heard of them), and I would presume others. Who among us has sent messages of support to the DNC to hold their ground? Dems are notorious for wavering, and the DNC flip-flopping on this would be a really bad precedent.

    The DNC website looks like the wrong place to register my opposition to climate change debates. Who has a better contact?

  107. 107


    You don’t have a clue about effective protesting.

    Comment noted, and source considered.

  108. 108
    different-church-lady says:


  109. 109
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Starfish: Well, for one thing…I think a lot of people *in* Colorado *also* look at Hickenlooper and think he’s the strongest candidate. We won’t know for sure till the ballots get counted.

    And as I said…I have no problem with saying to the DSCC that we have a lot of candidates right now and we want to see it play out before a lot of endorsements get made. That’s fine. What’s NOT fine is running down a candidate who has twice been elected mayor of Denver and twice been elected Governor – a hell of a lot stronger political resume, for good and for bad, than all of the other 14 *combined* – and saying, “He’s a white hetero guy and our candidate needs to be anything BUT that, and you suck for endorsing him!”

    However much I may agree that I want to see another kind of candidate, I don’t see how that kind of shit helps us.

  110. 110
    West of the Rockies says:


    Yup. I don’t want to hear any, “How would you reach out to your colleagues across the aisle who have very reasonable concerns about the economy…”

    F*!@ those idiots across the aisle. How about THEY reach out, hat in hand, saying, “Turns out I have been a moron about climate change…”?

  111. 111
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @A Ghost To Most: he would vote D for majority leader; that alone is order of magnitude better than any R.

  112. 112

    @Jay: I don’t “protest” my friends, I talk to them.

  113. 113

    @J R in WV: hmm, how do you feel about uploading your consciousness?

  114. 114
    J R in WV says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    … And I am haunted by the image of German Communists and Socialists at each other’s throats *in the concentration camps*, as they were waiting to be put to death by the Nazis they couldn’t be bothered to stick together to oppose.

    I refuse. I have absolutely NO intention of signing onto any message that rails against the DNC, the DSCC, the DCCC, the “Democratic establishment,” any Democratic candidate for office, or any other Democratic Party organization. Enough.

    Well said, Miss Bianca, Democratic person from the high country! Nothing like refusing to go along with the horror that is history!!!

  115. 115
    Steve in the ATL says:

    How many people has the Sunrise Movement put in office? None? Then they can STFU.

  116. 116

    @Miss Bianca: do you happen to know where I might find a handy rundown of all the candidates, or at least the leading ones? I want to give Loop an attaboy donation for stopping being an idiot, but also some other candidates too.

  117. 117
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    Hick is definitely the strongest D candidate, but he would be a weak voice for progress. He is ALL about getting along.

  118. 118
    J R in WV says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    How do I feel about uploading my consciousness?

    Well, depending upon the destination of the upload and previous success, not rejecting it out of hand. There would need to be sexual response and all that sort of nervous system goodness.

  119. 119
    Gvg says:

    @Jay: I doubt it. None of the debates so far have really been that rational or persuasive. I also don’t remember any debate in my lifetime that really moved people’s opinion. Mostly they are forums to show foot in mouth that become attack ads.
    The young people may care about this issue but they still aren’t reliable voters.

    I think some extensive documentaries and topic shows not involving actual candidates just teach, could help, if they went on and on for years and kept the public aware and clued in. Just bringing it up the year before an election does NOT work. Committed persuading could help. Debates are not a magic wand IMO.

  120. 120
    Jay says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Some aspects of trade and technology policies can be used to shape foreign climate change policies, ( eg. Stop buying Tar Sands product),

    But the biggest issue is already happening, Climate Change Refugees, internal and external, and there seems to be no policies around this issue.

  121. 121
    Miss Bianca says:

    @A Ghost To Most: WTF do you imagine I’m going to say to that? Shouldn’t it go without saying that I’m *not* saying, “yeah, we need more Democrats like Joe Manchin!”? Fine, apparently not, so here I’ll go:

    “Miss Bianca would like it to be noted that neither Joe Manchin nor John Hickenlooper would be the kind of Democrat she prefers. However, if that’s who WINS the Democratic primary and then BEATS the Republican for that badly-needed Senate seat, she’s ALL IN for them no matter how mad she gets at them for not being as progressive as she wants!”

    If YOU want to make the case that you’d rather Cory Gardner win than “the wrong Democrat”, you go ahead. I’ll only say that I’m not on your side on that one.

  122. 122
    Another Scott says:

    @Jay: Citation needed.

    More Boomer bashing. (sigh)

    Yale Program on Climate Change Communication:


    Will global warming be a voting issue priority for younger Americans in the 2020 Presidential election?

    In 2020, for the first time, the youngest generations (both Millennial and iGen – born in or after 1997) are projected to make up the largest proportion of registered voters. Whether they will actually vote and whether concern about the climate will be a priority for them remains unclear.

    In our April 2019 survey, we asked respondents how important 29 issues (including global warming) will be to their voting decisions in the 2020 Presidential election. We find that relatively similar proportions of registered voters across generations say global warming is “very important” to their voting decisions, but younger generations rank global warming higher in voting issue priority than do older generations.

    [ Global Warming will be very important to voting decisions in the 2020 election

    Millennials 40% Rank 9th
    Gen X 35% Rank 15th
    Boomers 38% Rank 18th
    Silent 41% Rank 23rd ]

    It appears that young Americans may be particularly likely to make climate change a voting issue and thereby help advance mitigation policy. Young Republicans in particular may be critical to bridging the political divide on climate change and building bipartisan support for reducing carbon emissions.

    As organizations, institutions, and policymakers aim to motivate younger generations to act on climate change, questions remain about how to best engage them. The Green New Deal, promoted by young politicians who care about youth engagement (e.g., Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez), and youth-led initiatives such as Our Children’s Trust and Zero Hour are examples of initiatives that have emphasized the importance of young voices in policy debates and have successfully engaged many young adults to take action. As more youth see others in their age group getting involved, more may be inspired to get involved too. And as more youth raise their voices and vote, they may realize just how much power they have to shape the future.

    Millennials aren’t that different from Boomers or any other generation when it comes to opinions about Climate Change. None of them rank it as the #1 problem.

    Stop demonizing groups based on their age.


  123. 123
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Steve in the ATL: Manchin provides an applicable model for predicted behavior.

    I like Hick, and voted for him twice (and would again). I just don’t want people thinking he is some sort of progressive.

  124. 124

    @J R in WV: that’s probably a big obstacle, the way your “you” isn’t just stored in the skull (assuming it’s possible at all).

  125. 125
  126. 126

    @Miss Bianca: I’m confused, why are people equating John “implemented strong emissions-reduction policies, supports a carbon tax, and believes in green infrastructure” Hickenlooper with Joe “shot the cap & trade bill with a rifle in a campaign ad” Manchin?

  127. 127
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @A Ghost To Most: that’s a point that has been made here lot, not sure about elsewhere. Is he what Coloradans want in a senator? I don’t know the political climate there, except that it’s much better than the one here.

  128. 128
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    You’ve had a burr in your saddle for me for awhile. I really don’t care what you say to me. I said what I said because I believe that a Colorado Senator should be a progressive, not just a reliable D vote. YMMV.

    Eta “reliable” as in “reliable as Manchin”

  129. 129
  130. 130
    brantl says:

    @Yarrow: Have one foe each issue, just the broad strokes.

  131. 131
  132. 132

    @Starfish: which is what made me think to ask, albeit not articulately, if anybody happened to have handy a description of their policies 🙃

  133. 133
    Miss Bianca says:

    @A Ghost To Most: I find a lot of your comments to be tiresomely contrarian, but I don’t normally engage with a lot of them. So I have no idea what the “burr (under?) my saddle” comment is supposed to mean. You’re just another another guy named Joe here, far as I’m concerned. You think a “progressive” should be representing Colorado? Fine. VOTE for a progressive in the primary. Campaign your heart out for progressive of your choice. But are you going to refuse to vote for whoever wins the primary if it’s not progressive candidate of your choice? I should hope not.

  134. 134
    Another Scott says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Personally, I don’t think that getting into the weeds too much about various technologies at debates will help much.

    Scaling-up carbon capture plants are still something in the future – none of the attempts to have industrial-scale capture have thus far worked. Plus, a recent Nature paper says direct carbon capture could take 1/4 of the world’s energy output in 2100. It’s a gigantic undertaking…

    I’m all for research, but we need to be doing thing while we’re working on CO2 conversion/capture.

    That said, the biggest problem isn’t technological, it’s political. People who control the valuable resources (oil, gas, coal) now don’t want to give up their wealth and power. People who rely on cheap energy (aluminum producers, airlines, industries that rely on just-in-time and have worldwide supply chains, etc.) don’t want to pay more. Developing countries don’t want to wait to make things better for their populations while new technologies are perfected, they want to use cheap internal combustion machines and coal/gas fired boilers that will massive improvements in their agricultural productivity, enable them to electrify their cities and towns, etc.

    I want our politicians to talk about ways they would get others to agree to head down a path for meaningful CO2 reductions given all those constraints. IPCC is great and the Accords are great, but we need to do more. It would be nice if industrial-scale CO2 capture could do the job so that we wouldn’t have to fight with the oil companies and with the Chinas and Indias of the world about them using cleaner technologies. But I don’t think it can – not in the near-term (10-20 years).

    We’ll see.

    tl;dr – I want the politicians to talk about the politics, how they’ll get the best people and work to ensure adequate resources for R&D over the long term, and how they will move the process forward.


  135. 135
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Because he’s an ex-oil and gas man, and didn’t ban fracking. That means he’s in the pocket of Big Fossil Fuel, and hence, no better than Joe Manchin.

    I think. I don’t speak Progressive well, as Pragmatism is my first language these days.

  136. 136

    @Another Scott: sure, it’s about 30-50% of a moon shot, but to be fair we did go to the moon. I would like to know if a candidate knows what is on the table, or if they’re one of the environmentalists who would prefer to spend years arguing about straws. Even the Green New Deal people aren’t discussing how to deal with other countries’ damage.

  137. 137
    Another Scott says:

    @A Ghost To Most: Wrong. Manchin is infinitely better than Gardner because he votes for Democratic Leadership. Houses of Congress are controlled by the leadership. If you don’t have the leadership, you have little or no hope in accomplishing anything productive.

    As long as the Republican Party is insane and a puppet of the plutocrats, one should always – always – vote for Team D even if the nominee is a Manchin.

    My $0.02.


  138. 138
    zhena gogolia says:


    ARRGGGHHHH why are these people so stupid?????

  139. 139
    Another Scott says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Presumably their Energy Secretary (or EPA Secretary, or some new Secretary) would handle that stuff. I would want a President who knows how to sort bs-ers from people who know what they’re talking about, and thus how to appoint good people. Not someone who spends time trying to figure out which sort of carbon capture/conversion technology has merit.

    Anyway, for all the noise on this topic, it’s clear that (like impeachment) the public doesn’t think this is the number one problem (above all others) yet. Leaders need to lead, but they do it most effectively by not getting too far in front of public opinion…

    We’ll see.


  140. 140
    piratedan says:

    my thoughts are as follows, as involved Democratic voters we all have an understanding that our candidate will do something to work with Congress (and perhaps the Senate depending upon who is running the show over there)… that’s not an issue. It’s like Gun Control, we all know that if a Dem is elected, a Dem will DO something. The thing is with Climate Change, it’s NOT just the US who is effected and while we’re a huge player in the global state of affairs, the US is not the ONLY player and after Trump has ceded the American initiative of being the country where others look to, the rest of the world may just be a tad reluctant to trust us again as we’ve managed to elect (with the help of Vlad’s minions) a known racist, idiot, asshole, cheating, lying piece of shit to the highest office in the land so that some of us “could own the libs” and others have been so turned off of the process that they spend more time voting for who wins on Dances With The Stars than they do on politics.

    I agree that we need to talk about Climate Change and Climate Change policy, I’m not sure that this time is now to get into the weeds about who will propose to do what and sow further potential divisions as people apply their purity litmus tests to what someone says or is construed to say (Courtesy of Faux News). Because that’s all those fuckers do, divide us to keep us from getting shit done while the rest of the country goes to shit because someone keeps being told that Black People and Brown People aren’t the same as White People and shouldn’t be treated as such.

  141. 141

    @Another Scott: I find candidates’ policies, and the way they talk about them, to be important. (Imagine I said that in a non-insulting-sounding way though! No insult meant). Personnel is policy, and the people are generally chosen based on the candidates’ existing preferences and biases.

    That said, for energy decisions, I imagine Biden, Harris, and Warren would have very similar teams.

    Even then, let’s take housing: Warren and Harris have verrrry different white papers on the topic, and I imagine would pick HUD folks to reflect that.

  142. 142
    karen marie says:

    @Baud: I am enraged every time I hear “Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate.” HE’S NOT A FUCKING DEMOCRAT.

    Now that I’ve had my three-minute interlude of politics, I’m going back to playing my fun but mindless game.

  143. 143
    karen marie says:

    @A Ghost To Most: You “progressives” have made that a foul and obscene word. I don’t think any two of you agree as to what it means.

  144. 144
    joel hanes says:

    As in 2016, Sanders will be effectively eliminated on the day after Super Tuesday.

    What he does then will determine his place in history.

  145. 145
    jl says:

    @karen marie: There is no specific criteria for a Democratic candidate to be a ‘Democrat’ by some definition or other, in order to run in the Democratic primaries or be the Democratic nominee.

    People complaining about this issue should ask themselves what they have done to try to get the rules changed since 2016. Had almost four years to pester the Democratic brass, state and national, about it.

    And for the record, I have very little use for Sanders this cycle, and am very eagerly supporting Warren, then Harris.

  146. 146
    Jay says:

    @Another Scott:

    Gallop polling wasn’t good enough?????

  147. 147
    J R in WV says:

    @joel hanes:

    What he does then will determine his place in history.

    Oh, honey! NO!

    Bernard Sanders place in history is already determined by his kompromat held by the Russian (formerly known as Soviet) intelligence agencies. But surely you knew that!

  148. 148
    Another Scott says:

    @Jay: I don’t see “living standards” in your Gallup cite in this thread. I don’t see “too little, too late”. I see a group “55 and older”, I don’t see a group labeled “Boomers”. (Boomers are generally the group born in the US from 1946 – 1964 (the youngest would be around 55, the oldest would be around 73. People older than the Boomers are the Silents, who are lumped together in the Gallup link.)

    And that article is based on polls were taken over three years, so it’s really hard to make any claims about what people believe right now based on it.

    Gallup’s 2010 and 2012 polling was bad, so they dropped election polling and decided to concentrate on issue polling. And Gallup’s issue polling has issues:

    Gallup says it will still conduct issue polling, but here’s the problem: Elections are one of the few ways to judge a pollster’s accuracy. And that accuracy is important: We use polls for all kinds of things beyond elections. How do Americans feel about the economy? Do elected leaders have the trust of the public? Is there support for striking a deal with Iran? By forgoing horse-race polls, Gallup has taken away a tool to judge its results publicly.



  149. 149
    pinacacci says:

    got DAMN, it really is jackals all the way down

  150. 150
    Don K says:


    Mmmm… well there’s the part where pretty much everyone in the country replaces gas water heaters and gas or oil furnaces with electric, and installs a quick-charging system in the garage. That would be unpalatable to lots of people, given we’re talking about spending ~$10K. This would make the transition to single-payer look like child’s play. Look, I get it, but I would gulp at the capital investment required, and most Americans would just say, “Fuck you! I ain’t gonna junk a perfectly good furnace/water heater.”

  151. 151
    J R in WV says:

    @Don K:

    Yeah, well, if they were able to take the whole amount off their taxes over, say 5 years, that might not hurt so bad. Same for the charging station for the plug in vehicle. Same for the solar panels…

    get the picture now?

  152. 152
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Way late to the party, as I so often am, but I think this is important, so WTF, here’s my take:

    0) Yes, there should be a climate debate. Three reasons:

    1) Raising the status of the issue. Like it or not, global warming is still treated in the news as a subcategory of ‘the environment’ which is in turn regarded as a lesser category of news. It needs to be broken out as an issue of vital importance all by itself, because that’s what it is.

    A climate debate wouldn’t accomplish that all by itself, but it’s about the biggest thing the Dems could have done right now to move that needle.

    2) While the Dem candidates all agree that global warming is an existential threat, AFAICT there are substantial differences in how they want to go about responding to it – keeping/killing the filibuster for one. So there’s stuff worth debating

    3) AFAIK, this would be the first major public discussion about global warming that, rather being a debate about whether it was happening, took the reality of global warming as a given. I rather think that would be important as well.

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