This story was originally published by Slate and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
As much as I try to forget it, one of the enduring moments of the 2016 election was Hillary Clinton, in her speech accepting the Democratic nomination for president, deploying “I believe in science” as a laugh line. It was supposed to be humorous because the thought of a president who had said climate change was a Chinese hoax still felt ludicrous. Three years and so many terrible environmental decisions later, it feels a lot less funny. This election cycle, though, Democratic candidates have advanced from where Clinton was in 2016. They’re finally speaking cogently, compellingly, and gravely about the threat we face and the urgency with which we ought to act.
One of the more surprising themes of the past few years has been the mainstreaming of worry over climate change, thanks to the work of scientists, activists, journalists, and, due to our new normal of floods and fires, lived experience. It’s increasingly considered an urgent issue among the Democratic base: Data for Progress ranks climate change as the second most important priority, topped only by b... Read more