We need a presidential debate on the climate emergency so candidates can showcase their plans to stop the collapse of civilization as we know it.

It’s past time for the media and political establishment to treat the climate crisis like the emergency it really is.  The United Nations. says we have just 11 years to transform our society to stop climate change and preserve life on our planet as we now know it.

Tom Perez and the Democratic leadership say we shouldn’t have a climate debate because it’s just “a single issue.”  But tell that to my friend in Hawaii who recently abandoned his three-generational family home, a large lovely place that employed four people as a B&B. Its seaside location has become too dangerous due to rising ocean levels and more intense storms with higher waves from global warming. So, its increasing flooding has now caused four people to be both homeless and jobless.

Climate scientists warn us that the same scenario will soon unfold for many in Miami (which floods regularly, even on sunny days) and other low-lying American coastal cities, causing massive migrations based on so many people losing their homes and jobs.  And lest those of us inland feel safe and smug, keep in mind that the Tucson area will soon be hotter than current-day Phoenix if we do nothing.

2020 is our last chance to elect a president and members of Congress who will turn the tide on the climate crisis.  We need a climate debate so we can hear which candidates have the best plan to do so, and to protect our younger generations who will bear the brunt of our inaction long after we are gone.

If we don’t solve this one, then none of the other issues will matter anymore.

Renée Neumann, Green Valley

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