What's missing from the Democrats' climate conversation so far

It's not just about reducing emissions

Democratic candidates.

The audience at CNN's Democratic presidential town hall on climate change last month was filled with survivors of America's recent disasters. There was the mother of a girl who died in Superstorm Sandy, a woman whose home burned down in the Sonoma wildfires, and a woman from the Isle de Jean Charles Band of Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw, a community known as America's first "climate refugees." The CNN anchors stood in front of a banner reading "Climate Crisis" which was flanked on either side by video footage of a brushfire in California and Hurricane Dorian bearing down on the Carolinas. Candidates referenced disasters in passing and told elaborate stories of the disaster-stricken communities they have visited.

Yet, despite the everlasting presence of disaster, little in the way of substantive emergency management policy was offered. Instead, the vast majority of the discussion at the event centered around how to mitigate climate change itself — electric cars, carbon taxes, vegetarianism, lightbulbs, and plastic straws.

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