By Dharna Noor
CNN’s seven-hour town hall was far from perfect, but it was the best climate conversation we’ve had yet—and it would never have happened without youth-led movements.
Ten Democratic presidential hopefuls took to the stage on Wednesday night for CNN’s back-to-back forums on the climate crisis. Each candidate fielded questions from moderators and the curated audience about their climate action plans, which range from bold (Bernie Sanders’ $16.3 trillion Green New Deal blueprint) to bizarre (Andrew Yang’s proposal to build giant mirrors to reflect the sun’s light back into space).
In this seven-hour event—seven hours!—the candidates laid out their proposals to take on the greatest existential threat, competing for voters’ approval. But the real winners of the town hall weren’t the candidates—they were climate movements.
For months, the youth-led environmental organization the Sunrise Movement, who forced their way into the public eye last Fall when they staged a protest in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office demanding she support the creation of a Green New Deal, have been pressuring the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to hold a debate focused entirely…