On September 20, 2019, there will be a Global Climate Strike. There are already 450 locations for the Strike within the United States and in 117 countries throughout the world. This promises to be a moment of unforgettable unity over the powerful issue of climate change. Most of the Democratic presidential candidates have already spoken in favor of legislation with respect to this matter. And yet – and yet – I have tried to find a direct statement that any of these candidates will join in the Strike. With only two weeks to go, I have yet to see one of them step up.
The most obvious supporter would be Bernie. Almost immediately after Gov. Jay Inslee withdrew from the Presidential race, Bernie outlined a radical plan for climate change – the most radical plan yet proposed, and at an overall cost of $16 trillion. But Biden only proposed $1.7 trillion and Warren $10 trillion.
Bernie was a big winner at the CNN climate change debate, and the Democratic Party as a whole came out well, although Biden, Harris and O’Rourke were very weak. (On the other hand, Yang and Booker did very well). And Inslee (although no longer in the race) was rated a winner. But apparently no one touted the Global Climate Strike.
All this is very surprising, and yet it could change in the twinkling of an eye. It’s been said that climate change is a central concern for Democratic voters, behind only healthcare as an issue. While there are certainly differences between Bernie and Warren, the two of them could make a huge publicity mark by (1) boosting the Global Climate Strike and (2) marching in the Boston rally together. If they did, I’m sure that Tulsi, Yang, Booker, Harris and O’Rourke would want to join them. They could show, once and for all, the differences between the Democrats and Trump..
In Australia, with 50 Strikes planned, there are business, universities, churches, and even a few banks supporting them. Unfortunately, we aren’t seeing such unity in the U.S. Still, although I’m not one inclined to bet, I’m almost certain that in the next two weeks both Bernie and Tulsi will come out in public support for the Strike. After all, the two of them can only benefit by supporting such a movement. The more difficult question is whether they will participate in one of the strikes and whether any of the other candidates will support the Strikes publically. I certainly hope that they will.