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Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will host a town hall focused on the climate and bold progressive proposals aimed at reigning in the climate crisis. (Photo: Sally Prevost/flickr/cc)

With Corporate Media Abdicating Duty to Cover Climate Crisis, Sanders to Host Town Hall on Bold Green Initiatives

"This is an issue of huge consequence and you would think that ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox would be talking about this every day, having the debate, 'What do we do? Where do we go?'"

Julia Conley

Continuing his promotion of issues and solutions that are too often ignored by corporate media outlets, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is turning once again to the internet and social media to air a town hall dedicated to the climate crisis and renewable energy.

On Monday, December 3, Sanders will host a town hall featuring climate scientists and young climate action advocates to discuss progressive proposals that would help to curb the human-driven warming of the globe that's been blamed for helping fuel the wildfires currently engulfing parts of California, increasingly destructive hurricanes, and rising sea levels.

"We need millions of people all over this country to stand up and demand fundamental changes in our energy policy in order to protect our kids and our grandchildren and the planet," Sanders told the Huffington Post.

Like his previous town halls on Medicare for All and income inequality, the senator's special program on the climate crisis has been made necessary by the dearth of coverage the country's most-watched news networks give the issue on a daily basis—even as the world's top climate experts have confirmed what is already obvious to anyone paying attention to the changes in the climate in recent years: that humans are already experiencing major effects of the climate crisis and that fossil fuel emissions must be sharply reduced immediately to save the planet.

As Common Dreams has reported, only seven percent of cable news reports discussed the climate crisis when reporting on record high temperatures in the first half of 2018, and only 10 out of 50 major newspapers reported on climate change at all in that time.

"This is an issue of huge consequence and you would think that ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox would be talking about this every day, having the debate, 'What do we do? Where do we go?'" Sanders told the Huffington Post. "Clearly you aren't seeing that debate."

RoseAnn DeMoro, former executive director of National Nurses United, expressed approval of Sanders' commitment to telling Americans the truth about the climate crisis.

The town hall will be shown on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube starting at 7:00pm EST on the 3rd. Speakers will include Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, one of the young people who filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government arguing that officials have actively endangered Americans by ignoring the climate crisis; co-founder Bill McKibben; and actress and activist Shailene Woodley.

The town hall comes as popular progressives including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib, who will represent districts in New York and Michigan when the new congressional term begins in January, have called on Democratic leaders to embrace a Green New Deal.

The proposal would pour money into green infrastructure, giving millions of Americans jobs as it remakes the U.S. energy sector as one that makes use of renewable sources like solar and wind power instead of depleting the ozone layer oil and gas extraction.

While only 38 percent of American voters rank the climate as one of their top concerns according to a Yale University survey, that same poll suggested that Democratic voters are likely craving news coverage and a political conversation that gives serious consideration to the issue and proposals like the Green New Deal and other proposals backed by Sanders, like one that would shift the United States to 100 percent clean energy by 2050.

Democrats ranked the environment and the climate among the most important political issues that drive them to the polls, behind healthcare and gun legislation.

"The fact that [climate change] is that high among the base of one of our two major political parties is remarkable, because that was not the case even five years ago," Anthony Leiserowitz, a senior research scientist at Yale, told the Huffington Post.

Sanders' previous town halls gathered large audiences, with 1.6 million watching his discussion of Medicare for All and 1.7 million tuning in for his program on income inequality.  

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