Climate politics moves up the Democrats’ priority list

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It’s kind of a cliché — albeit an accurate one — that climate is rarely the tip of Democrats’ political spear. Pew Research Center polls consistently show it’s far from the public’s top priority.

But, but, but: As dire scientific warnings pile up and California smolders from frequent wildfires, global warming’s political profile is atypically high among Democrats on two fronts.

1. Congress: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the progressive congresswoman-elect from New York City, and activist backers have been vigorously pushing for incoming House Democrats to craft a sweeping bill that’s ready for launch in 2020.

Her proposed “Green New Deal” includes a transition to 100% renewable power.At the same, activists led by the emerging Sunrise Movement are trying to prevent Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin from becoming the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s energy committee, as they consider the West Virginian to be too pro-fossil fuels.

2. Early 2020 election moves: Last night, Sen. Bernie Sanders made climate change the focus of a “town hall” forum on Capitol Hill (with Ocasio-Cortez among the speakers).

This seems worth noting, via HuffPost: “Sanders seems bent on making climate change the central issue of a second White House run as his advisers openly speculate about when, not if, he declares