Sounding more and more like a presidential candidate every day, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for a “war against climate change” on Monday.
Sanders was speaking with the Intercept’s Naomi Klein prior to his town hall on climate change Monday evening, which featured Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), 350.org founder Bill McKibben, and CNN host Van Jones, among many others.
The Vermont senator was an unexpected grassroots superstar in the 2016 campaign for the Democratic nomination. While the 77-year-old has not officially made a decision to run in 2020, HuffingtonPost reported Monday that he “is laying the groundwork to launch a bigger presidential campaign than his first.”
Sanders slammed Donald Trump in the Klein interview as “a president who is a pathological liar and thinks climate change is a hoax.”
Klein, author of the 2014 New York Times Bestseller, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate, asked Sanders why he decided to do a televised town hall on climate change.
“We have found that on some of the most important issues facing this country and the world, corporate media generally speaking is not there,” he said. “So what we have done working with progressive media outlets… is come together to produce town meetings.”
He added, “What we are saying is you can get around corporate media, you can talk about real issues and you know what, the American people are prepared to deal with it.”
Sanders opened the town hall by explaining, “Tonight we are dealing with what the scientific community tells us is the great crisis facing our planet and facing humanity. That is climate change.”
You can watch the whole thing below.
Ocasio-Cortez, who has been advocating for a “Green New Deal,” was one of the most passionate speakers at the event.
“This is going to be the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil rights movement of our generation,” she said. “That is the scale of the ambition that this movement is going to require.”
Sanders told Klein the issue was paramount to him. “We need to come forward with a progressive agenda–and climate change is at the top.”
He added, “You know why I am in this fight, because I have seven beautiful grandchildren. If we do not get our act together, I worry about the future we are leaving these beautiful children.”
Sanders sounds very much like a man who understands that climate change is a winning political issue that can take take a candidate all the way to the White House in 2020.