Climate crisis town hall with the 2020 Democratic candidates: Live updates

Pete Buttigieg is the mayor of a liberal city in the middle of a conservative state. On Wednesday, he said that to connect with Republicans in places like Indiana on climate issues, Democrats would be wise to use the frame of faith.

“Let’s talk in language that is understood across the heartland, about faith,” the South Bend, Indiana, mayor said. “You know, if you believe that God is watching as poison is being belched into the air of creation, and people are being harmed by it, countries are at risk in low lying areas. What do you suppose God thinks of that?

Buttigieg’s guess: That “it’s messed up.”

“You don’t have to be religious to see the moral dimensions of this because, frankly, every religious and nonreligious moral tradition tells us that we have some responsibility to stewardship, some responsibility for taking care of what’s around us not to mention taking care of our neighbor,” he said.

By taking that route, Buttigieg argued, the stakes both become more clear and increasingly real — to everyone.

“Eventually, it gets to the point where this is less and less about the planet as an abstract thing,” he said, “and more and more about specific people suffering specific harm because of what we’re doing right now.”

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