Here are a few takeaways from the first Democratic primary debate last night in Miami, which is baking under record heat for this time of year.
1. The wide lens: A number of Democrats wove the topic into broader economic and industrial policy messages. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who's jockeying with Sen. Bernie Sanders for second in recent polls behind Joe Biden, went there fast during a wide-ranging answer to the night's first question on her economic plans.
- She noted the economy is "doing great for giant oil companies that want to drill everywhere just not for the rest of us who are watching climate change bear down upon us."
- Later Warren, who has made climate-friendly tech central to her industrial policy, said the U.S. should lead in the "$23 trillion market coming for green products."
- Warren wasn't alone. "We need an industrial policy saying we're going to dominate building electric vehicles, there’s going to be 30 million made in the next 10 years," Tim Ryan said.
2. A glass half-empty: Climate also got its own round of specific questions at the 82-minute mark — a departure from its near-total absence in recent cycles.
3. A big deal: The most prominent mentions were the briefest. A lightning round at the end asked candidates to name the greatest geopolitical threat to the U.S.
- Warren and Beto O'Rourke said climate change; Sen. Cory Booker said nuclear proliferation and climate; Julian Castro said China and climate.
- Why it matters: If you wanted a simple sign that the topic has broken through in Democratic politics, that was it.
- The intrigue: One notable thing didn't come up. Politico's Gavin Bade points out that nobody name-checked the Green New Deal.
4. Jay Inslee goes broader: The Washington State governor used some early sections to show that his candidacy, while climate-focused, isn't climate-exclusive.
- He passed up chance to bring back his answers back to climate change when commenting on immigration and reproductive rights.
- And unlike several others, he did not list climate change in response to the geopolitical threat question, instead saying it's President Trump.
- But, but, but: Inslee did use his closing statement to point out he's the only candidate to make climate change his top priority.
5. Beto's case: He made a pitch to Iowa voters, bringing his answer in the climate segment back to his visit to Pacific Junction, Iowa, which has been hit by major flooding.
- He also talked up ways to "put farmers and ranchers in the drivers seat" on climate solutions.