In the long, long list of reasons that Hillary Clinton would be a far better president than Donald Trump, the world of difference on climate change is near the top.
And this must be of great significance to Floridians.
If voters had any doubt about what’s at stake, what the candidates said at opposite ends of Florida should crystallize it.
At Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus on Tuesday, Ms. Clinton appeared for the first time this campaign with former Vice President Al Gore, who sounded the alarm on global warming long before it became fashionable. Mr. Gore has experience sounding the alarm on global warming, but he might still be little known to younger millennials.
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They couldn’t have picked a better time. This week, Miami Beach is bracing itself for the king tides floods that often inundate the city at this time of year.
Mr. Gore warned about sea-level rise that could flood where 1.2 million Florida residents live by the next century, and argued that warming oceans contributed to Hurricane Matthew’s rapid strengthening and that climate change is helping accelerate the spread of the Zika virus currently being fought in the state.
“Mother Nature is giving us a very clear and powerful message,” said Mr. Gore, whose 2006 documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” turned him into an expert on the subject.
True, the issue of climate change is being viewed by the Clinton campaign as a way to reach to millennial voters who still view Ms. Clinton with skepticism. She’s betting that bringing up climate change will also win over some undecided and independent voters. In other parts of the country, climate change is not a top issue with voters, but Florida is different.
It’s a message being ignored by far too many Republicans in Congress, and now by their nominee for president. Climate change is a topic seldom brought up on the campaign trail by Mr. Trump.
In Panama City later Tuesday, Mr. Trump went after California’s Tom Steyer, the billionaire environmentalist and Mr. Trump critic who is spending millions to help elect Democrats.
Calling him a radical activist, Mr. Trump said that in return for that money, “Clinton wants to shut down energy production all across the United States” — which, like so much of what he says, is false.
At Sunday night’s debate with Ms. Clinton, Mr. Trump claimed that the United States has 1,000 years of “clean coal.” Wrong again.
Fact checkers pointed out that there is no clean coal plant operating in the country because it’s not economically viable.
Mr. Trump also repeatedly has said that human-caused climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China, though he sometimes claims he’s joking.
He vows to shred international pacts to reduce carbon emissions, including the historic Paris accord signed in December.
If Mr. Trump wins, it’s likely he would try to roll back progress on global warming. So in Miami, Ms. Clinton pushed the point home. “We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House,” Ms. Clinton told supporters.
Instead, she rightly sees the potential in clean energy, not only to reduce carbon emissions but also to create good jobs.
If you care about climate change, the choice in this election is a no-brainer.
A version of this editorial first appeared in the Sacramento Bee.