Here is what I said when asked, by the author of this story, for a comment on questions on climate change (or the lack thereof) in the presidential debate:
I think there are two "climate changes" in America: one in relation to which nearly all citizens form beliefs & take stances that express their identity as members of opposing cultural groups; and another in relation to which at least some citizens (a subset of the first) are already making practical decisions -- as business actors, individual property owners, and citizens -- aimed at protecting their tangible interests.
Politicians won't make much progress & could well get themselves into trouble when they discuss or get into debates on the first climate change.
But if they can succeed in the addressing the second, they have the potential not only to gain support but to move the country forward in addressing an issue of immense consequence to our well being.
Easier said than done, I suppose.
But I think there are a lot of people out there, Republicans and Democrats, who know that they and their communities need a lot of support. Smart, public-spirited politicians in places like S.E. Florida (the congressional delegation of which recently created a bipartisan climate action caucus) are figuring out how to show that they are committed to getting them that help.
Anyone smart enough to be president ought to recognize that he or she should be giving those people the same sort of assurance that he or she is going to be there for them in the next 4 yrs.