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Dianne Feinstein’s climate change discussion with schoolchildren gets heated

26 February 2019

The students are members of Sunrise Movement, an activist group that encourages children to combat climate change.

Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that it's "legitimate" for young people to ask if it's okay to have children because of the threat of climate change.

"Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don't turn this ship around and so it's basically like, there's a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very hard", Ocasio-Cortez said while chopping up food in her kitchen during an Instagram live video. Dianne Feinstein and a group of San Francisco Bay Area students squared off over climate change in a sometimes tense exchange captured on video and widely shared on social media. Another neighbor, who has lived down the hall from the congresswoman's apartment for the last 40 years, said he'd never seen her or her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, who has claimed the address as his own since last spring. Youth activist 2: "The government is supposed to be for the people, by the people and all for the people".

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"I'll tell you what", Feinstein began her response.

But Ocasio-Cortez, who knows the struggle of juggling multiple gigs all too well, says that it was important to lead by example. You come in here and it has to be my way or the highway. While some wrote that a shortened version of the video made Feinstein's conduct look worse than she had actually behaved, others said that the full version of the video was just as damning. The kids, and at least one adult, presented Feinstein with a handwritten letter asking her to vote "yes" on the progressive climate plan. And earlier this month, Speaker Pelosi referred to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's and Ed Markey's ambitious climate legislation as "the green dream, or whatever they call it". I don't respond to that.

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This longer video prompted praise from many of her supporters, who feel she handled it well. "'Cause you're not. So, until you do it, I'm the boss.' How about that?"

"She lives in the same neighborhood she's lived in for years", spokesman Corbin Trent told the Post.

The abridged version of the video posted to Twitter Friday evening by the Sunrise Movement quickly went viral, amassing almost 6 million views by Saturday morning. As two young girls mention the resolution's importance, Feinstein begins to argue that supporting the Green New Deal is counterproductive, as it lacks any Republican support.

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When Feinstein tries to conclude the meeting, a woman says the children "have decades of life that they hope to still have, and your leadership is so beautifully, beautifully possible", the senator replies, "That doesn't work with me, thank you".

Dianne Feinstein’s climate change discussion with schoolchildren gets heated