The bold moral leadership of newly elected members of Congress like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has me feeling more optimistic about our collective chances of averting climate breakdown than I have in years. But a whole lot of things need to happen very quickly if the political tide is going to shift in time — including finding new ways to engage the public in this fight. In this hopeful moment, I had the opportunity to sit down with one of the few politicians who has consistently focused on this issue — Sen. Bernie Sanders — at the Sanders Institute Gathering in Burlington, Vermont.

On December 3, Sanders hosted a town hall on climate change with guests, including Ocasio-Cortez, 350.org founder Bill McKibben, activist and “Big Little Lies” star Shailene Woodley, climate scientist Brenda Ekwurzel, activist and musician Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and Mayor Dale Ross of deep-red Georgetown, Texas. The event was streamed live in partnership with progressive media outlets, including The Intercept.