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Beto O'Rourke Warns: Only 10 Years Left to Act on Climate Change

WASHINGTON -- Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), a 2020 presidential candidate, predicted that the U.S. has 10 years left to act on climate change.

"At this point there can be no shadow of a doubt that our own excesses and emissions and inaction politically and as a country and a democracy, where each of us comprise the government, have led to the warming we've seen so far -- one degree Celsius just since 1980," O'Rourke said during the "We the People Membership Forum" in Washington on Monday. "I direct you to Valencia from Florida, whose question I just listened to backstage -- how does this First World country create second-class citizens who face Third World conditions?"

To support his position on climate change, O'Rourke referred to the "58 inches of rain that fell from the sky" in Houston. He called on lawmakers to start "confronting climate change before it is too late, within the 10 years we have left to us to act."

O'Rourke said he would join the Paris climate agreement that President Trump withdrew from in 2017.

"As ambitious as those are, [they] are not ambitious enough," O'Rourke said of the agreement.

O'Rourke promised that he would sign an executive order on the first day of his presidency requiring all cabinet secretaries to hold town hall meetings with the public each month "to listen to you and be accountable to you."