(CNSNews.com) - Of all the problems facing this nation, climate change is at the top, Democrat Hillary Clinton told a campaign rally in Miami, Florida on Tuesday.
"And I will tell you this -- it is one of the most important issues at stake in this election," she said.
Appearing with climate change activisit Al Gore -- her husband's vice president -- Clinton capitalized on Florida's recent brush with Hurricane Matthew, saying the storm was "likely more destructive because of climate change."
She painted a doom-and-gloom scenario of rising oceans, Zika-spreading mosquitoes, and a rise in asthma and allergy cases due to longer pollen seasons.
"Look at it this way," Clinton said. "Our next president will either step up our efforts to address climate change to protect our planet, to protect our health, and to create good jobs that cannot be outsourced, by growing our clean energy economy -- or, in the alternative, we will be dragged backwards, and our whole future will be put at risk. So we've really got to get this right.
"And if you need additional convincing, just remember what happened this week. Hurricane Matthew killed at least 26 people in our country, more than 1,000 as far as we know right now in Haiti. North Carolina is still dealing with serious flooding...Now some will say, we've always had hurricanes. They've always been destructive. And that's true.
"But Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change. Right now, the ocean is at or near record high temperatures, and that contributed to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding that we saw in the Carolinas. Sea levels have already risen about a foot -- one foot -- in much of the Southeast, which means that Matthew's storm surge was higher and the flooding was more severe.
"Plus, as you know, the impact of climate change goes beyond extreme events like hurricanes. It's become a daily reality here in Miami." Clinton noted that streets in Miami Beach are now flooding at high tide. "The ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system. Sometimes, people call 311 because they assume a water main must have broken when actually, it is the sea rising around them. So if you need proof that climate change is real and that it's costly, there you go."
Clinton predicted that one in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century.
And she slammed "climate change deniers," including her rival Donald Trump: "Please, let's come together as a country and do something about it. We cannot risk putting a climate denier in the White House."
As president, Clinton said she wants to "have 500 million more solar panels installed across America by the end of my first term." She said she plans to "transform our economy" with "new clean energy solutions."