Hillary Clinton and Al Gore campaigning in 1999. He was running for president, she was mulling an eventual run for the US Senate. Photograph: Mark Wilson/REUTERS
Praising last years Paris climate agreement between nations as a solid starting position, Gore said the country faced a stark choice. The world is on the cusp of either building on the progress of solving the climate crisis, or stepping back, washing our hands of Americas traditional role as a leader in the world, he said.
During her own 22-minute address to a 1,600-strong crowd at Miami-Dade College, Clinton avoided any mention of the controversies that have dominated the political agenda over the last five days. Instead, she stuck steadfastly to themes of climate change and her policy proposals to accelerate the transition towards clean energy in the US.
I want to see 500 million more solar panels installed in America by the end of my first term, she said. Lets generate enough clean energy to power America.
Building more energy efficient buildings and cutting the countrys reliance on oil by one third would also bring massive economic benefits, the Democratic candidate said.
We can do all of this and create millions of good paying jobs as we do. The clean energy solutions are being created right here in America. And while we do that, make sure communities are ready for the effects of climate change that are coming right at us, she said.
That comment referred to the recent impact of Hurricane Matthew on the Caribbean, where the storm killed hundreds, and in the US, which has seen more than 30 deaths, most of them in North Carolina, which is still suffering from significant flooding.
Gore, who won the 2007 Nobel peace prize for his efforts to tackle man-made climate change, highlighted in his movie An Inconvenient Truth, blamed the severity of recent hurricanes on global warming.
Matthew went from a tropical storm to a category 5 hurricane in just 36 hours, and thats unusual.
Nowhere are the effects of global warming more evident than Florida, Gore said.
Just yesterday there were six more cases of Zika in Miami-Dade County. Changing climate conditions shift the places where these diseases become endemic. Mosquitoes incubate faster and bite more often.
These and many other consequences are really wake-up calls for us.
Clinton, too, referenced the threat to Florida, a key swing state. The impact of climate change goes beyond severe events like hurricanes, its a daily reality in Miami. In streets in Miami the ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system. If you need proof climate change is real, there you go, she said.
She warned: At the rate we are going, one in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century.
Global warming, she said, had also been cited by the Pentagon as a threat to national security, posing as an example flooding at the US Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia, affecting the operations and readiness of the service.
We cant afford a candidate who doesnt accept climate change, Clinton said. Maybe hell listen to our military leaders who say climate change threatens our security.
We need a president who believes in science and can lead America in fighting this threat, creating jobs and, yes, saving our planet.
The final word, however, belonged to Gore, who Clinton said she couldnt wait to have as an a White House adviser on climate change.
Americans have the ability to bring about such a big and important change, the will to change and build a brighter future is itself a renewable resource, he said, drawing a loud: Thats a great line, I love that! from Clinton beside him.