Commentary

Expert blasts presidential debate moderators for ignoring the biggest problem facing the U.S.

In a week in which even the CEO of Exxon-Mobil has stated that climate change brings “real” risks that require “serious” action, Dr. Joe Ramm of the Center for American Progress has a brief but great column lamenting the “criminally irresponsible” failure of presidential debate moderators to ask any questions regarding what is likely the most important existential challenge facing humanity. Here’s Romm:

“Climate silence lives. Despite pleas from editorial writers, columnists, and scientists, Chris Wallace, the moderator of the third and final presidential debate ignored arguably the most important issue facing the next president?—?climate change.

Thus the 2016 election continues the inexplicable tradition begun in the 2012 election in which presidential and vice presidential debate moderators remained silent on the gravest preventable threat to the health and well-being of all Americans.”

After noting that scientist and editorial writers of all kinds had pleaded for such a question he concludes this way:

“All to no avail. In the immediate aftermath of the debate, commentators are rightfully shocked over Trump’s statement that he refuses to say he will accept the election results.

But if we fail to avoid multiple irreversible catastrophic climate impacts?—?from Dust-bowlification to sea level rise to ocean acidification to ever-extremer weather?—?future generations are going to care about little else for decades if not centuries. And they will be rightfully shocked that major figures in the U.S. media failed to raise the issue in presidential debates when it mattered most.

Bottom line: The only guaranteed way for a candidate to make sure climate change and clean energy come up in a debate to bring it up herself, as Clinton did in the first debate.”

Click here to read the entire column.

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