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Over 160,000 Want Climate on the Presidential Debate Agenda
Thanks to the support of wildlife advocates, yesterday National Wildlife Federation delivered over 160,000 petition signatures to Jim Leher of PBS NewsHour.
The petitions, signed by supporters of the National Wildlife Federation and eight partner organizations, including League of Conservation Voters, the Climate Reality Project, and Moms Clean Air Force–urge Jim Lehrer to ask the presidential candidates about their plans to deal with climate change.
On October 3, President Obama and Governor Romney will square off in the first of three presidential debates. The focus will be domestic policy issues, with candidates responding to questions on the most pressing challenges facing our nation.
It would be irresponsible if they failed to address climate change–one of the greatest threats to wildlife today.
Debate to be Held in State Suffering from Climate Change
Numerous wildlife species are already struggling to deal with the consequences of climate change, from wildfires to extreme heat.
Black bears in Colorado–where the first debate will be held–are desperate to find food as heat and drought shrink their food supply, causing them to wander into towns and neighborhoods searching for sustenance.
In Colorado climate change is worsening droughts that led to a crop failure in 62 of the state’s 64 counties. As crops are failing, so are black bears’ woodland foods–serviceberries, chokecherries and acorns–that just can’t grow well enough in the heat, drought and wildfires.
Elections Coverage Must Address Climate Change
Despite the gravity of the climate challenges we face, the issue has been largely absent from television news and election coverage. Americans need to know that their leaders will work to protect wildlife and their habitats by fighting climate change.
“Voters want to know how the next president will work to solve the climate crisis that is knocking on the door today and staring our future generations right in the face,” said Joe Mendelson, Director of Climate and Energy Policy at National Wildlife Federation.
It’s crucial that Americans hear where the candidates stand before the election. With big polluters pouring millions of dollars into campaigns, it’s now up to voters to make sure candidates discuss climate change in the weeks leading up to the election.
Climate change must be part of the conversation. Americans deserve to know how the next president will deal with the nation’s most urgent environmental challenges.
Keep the Momentum Going
Post a comment on PBS NewsHour’s Facebook page urging Jim Lehrer to “Ask a question about climate.”
Then, share this forest fire image on your Facebook page to help more people urge Jim Lehrer to ask President Obama and Governor Romney to lay out their plans on climate change.