The Only People Not Talking About the Weather are Running for President
Everyone is talking about the weather, except for two people who both happen to be running for president, as CBS points out in their article on why global warming matters in the election.
The Candidates’ Positions on Climate Change
President Obama acknowledged the seriousness of climate change and extreme weather it worsens during his speech at the Democratic Convention. As president, he proposed comprehensive climate change legislation that passed in the House of Representatives, but stalled in the Senate. Since then, the EPA has decreased carbon dioxide by addressing it as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act–doubling fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and setting strong limits on carbon pollution from coal fired power plants. Yet, we do not have any indication from Mr. Obama what his plans are for the next four years to address climate change.
Governor Romney has varied in his position on climate change. He wrote in his book, “I believe that climate change is occurring” and “human activity is a contributing factor.” Then last year on the campaign trail that “We don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet.” In his Republican Convention speech last month, he cracked a joke mocking the need to slow the rise of the oceans. Like Mr. Obama, we do not have any indication how Mr. Romney proposes to address this worsening issue.
Extreme Weather Impacts from Climate Change
Extreme weather caused by climate change has been impossible to miss this summer–harming communities, causing crop failure, and leaving wildlife hungry. July was the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S. September saw record low Arctic ice. Undecided voters are expressing that they are concerned about climate change and it could be a factor in their voting come fall.
Yet, the candidates have not engaged in meaningful debate on climate change or laid out their plans for voters to compare.
On October 3rd, they will be in Colorado for the first presidential debate–where the extreme drought and heat has devastated agricultural crops and stunted the wild foods that on which wildlife depend.
The Climate Question in the Presidential Debates
We just delivered over 150,000 petition signatures of Americans from across the nation to Jim Lehrer, the moderator of the first presidential debate, urging him to ask the candidates to lay out their positions on climate.Experience shows that TV news avoids reporting on climate change. Despite the fact that July was the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S., only 8.7 percent of television segments about the record-breaking heat waves made the connection to climate change, according to an analysis by Media Matters for America. But we can change that if we speak up together.
Millions of voters will get their information about the presidential candidates by watching the debates next month. It is crucial Americans hear where candidates stand on climate change before voting on November 6th. As we have seen all summer with fires in the West, drought in the Midwest, and flooding in the Southeast–climate change is wreaking havoc on wildlife and threatening future generations.
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.