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With only days left in the US elections, one has to be alarmed about the glaring omission of climate change questions during the debates and by the media in general. The 2012 election has become a joke and is emblematic of the failure of democracy in America, the self-proclaimed leader of the free world and the most powerful nation on earth. With that kind of power comes responsibility.

This campaign marks the first time in almost 25 years that presidential candidates have not discussed or been questioned by the media about global warming and climate change. In the 1988 campaign, vice-presidential candidates were asked in their debate “what they would do to deal with global warming and whether they would support a substantial reduction in the use of fossil fuels which might be necessary down the road”.

Dan Quayle & Lloyd Bentsen discussed “the greenhouse effect” with comments about “important environmental issue”. In 1992, Al Gore said we “cannot stick our heads in the sand and pretend we don’t face an environmental crisis”. In 1996, Al Gore and George Bush used the terms “global warming”, “an issue we have to take seriously”. In 2004, Bush talked about “clean coal technology” and Gore said he would be a “president who believes in science”. In 2008, Barack Obama said that “it’s easy to talk about climate change during the campaign”. That was then.

The debates have been highly structured with a rigid format negotiated by both parties, have excluded third party candidates and have exposed the hidden consensus  to exclude questions on climate change, droughts, food price increases, the environment, green energy. This conspiracy of ‘climate silence‘ is obvious and represents an ‘extreme denialism’ of the reality facing future American generations. It is an ‘abdication of responsibility’, pure and simple. This inaction on climate change ranks second in magnitude to Rio+20.  See Rio+20. The Great Abdication covered in a previous blog post.

Where are the environmentalists, the scientists and the climatologists? Where is the public outcry about the events of the summer of 2012 which clearly show that climate change is here? Climate change has begun.

Stephen Stromberg of the WashingtonPost reports that:

they spent exactly no time on one of the greatest challenges the world’s governments must face, and foremost among them the United States. This problem threatens the lives and livelihood of millions, particularly in poor countries, but, left unchecked, it also poses hazards to plenty of Americans and American interests…This challenge is climate change.

Candidates who refuse to discuss the most important challenge facing the world in this 21st century do not deserve to be elected or re-elected. The choice of  political expediency over common sense is morally wrong and shameful. Future generations will judge the 2012 US elections as the worst ever in American history.

 

 

 

 


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2 COMMENTS

  1. I was just talking to someone who was traveling in the US last week and his overall impression of the US election process was most US citizens really didn’t care at all.

    We seem to be more interested in the process up here.  

    No one it seems other than the punditry class in the US is really paying attention at all.

    • It’s a bit of a cliche but democracy is broken in the US. Voters have simply given up on their two-party system characterized by total partisanship and absolute grid-lock. Big money rules and politicians for the most part belong to the corporate and fossil-fuel sectors. So you end up with apathy, despair and abandonment. Pretty sad.

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