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Presidential Debates Ignore Climate Change For First Time Since 1980s

Obama and Romney

For the first time in 24 years, neither presidential or vice-presidential candidate mentioned climate change in any of the pre-election debates. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy about the United States’ role in the future of our planet, doesn’t it?

In the final presidential debate Monday night, moderator Bob Schieffer focused most of the questions on foreign policy, with no questions specifically pertaining to energy or climate. However, questions like “What is America’s role in the world?” and “What do you believe is the greatest future threat to the national security of this country?” gave plenty of opportunity.

Neither candidate brought up climate change, but they did make sure to throw in “renewables,” everyone’s favorite energy buzzword.

“We’ve cut our oil imports to the lowest level in two decades because we’ve developed oil and natural gas, but we also have to develop clean energy technologies that will allow us to cut our exports in half by 2020,” said Obama.

“We’re going to have North American energy independence. We’re going to do it by taking full advantage of oil, coal, gas, nuclear and our renewables,” said Romney.

Basically the same thing… but when it came to energy technology, their ideas were not so agreeable.

“If we’re not making investments in education and basic research, which is not something that the private sector is doing at a sufficient pace right now and has never done, then we will lose the lead in things like clean energy technology,” said Obama.

“We’re going to have to have a president, however, that doesn’t think that somehow the government investing in – in car companies like Tesla and – and Fisker, making electric battery cars,” Romney sniffed back. “This is not research, Mr. President, these are the government investing in companies. Investing in Solyndra.” Thankfully we have Wired to clarify that neither of those car companies are failing.

We are 14 days from election day and still very little word on what either candidate will do for the environment. Isn’t it sad that something as basic and integral as nature is too touchy of a topic for a presidential debate? Makes me want to hop on a horse, grab a bayonet, and ride over to Washington to find out what is ACTUALLY going to get done around here.

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