The New York Times Calls Out the Presidential Candidates' Climate Silence

NY Times/Screen capture

Everyone's probably pretty tired of hearing about climate silence by now, so I'll keep this short. Yesterday, the New York Times ran a front-page article that honed in on the curious fact that neither of the would-be leaders of the free world are spending much time discussing global warming.

From the story:

Even after a year of record-smashing temperatures, drought and Arctic ice melt, none of the moderators of the four general-election debates asked about climate change, nor did either of the candidates broach the topic.

Throughout the campaign, Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney have seemed most intent on trying to outdo each other as lovers of coal, oil and natural gas — the very fuels most responsible for rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Sound familiar? This is precisely the complaint we climate-focused bloggers have been raising for weeks. It might as well be paraphrased from any one of the given the blog posts that's been scribbled in the wake of another climate-deaf debate. And now that complaint has been elevated to a mainstream concern, if fleetingly. Very Serious People in Washington must now have opinions about this; not just Chris Hayes and Van Jones.

It's also a significant victory for a small band of climate activists who've been pressing the issue for weeks. After it became painfully clear that there wasn't going to be any room for climate talke in either campaign narrative, a group of climate advocates started ClimateSilence.org, and began a thrust to petition the candidates to speak up. Activists rallied around the meme, and after plenty of emailing, blogging, and hashtagging, #climatesilence wormed its way into the mainstream election narrative.

Well-played, gentlemen. But now, as we head down the home stretch, climate silence or no, it's time to consider what an Obama 2nd term would look like vis a vis Romney's first. Stay tuned.

Tags: Activism

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