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Continued Climate Silence

Climate change and the environment have been largely ignored by both the Obama and Romney campaigns, but the debates offered another hope for environmentalists and progressives for a discussion on solutions and strategies to combat climate change.

However, it has been more of the same, with no mentions of the subject and still ignored. Worse yet, the debate moderators, Jim Lehrer and Candy Crowley, had the option to ask about climate change, but decided against it, favoring questions on the economy. The decision is fair, albeit annoying—the economy is an important issue which needs to be discussed, and voters are concerned about the economy.

The environment is extremely important too though, and it is frustrating when environmental issues are ignored. Even if an actual question pertaining to the environment or climate change wasn’t asked, there were clues in some of the answers from President Obama and Romney which shed light on their perspectives and philosophies about the environment.

In the most recent debate at Hofstra University, both President Obama and Romney referenced “all of the above” energy policies which are rooted in continued reliance on fossil fuels. They do differ though on renewable energy.

Ultimately, a policy which includes any renewable energy development differs with Romney’s plan, but the plan President Obama is pitching isn’t as progressive as many would like. Obama’s “all of the above” plan continues renewable energy development, and he continues to emphasize solar and wind power, along with biofuels. Romney’s “all of the above” plan appears to be “all of the ways to get fossil fuels”. Additionally, he has said he would allow wind tax credits to expire at the end of the year, which would be a devastating blow to the wind industry.

With all that being said, the direct issue of climate change and the environment has not been asked, which is cause for alarm. The question needs to be asked, and the candidates need to be pressed on the issue.

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