The biggest loser of the 2016 debates: the atmosphere

Not one question about civilization’s greatest challenge was asked

It bears repeating: after three debates not one question about climate change was proffered – a subject that Republicans are deft at avoiding, taking into account the 11 GOP debates that also ignored the topic.

Likely this is because of the perceived neutrality of the subject. The very premise of climate change is controversial on the right, where even acknowledging its existence affirms a liberal viewpoint. Left and right-wing politics have always clashed on the solutions to problems – like poverty, unemployment and the national debt – without either side denying such problems exist. Climate change is different, and the disagreement is potentially catastrophic. One half of America’s two-party system actually supports accelerating the emission of air pollution, making the consequences of each election very poignant for the entire planet. Real progress on this challenge can only be made when the right-wing agrees that nearly 40 billion annual tons (!) of air pollution is a problem, and is able to offer their own, likely market-based, solutions to it. That is a debate we would like to see.

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