Climate totally absent from all presidential debates

The first time the debates have been silent on climate since 1988. 

Over at Joe Romm’s paid for propaganda arm of the Center for American Progress they recently wrote:

Why It’s Impossible To Ignore Climate In A Presidential Foreign Policy Debate

Well, apparently it is possible… when it is Third rail politics.

Bill McKibben was so sure going in too…

[UPDATE: Bill McKibben emailed me to say he was in SFO when he made that tweet so it was PST, not EST where he normally tweets from. So it was going out of the debate and he was being ironic - Anthony]

This is the first time the presidential debates have been silent on climate since 1988, and is now hashtagged as #climateofftheradarwegotbiggerproblems

You can thank NASA’s James Hansen for making it an issue in 1988 (thanks to some Senate hearing room stagecraft in June of that year). He had a good run, now he needs to let it go, because nobody cares anymore and the leaders don’t want to ride the lightning.

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41 thoughts on “Climate totally absent from all presidential debates

  1. Perhaps, but this does not consider Obama’s statement that if re-elected one of the priorities of his administration will be climate change.

    At the species level I am just not so sure that the most critical test is if we can even comprehend bad data. I thought we passed that milestone centuries ago.

  2. Looks like the politicians and the public are finally wising up.

    The USA was actually exporting oil in my childhood. One power Eisenhower had, in order to restrain Great Britain and France in the 1956 Suez Crisis, was to threaten to cut off our oil to England. If Romney wins I imagine he will reverse Obama’s insane “ban all fossil fuels” philosophy, and we might actually get back to the energy independence we back then.

    If that happens Romney will get the credit. but the engineers who refined the “fracking” drilling-techniques deserve the honor.

    By the way, McKibben will not mope for long. Looks like a late season hurricane could threaten the east coast, like Hazel did in 1954. McKibben will, of course, forget history, and say it is “unprecedented” and utterly due to Global Warning.

    Time to dust off: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/hurricane-warning-mckibben-alert/

  3. Just remember what the EPA is doing right in front of you, without your input.

    Vote!

    If you don’t, You did !

  4. If your goal is to win votes, the last thing you want to talk about is a carbon tax that will kill jobs and increase the cost of energy. That comes after the election. Isn’t that right Julia Gillard? I just found out that her slogan in 2010 was “moving forward.” Where have I heard that slogan recently? Hmm, I can’t quite put my finger on it.

  5. When scientists start to make policy, maybe they should expect more of this sort of thing ….

    Today, a court in the central Italian city of L’Aquila sentenced six scientists and a government bureaucrat to six years in jail on manslaughter charges for their failure to predict a 2009 earthquake that left more than 300 people dead.

  6. Why? Because Obama has to run on leading the world in subsidized Green-energy bankruptcies.

    That’s why.

  7. I feel like I’m back in grade school watching that stuff. So much higher level learning I already learned from my internet research left out. It’s a presidential puppet freak show. My presidential puppet freak is better then your presidential puppet freak, competing for the top CEO position. Romney’s like a used care salesman and Obama’s like a new care salesman. I’m not in the market for a car. I just want my country fixed. Not one brand of totalitarianism Vs another brand of totalitarianism.

  8. McKibben!? Who even pays any attention to that raving loon anymore? I picked up a copy of his most recent book a few days ago in the remainder bin for $2, just to satisfy my curiosity. What a load of crap! Doesn’t he know that weather is not climate? Doesn’t he know that newspaper articles are not peer-reviewed science? What a pathetic alarmist….

  9. Climate totally absent from all presidential debates
    Posted on October 22, 2012 by Anthony Watts

    Shhhh! Maybe they’ll just forget all about it.

    Today’s Denver Post:

    Layoffs, failures test Colorado’s “new energy economy”
    Posted: 10/22/2012 12:01:00 AM MDT

    By Steve Raabe

    The resilience of Colorado’s vaunted “new energy economy” is being tested after a series of job cuts, financial setbacks and political firestorms.

    The latest loss was Phillips 66’s announcement last week that it is pulling the plug on a major alternative-fuels research-and-development center that was planned on the former StorageTek site in Louisville.

    That followed the recent news that Vestas Wind Systems was making its biggest round of Colorado layoffs, bringing the job-cut tally to about 500.

    The Weld County district attorney’s office is investigating the failure of Colorado solar-panel manufacturer Abound Solar, and congressional Republicans are asking tough questions about Abound’s federal loan guarantees.

    Also in the loss column is General Electric’s recent decision to suspend development of the proposed $300 million PrimeStar Solar plant in Aurora that would have employed 355 workers.

    At the least, the setbacks are a speed bump in Colorado’s effort to maintain a leadership status in renewable energy. At worst, they could significantly impair growth of the industry.

    The combined layoffs, plant closure and mothballed projects in Colorado represent the loss of more than 1,000 existing and projected jobs, plus millions of dollars of tax revenue and spinoff economic activity.

    Hard times for the green industries stem from a combination of technical challenges, low-cost foreign competition and an uncertain outlook for government support of alternative energy.

    “It’s not just Colorado,” said William Yeatman, an energy analyst with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based free-market think tank.

    “Renewable-energy manufacturing is taking a beating across the country, primarily due to the fact that federal subsidies have run their course,” he said. “The 2009 stimulus has been spent, and the wind production-tax credit is set to expire in December. Without taxpayer handouts, these green industries simply cannot compete.”

    There’s much more in the Post article, but link to it at your own risk – the site is riddled with pop-ups and ads.

    http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_21825181?source=commented-

  10. @Mike86 – Green Energy is a noble goal, though it should not be forced upon us with subsidies, carbon taxes, etc. The big problem is that the focus has been on the wrong kind of green energy. Solar and wind are losers. Hydroelectric, tidal, and geothermal are the way to go, but there are significant challenges to overcome with those before they will start to get enough market share to make a difference.

    In the mean time, we need to invest in more efficient nuclear technology and get rid of the old reactors that are nearing the end, or are operating past the end of their life cycle.

  11. I don’t agree. Romney continually mentioned using “all forms” of domestic energy. Obama’s
    passion for destruction of clean coal is well known.

  12. At the possible end of the present interglacial it’s really rather simple actually. At such a late point I am inclined to agree that CO2’s response is not logarithmic. Conceding that significant point, why would you even consider taking it out of the late Holocene atmosphere unless you are absolutely, precautionary principle certain, not a leap of superstitious faith mind you, that the decline since the early Holocene climate optimum to the present climate state is not anthropologically irreversible? Would we stay, in what the alarmists seem to suggest, is the perfect climate state perpetually if we shunned CO2?

    Or would the wise wise (Homo sapiens sapiens) one accede to some sort of recognition of “when we live”, at a half-precession old extreme interglacial, and glom on to the possibility that every penny not spent on fusion research might turn out to be a penny wasted? The sun gone all quiet on us, what faith provides the bridge to an extended extreme interglacial (like MIS-11) if not CO2? I mean, it is the “consensus” climate security blanket…..or isn’t it?

    The proposition has been placed before what passes for our species to opt for unreliable means to produce reliable energy.

    Your decision please…………

  13. In an email message to HuffPost, Michael E. Mann, a prominent physicist and climatologist and director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Pennsylvania, suggested he was disappointed.

    “There’s not a whole lot to say here,” Mann said. “Bob Schieffer obviously made the decision not to broach the topic. That’s really too bad. Given that climate change may be the greatest challenge we face in the decades ahead, to be silent on the issue over the course of four debates does a real disservice to the country.”

    No, Michael, the big disservice was perpetrating an extremely costly scam that runs vast numbers of people into the ground to pay for.

  14. I love being right. As I have maintained repeatedly, climate change has had its final mention. That includes the next four years of the Obama Administration.

  15. The American people have become wise to the United Nations and its intellectual thugs in the IPPC. A toxic brand if ever there was one.

    Man made Global Warming has killed no one.
    Yet in Haiti the squeaky clean UN has managed to kill thousands by causing a cholera epidemic. In order not to vent I won’t go into other parts of the world where the UN has stood idly by whilst massacres and famine has raged through populations.

  16. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/22/us-elections-barack-obama-climate-denial

    Stein calls Obama a “denier” for NOT talking about climate.

    Since he did not mention the holocaust either the same logic presumably makes him a holocaust denier as well.

    “The climate catastrophe that used to be generations away is rapidly closing in on us.”

    No, Jill the realisation by the public that they have been lied to and misled in closing in on YOU.
    Check you poll ratings.

  17. just in case u miss “denial” “denier” “deny” in the text, the photo caption is –
    “US Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein has called Barack Obama a ‘climate denier'”:

    22 Oct: Guardian: Suzanne Goldenberg: US elections: Barack Obama accused of ‘climate denial’
    Green party presidential candidate Jill Stein criticises president’s failure to address green issues during election campaign
    The Green party’s presidential candidate has called Barack Obama a “climate denier” for failing to talk about climate change during the elections.
    On the eve of the third and final presidential debate, the Green party’s Jill Stein said Obama’s failure to speak out about environmental concerns made him virtually identical to Republicans who deny the human causes of global warming.
    The absence of climate change from the elections, after a year of record temperatures, wildfires and drought, has hugely frustrated environmental campaigners…
    But no campaigner has gone as far as Stein, who said Obama was “another climate denier who basically sold out with just a little bit of window dressing”.
    When challenged about the use of the word “denier”, Stein said: “We sure didn’t hear him talking about climate in his debate. In either of these debates we don’t hear him talking about climate and the devastation of it. Whether he is a denier or just a silencer, he has certainly silenced any discussion of the issue that would motivate real solutions.”…
    (re second debate) Obama, far from touting his biggest green achievement of raising car mileage standards, used the debate to talk up his support for oil and coal…
    The larger environmental groups have hesitated to criticise Obama very openly for fear of costing him votes during an increasingly close election. Environmental groups are mainly supporting Obama and Democratic candidates for Congress in these elections…
    Obama has failed to live up to his 2008 campaign promise to save a “planet in peril”, she said. “I wasn’t fooled by Obama then. I was not persuaded and a lot of other people were. The talk is very different from the walk,” she said. “These last four years have been drill baby drill and far worse. Obama’s adopted the fossil fuel policies of George Bush and done far worse,” she said.
    A second Obama term, Stein said, would amount to “climate devastation with a friendly face and a warm endearing personality”…
    Stein, who is from Massachusetts, has direct experience of a Romney administration from his time as governor there. “Flip-flopping is his downfall, but it is also his political instinct to go with the squeaky wheel,” she said. That suggested Romney would be little different, as president, than Obama.
    “I think it’s really important to hold Obama equally accountable, and it is an absolutely false choice to tell people they have to choose one or the other,” Stein said. “Obama is not going to get us out of here alive. His climate policies are just as devastating.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/22/us-elections-barack-obama-climate-denial?newsfeed=true

  18. question. who is Jonathan Franzen and what does he know about anthropogenic global warming?

    23 Oct: Guardian: Suzanne Goldenberg: US presidential debates’ great unmentionable: climate change
    No mention of climate change for the first time since Congress was briefed of the threat in 1988
    The Pentagon ranks it as a national security threat and, left unchecked, climate change is expected to cost the US economy billions of dollars every year – and yet it has proved the great unmentionable of this election campaign.
    Amid unprecedented melting of the Arctic summer sea ice, new temperature records in the US and a historic drought, the last of three presidential debates wound up on Monday night without Barack Obama or Mitt Romney ever uttering the words climate change.
    It was the first time since 1988, the year Congress was first briefed on the emerging threat by the scientist James Hansen, that there had been no mention of climate change in an election debate…
    By Monday night, the debate about “climate silence” was in full voice. Al Gore weighed in, tweeting during the course of the debate: “Where is global warming in this debate? Climate change is an urgent foreign policy issue.”
    The Green party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, who went so far as to label Obama a climate change denier in an interview with the Guardian for his failure to discuss the issue on the campaign trail…
    Even so, the novelist Jonathan Franzen argued that Obama – while a disappointment to campaigners – was still a better option on the environment than Romney.
    “So give Obama a C-plus or even just a C on the environment if you like,” Franzen wrote on the 90 Days, 90 Reasons blog.
    “But consider that Mitt Romney, if he’s elected, will nullify soundly based decisions by the EPA; he will continue to pretend that the science of climate change is uncertain; he will open up all federal lands (except, presumably, national parks) to the ravages of drilling and mining; he will roll back sensible regulation of pollution and habitat destruction; and he has shown, with his choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate, that he is serious about slashing funding for every federal program except the military – and you’d better believe that the EPA and Fish and Wildlife will be the first to be gutted. Mitt Romney will get an F, double-underlined in red ink.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/oct/23/us-president-debates-climate-change

  19. Hillsdale College’s Constitution 201 – free on-line – explains the origins and objectives of the politicization of science. The Founding Fathers’ vision is doomed. I am glad that I am old.

  20. As long as there are regulators and the words “clean” and “pollution”, it’s an ugly rose by another name. They avoided it, it didn’t go away, and neither will the tens of thousands of climate gazers and grazers, Europe, or the U.N.

  21. Since we’re on the topic of the upcoming elections:

    Here’s my take on the whole thing: 0bama had no plan, no ideas, nothing “new” or novel or even useful. His entire goal appears to have been “become President”. Fine, now he’s done that. Apparently he’s got nothing beyond that. And without any partisan sniping, he’s pretty much completely over his head and incapable of actually BEing President. As much as I didn’t like Clinton, at least Clinton did some stuff besides, you know, BEing President (even if I didn’t like most of that stuff). And it’s a horrible state of affairs when most people I know agree that even Carter was a better, more effective President than the big Zero.

    Now, we had a Prime Minister in Canada that was the same way. In fact, he even said it publicly. It seems his father was in government, and when he was a kid he used to run around the Parliament and fantasize about working there some day. So, without an election, his predecessor stepped down and gave him the job of Prime Minister. This is equivalent to, let’s say, President Bush stepping down and giving the job to, say, Harriet Miers. Yeah, the job of President. Eventually he did call an election, but the then-fledgling Conservative party hadn’t yet found its footing and was beaten by the usual liberal ploy of innuendo and accusation. Soon after, in another election, the foundering government of Paul Martin was defeated so soundly the very liberal party folded for a while. See, even the liberals finally realized that their guy was an incompetent boob.

    Meanwhile, I’m watching a similar situation play out. Here’s a guy that most thinking people didn’t want, but he pretty much got in without contest. Of course, the right didn’t want McCain, but hey, don’t let tampering with the GOP primaries by the left change anything, right?

    So here’s the deal: the media has been painting this ridiculous caricature of all the candidates that were likely to be on the ticket this year, and they’ve done such an effective job that even the GOP can’t seem to get past it. GOP faithful and anti-Zero people sound half-shocked that Romney doesn’t match his weirdo caricature. Surprise!

    Well, there is one MAJOR difference between Romney and Zero: Romney’s goal is to deal with the challenges we face, and becoming President is the way to achieve that. From what I can see, the same could have been said for Gingrich, Santorum, and Perry. In contrast, Zero’s goal was to become President, then look around for problems to solve. Frighteningly enough, I think Gore and Kerry both were the opposite, too… they BOTH had goals that becoming President would have helped them achieve, but the thought of that chills me through and through. Two horrific bullets dodged there… horrific.

    So yeah, the specter of continued “skyrocketing” energy prices, the inanity of blocking the XL pipeline (despite all the other pipelines already safely criss-crossing the country), the blocking of effective and affordable power sources in exchange for personal payouts to “green” industrialists, it’s all business as usual with the “unspoken” Zero policies regarding climate change.

    Let’s face it, the media currently has people programmed to think the following are equivalent:
    1. Earth is 6000 years old
    2. Dinosaurs coexisted with humans and were lost because they didn’t fit on the Ark
    3. Denying the self-evident and urgent emergency of man-made climate change
    4, Questioning, in any way, evolution dogma
    5. Believing people didn’t land on the Moon
    6. Banning abortion, blocking loving gay couples from marriage fairness, outrageous lies about gays and AIDS, supporting Big Oil, not hating Tobacco companies, etc. etc. etc

    It would be political suicide to take overly assertive stands on any of these hot-button issues, and having any on of those beliefs publicly makes you guilty of all of them. BOTH sides know this. Already the left has a healthy, powerful rumor that the first thing Romney will do is ban abortions and start throwing gays in jail. As if, somehow, they really believe that a President has that power. It’s amazing, but it’s all right there to watch.

    Very few things are as entertaining and simultaneously terrifying as watching modern-day liberals at work.

  22. No, the USA is not wising up about Climate Change, at least not the Obama administration or the Democrats in Congress. Or by ‘wising up’ do we mean keeping the voters in the dark as much as possible about their plans for the future?

  23. What must really be irking the Alarmists is the realization that their value within the political arm of Progressivism is actually not that high. The Alarmists’ value to the Democrat Party peaked between 2004-2007. It had been building ever since the 1992 Rio Conference. Events (namely a global recession and a slew of financial crisis) have overtaken them.

    This year’s presidential debates, unlike past election cycles, had a degree of seriousness about them that precluded the kind of jeurvinille moral preening that we’ve seen in past election cycles. Voters outside the rarified airs of academia and the plush nieghborhoods of the Upper Westside and Palo Alto just don’t have the inclination to listen to the Climate Alarmists anymore.

  24. Goode ’nuff says:
    October 23, 2012 at 10:31 am
    Stock markets dropping… that’s what vowing to replace Uncle Ben with a hawkish fed will get ya. How do we grow with a hawkish fed?

    We grew very well during the Reagan years with Paul Volcker as the Fed Chairman.

  25. But Winston Churchill said that irony barely made it across the Atlantic, and never made it over the Rockies. Therefore McKibben could not have made an ironic tweet from SFO. The science is settled on that one.

  26. On this matter, no news is good news. Obama probably thinks that his track record on leading the world in Subsidized Green-Energy Bankruptcies speaks for itself.

  27. MSG, Reagan appointed the dovish Alan Greenspan in Volcker’s place.

    Mr. Fix-it is also planning to label China a currency manipulator and slap tariffs. Just what they did as a result of the Great Depression and actually prolonged it. SLOWER RECOVERY! TRADE WARS!!! Then we had real wars.

    He wants to raise the taxes on dividends.

    This clown will have us in so much trouble. Better take up learning how to speak Chinese.

    I do have one good thing to say for him… no quotes from him like Bush, “This would be easier if it were a dictatorship” or McCain, “If I were a dictator, like I’ve always aspired to be, I would have done it differently.”

    We are in big trouble.

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