Greens Whining about the Lack of Climate Questions in the Presidential Debates

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton By United States Department of State (Official Photo at Department of State page) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Donald Trump By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Greens are slowly waking up to the horrifying realisation that even the Democrats don’t think they are important enough to feature in Presidential debates.

That’s 4 straight debates without a single question on climate change. Good job, everyone.

It finally happened. After three straight debates without a single moderator asking about climate change, Fox News’s Chris Wallace decided to focus the final presidential showdown on a slow-moving issue that would greatly affect future generations. He wasn’t going to let Trump or Clinton avoid the topic, either. He pulled out facts and figures and demanded to know why the two candidates were ignoring the problem.

Wait, sorry, I’m just kidding. Wallace didn’t ask about climate change at all. He wanted to talk about the national debt.

But none of the moderators asked about global warming at all. Not in the first presidential debate. Not in the vice presidential debate. Not in the second presidential debate.* Not in the third presidential debate. Hillary Clinton name-checked the topic, occasionally, but that was it. Humanity is departing from the stable climatic conditions that allowed civilization to thrive, yet the most powerful nation on Earth can’t set aside five minutes to discuss.

It’s possible the debate moderators don’t understand what’s at stake. It’s possible they don’t care. Or it’s possible they’re afraid that any question on the topic might seem too partisan. After all, Clinton thinks the issue is pretty serious and has a bunch of proposals around it, whereas Trump says it’s all a hoax invented by the Chinese. Under the circumstances, even a halfway intelligent question about climate policy would sound “biased.”

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Vice also complains that climate isn’t getting enough attention;

Remember When We Thought Climate Change Would Matter This Election?

This was supposed to be the election where climate change really mattered. Only, anyone watching the presidential debates wouldn’t have a clue that 1) 2016 has been history’s hottest year on record, and 2) our future leaders give any sort of crap about it.

Climate change was mostly ignored during the last three debates, mentioned only in passing, and never discussed directly or at length. In fact, I’m fairly sure that Americans know more about Donald Trump’s sexual proclivities than his environmental policies (hint, hint: he doesn’t have any).

But should we really feign surprise? Surely even the most hopeful of us didn’t expect global warming to compete with jobs, the border, or national security on the campaign trail. After all, this has been an election based on political identity, and when Americans can’t even agree on whether climate change is real, what’s incentivizing our candidates to fight for it?

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The VOX assertion that a climate question would have seemed “biased” seems a bit thin. A simple open question like “What is your position on climate change?” would surely not have upset anyone, at least in terms of concerns about moderator bias.

The obvious explanation for the lack of climate coverage, is that most of the audience don’t care enough about climate change to devote precious debate time to the issue.

Added by Anthony: It gets worse, over at “Climate Progress” Joe Romm is calling it “criminally irresponsible”.


The irony here is that there were plenty of real “criminally irresponsible” things that one candidate has done that they could have discussed, but they don’t want to talk about. Joe Romm lives on planet denial.

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October 20, 2016 6:32 pm

Climate…. yawn… yawn… yawn… Chang……..ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz………….
It’s worse than you think…. in your dreams.

Tom Halla
October 20, 2016 6:34 pm

Tom Steyer’s check to the Clinton Foundation must have bounced.

george e. smith
Reply to  Tom Halla
October 20, 2016 9:48 pm

Well a President’s maximum term is only eight years (thank goodness) so that is not long enough to do anything about climate. And everybody knows you can’t do anything about the weather except to gripe about it, so it just doesn’t fit with election politics.

Reply to  george e. smith
October 20, 2016 11:26 pm

You can not do anything about climate in 8 years, you can do a lot to screw up national energy policy. It’s already happening.

Reply to  george e. smith
October 21, 2016 4:10 am

What do you mean? Obama promised to fix climate change and as far as I can see it’s hardly changed at all, so I guess he did a great job. No major hurricanes hit the US, sea level change has remained stable during his terms, and severe storm damage was down the whole time he was in office! And now soon, we will be sitting in the dark with no money to fuel industry because of his energy and economic policies. It’s only going to get better!

Reply to  Tom Halla
October 21, 2016 8:45 am

nah, Steyer has plenty of money, they just ignore him after they pocket the bucks. turnabout is fair play for these backstabbers

October 20, 2016 6:43 pm

Considering the criminally irresponsible Greens and their attitude toward truth….

October 20, 2016 6:55 pm

The political climate has changed. A tipping point has been reached in political priorities. The political seas have calmed and receded. The hockey stick of life has leveled to a mean.

Donald Kasper
Reply to  yam
October 20, 2016 7:56 pm

When they had to start analyzing the sample noise to look for an alarming signal, you knew the end was near, and that they understood there was no clear signal that could be found that stood above noise.

Reply to  Donald Kasper
October 21, 2016 6:58 am

If the signal you have found, is smaller than the adjustments you had to make in order to find the signal. Then you haven’t found anything.

Reply to  MarkW
October 21, 2016 8:29 am

+1 Mark

Leo Smith
Reply to  yam
October 20, 2016 9:53 pm

Dont bogart that joint…

October 20, 2016 7:06 pm

No comment on the candidates. But Romm’s take on nin-existance of CAGW in the third debate is beyond risible. Does he not read polls?

Phil R
October 20, 2016 7:20 pm

Joe Romm lives on planet denial.

Boy, how the times have changed. Now JR is a Denialist! YAY!

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Phil R
October 20, 2016 9:14 pm

Joe Romm is permanently resident in MendaCity, which is on the Isle of Deceit in the Sea of Lies. It’s a popular spot with most Progressives to spend their sad, pathetic, miserable lives.

October 20, 2016 7:21 pm

It would have been fun to witness the depths of ignorance, obviously the moderators and candidates are unaware that cooler times are ahead.

October 20, 2016 7:23 pm

The fact that it is going to cost us trillions if this hoax continues should make people care. To me that alone would have helped Trump and why it was probably nixed. It seems like everybody wants to get their hands on some of that, sadly from both sides.

Reply to  asybot
October 22, 2016 7:18 pm

How to hedge your bets on climate change and changing climate change public policy?
Check out to see how some of these quandered trillions can be clawed back.

Reply to  asybot
October 23, 2016 2:49 am

See where we hedge our bets on climate change.

Jimmy Haigh
October 20, 2016 7:31 pm

What should have been discussed is the obscene waste of taxpayer money on a non-problem. Just for a start.

Bill Illis
October 20, 2016 7:32 pm

When did Obama raise climate change in the last two elections. Basically never.
It’s a loser for the Dems and the Republicans are scared to force the issue for fear of being labelled as science-den1er etc.
It does not change voting intentions until the Dems look a little crazy. If a Republican said he/she would cut-off all climate change funding, they don’t really lose a single vote as a result of taking this position. If a Democrat doesn’t bring it up during the election, they do not lose a single vote. If a Dem says they are going to implement a $50 Carbon Tax, well now they suddenly lose 5 points in the polls.
The climate change advocates already have everyone who believes in their tripe voting Democrat. It is a non-issue until the Republicans force the Democrats to say what they are really going to support after the election.

Margaret Smith
Reply to  Bill Illis
October 21, 2016 5:03 am

I have said this before, but from this side of the pond , it looks like the Dems are playing it like Obama’s 2nd term campaign- no mention of climate change until after the election then it is central and very expensive.
The agenda is, of course, political and a power drive and with Gore and Obama beside her would you really think she will walk away from it?
The last thing any of them want is a discussion about the lucrative scam.

October 20, 2016 7:33 pm

I was hoping they did talk about it( hillary mentions that the pope supports the climate change agenda in a speech in ny tonite

Reply to  John piccirilli
October 20, 2016 7:56 pm

“hillary mentions that the pope supports the climate change agenda in a speech in ny tonite”
I wonder what the Pope thinks about Hillary’s minions conspiring to undermine the Catholic Church’s doctrine. I bet Hillary didn’t say anthing about that tonight.
As for the debates and Climate Change: Lack of interest. That’s why it is not being discussed.

Larry Hamlin
October 20, 2016 7:51 pm

Many Americans understand that climate alarmism is nothing but scientifically unsupported political bs which exists solely because of flawed claims derived through use of extraordinary deception and distortion by government funded alarmists and their dishonest supporting media.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Larry Hamlin
October 21, 2016 9:05 am

Unfortunately, I doubt many Americans understand all your factually true statements (be nice if they did).
Rather, many Americans have been listening to false claims (which they believed) for 20 years about polar bear extinction, no sea ice, no more snow, 20-foot sea-level rises, and huge increases in temperatures.
Exactly none of this has (or will) happen, and crisis fatigue is setting in. This is an emotional, not analytical response to the escalating CAGW hype. Just time for the poorly educated crowd to move on to the next scam.
Observation: Many of the fervent believers in CAGW I talk to cannot even tell me what words CAGW stands for…LOL.

Donald Kasper
October 20, 2016 7:55 pm

Democrats are poll-driven. If your issue is not in the top 10, you are out. Climate is something like number 30. That is called political death. Zombie issue. The issue no one cares about and therefore no politician will talk about. Lack of interest leads to lack of funding to follow. Then the issue just goes away. New crises come along, get funding. Climate panic goes away. The reason for this is that screaming mass death, extinction, and tipping points with not a single tangible thing actually going on, the climatographers talk up a storm to each other, but the people are not listening. The public cares about the economy. You may die theoretically some day from climate change, now predicted out 50 years, but if you cannot pay your mortgage this month, you end up on the street or back with your parents. What may happen in 50 years will have to wait till then. Predictions that just have a problem coming true like the end of Arctic sea ice, or at least a jumpstart of end of two weeks of summer minima ice have not come true, being predicted since 2012. This leads people to lose interest. Screaming louder does not substitute for deaths on the ground from climate change. The mass migration is where? Cities recently inundated? Okay, moving along to the economy…

October 20, 2016 8:29 pm

Is there a problem with the climate?

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Mikeyj
October 20, 2016 9:06 pm

Yeah, there’s problem for the Left. It is free.
The left needs to change that; make-believe that man can control it, just that so they can tax the air you breath. Capiche?

Leo Smith
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 20, 2016 9:56 pm

The magic thinking thesis is that if we only had (one) government in control of everything, everything could and would be controlled.
To people born and brought up in the urban and suburban environment, this actually sounds plausible…

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
October 20, 2016 11:14 pm

Tax and enslave. They don’t just want to rob you, they want to own you too.

Paul Westhaver
October 20, 2016 8:46 pm

I didn’t watch the debate.
If I wanted to hear robotic, predictable, automated talking, I will call my cell phone provider.

tony mcleod
October 20, 2016 9:01 pm

Far more important issues like: The Kardashians, Nascar and getting another tat.

Joel O’Bryan
October 20, 2016 9:02 pm

First they come for our firearms.
Then they came for your free speech and religion.
Now they need to make the formerly free press criminally negligent for not kowtowing to their groupthink message.
Orwell and Crichton knew the minds these types (like Romm) well

Ian H
October 20, 2016 9:12 pm

A simple open question like “What is your position on climate change?”

Nobody asks simple open questions these days. “Gotcha” journalism is the current style, and involves asking complicated awkward questions in an effort to trip up the candidate.

Jeff Hayes
October 20, 2016 9:19 pm

Related- After a recent “article” on IFLS entitled “Hillary Clinton Outlines How She Will ‘Step Up To The Challenge’ Of Climate Change” the comments ran about 20+ to 1 against Hillary. The commenters were mostly in agreement that something needs to be done to fight climate change, they just didn’t believe Hillary would do anything. Comments included:
she will assassinate/drone it
after she starts WW III the nuclear winter will solve warming
is that her public or private position?
will Goldman-Sachs let her do anything?
after supporting fracking?
she won’t hurt FF, her biggest donors
she’s lying again
she will tax it to death
Along with far more insulting comments about her character and ifls for running yet another politically slanted “science” article. There were only a few posting AGW skeptical comments, perhaps because those ridiculing Hillary seemed to have things well in hand. Those commenting seemed to be very up-to-date on the latest Wikileaks releases and weren’t buying what was being offered.
I speculate that the dems may realize that, among those for whom the environment is of prime importance, Hillary’s record and Wikileaks have rendered the subject to dangerous a minefield for her. They would rather avoid this issue, and many others, and instead attack Trump.

Leo Smith
October 20, 2016 10:01 pm

Frankly the electorate are ‘bored of’ (sic!) ‘climate change’ and with the level of distrust and contempt that nearly all politicians arouse in them, disinclined to believe a single word they say.
Frankly, if Hillary loses, it will be that no one wants to spend the next 5 years hearing that whiny little voice of white upper middle class privilege virtue signalling her way from one existential crisis to the next.
At least Trump is an amusing sort of buffoon, and can safely be ignored.

October 20, 2016 10:24 pm

Let them whine all they want!! Poll after poll I’ve seen says that “warming” is the LEAST important issue we’re facing today, ie, a vast majority really don’t care!

October 20, 2016 10:54 pm

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
Now who said that? It wasn’t Prince Charles I warrant 😉

Reply to  rogerthesurf
October 21, 2016 12:00 am

He couldn’t fool any of the people any of the time.

James Francisco
Reply to  lee
October 21, 2016 11:18 am

Maybe Prince Charles should have added___but you can make a fool of yourself anytime.

Reply to  afonzarelli
October 21, 2016 8:34 am

Now, just adjust that chart slightly so it shows the 1930’s as being just a little higher/hotter than any subsequent year, and we will have ourselves a reasonably accurate surface temperature chart, which will give us an even better perspective on the past and present.
We will see that we are in the same type of temperature “up and down” as has happened in the past, and at the same magnitude. Nothing unprecedented about the current decade or the post-World War II period.
The Climate Change Gurus said the 1930’s was hotter than 1998, before they took steps to hide that fact by changing the surface temperature chart’s profile to make it appear that the temperatures are getting hotter and hotter and that we live in a very scary world. Putting the 1930’s back in their proper perspective, puts the world in the proper perspective. There is nothing to see here. There is no unprecedented warming occurring today. It’s business as usual. Relax.

October 21, 2016 1:21 am

I think that starting a few years ago there has been a change in CAGW. First, most if not all, have accepted the fact that there was a pause. The die hard faithful resorted to cutting and pasting of climate change papers and a desperate attempt to shore up the declining lack of catastrophic events. ( adjectives like super storms when they were just average, changing data to fit the narrative, and probably outright lying, how strong was Matthew? ) This last hurricane must have been a disappointment. Second, I’ve noticed that more and more people are thinking this is an outright scam as the evidence continues to mount that co2 has nothing to do with climate. Third, as time has gone by and deadline after deadline passed, the true believers have switched tactics several times. Their belief that no actual denier knew anything about science and that all that was needed was to lead them to the promised land of believing. I saw that in several post where they jumped in here trying to dismiss any skeptic has not having any scientific basis based on their on narrow interpretation and pal peer reviewed papers.
It’s only a matter of time that CAGW will die a slow death from neglect. The faithful waiting in the fields will decide that it’s getting cold out there, and a nice warm house is really what they need. Sorry CAGW, we are not going back to stone hammers and bone knives. We aren’t going to live in some mud hut with a dirt floor. The greens are really trying to make most of American cities cess pools. Sure, payday, go rob the local grocery store then complain about living in a food desert. It’s the same people paying for it.

Reply to  rishrac
October 21, 2016 5:08 am

… we are not going back to stone hammers and bone knives. …

The carrying capacity for a stone age population for North and South America (combined) is something like 50 million. link
If we suddenly abandoned our technology, the environment would be devastated. Any wildlife that could be eaten would be extirpated. The result would be worse than Haiti. Every tree and bush would be cut down. Hundreds of millions of people would die. Some greenies think that would be just fine.

Reply to  commieBob
October 21, 2016 9:10 am

Exactly Bob, most of the greenness have stated they’d like to kill off most of the population of earth. They have a very limited view. A fatalistic view. I’d like to see us get us get off this rock and save not only ourselves, but every creature on it. Just this solar system can support hundreds of trillions. What do they think is going to happen when a Yellowstone goes off or a 60 mile wide chunk of rock slams into us? Those events are not a matter of if, it’s when.
It’s a fight for sure, we have crazies that would like to return us back to the 6th century on one hand and greens that would like to kill us outright. While skeptics aren’t carrying weapons, it takes a certain amount of courage to be here. The only thing protecting us is the constitution. When will by executive order we become by law criminals?

Reply to  commieBob
October 21, 2016 10:18 am

rishrac October 21, 2016 at 9:10 am
… Those events are not a matter of if, it’s when. …

Depending on your criteria, there have been between 5 and 20 mass extinction events in the last 540 million years.
We do need to keep up progressing so we can develop the technology to get off this rock. Gaia allowed us to evolve so she would have an escape hatch.

Bob Burban
Reply to  commieBob
October 24, 2016 3:11 pm

“Eat your Greens” may become the new catch-cry.

October 21, 2016 2:55 am

One day the greens will realize they have been used.

Bloke down the pub
October 21, 2016 3:12 am

Working on the, not entirely implausible, supposition that all of the moderators were biased towards HRC, they may have just been trying to avoid giving Trump a topic to discuss that would have suited him and improved his outlook in the polls.

Bruce Cobb
October 21, 2016 4:57 am

The VOX site appears to be down. Maybe it couldn’t handle all the traffic from here.

October 21, 2016 4:59 am

It’s hilarious really. Question wild climate change claims and they shut down debate. Posit that there’s significant holes in the climate change theory and you’re a denier. Yet having refused to debate and smeared anyone who holds a different opinion to their sainted version of events they now want to talk about climate…but ONLY on their terms. T*ssers, the lot of em.

October 21, 2016 5:05 am

I actually had the opportunity to engage an alarmist as they remained civil during the discourse. I did not try to convert them in any way, but just drew them out and made them realize that it is not “settled science”. And as it turns out, they really did not care about global warming (only the chicken littles are running around proclaiming doom and gloom), but about pollution itself. So I merely suggested that perhaps instead of wasting billions on doing things that even proponents agree will have little or no effect, we devote the resources to cleaning up the pollution.
And that is why no one cared about global warming during the debates. The Manns/Schmidts are a very small minority in actual fact. Most of the folks would rather address the real issues – Beijing in the smog and the Pacific Gyre. Which when they start looking for solutions, realize that the goals of the Alarmists are counter to their goals of cleaning up the planet. The “cleaner” nations are those that have cheap and reliable energy. The really polluted ones are those that have trouble getting cheap and reliable energy.

October 21, 2016 6:57 am

If there had been a question on climate change, it would be a no win situation for Hillary.
If she answered that it wasn’t a big deal, her hard core supporters on the left would have been upset.
If she answered that it was a big deal and she intended to raise taxes and energy costs to stop it, it would have upset everyone else.
Those who would be upset about Trump saying it was no big deal, weren’t going to vote for him anyway.

Christopher Paino
October 21, 2016 9:03 am

Aw. I was hoping this post was about John Sutter’s similar article on CNN.

October 24, 2016 10:56 am

The greens are having a hard time finding somebody not already within their own ranks who gives a rat’s a… The Aussies have turned away from them, and the Europeans have discovered there are much more urgent matters of life and death.

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