Reporters call out Obama and Romney’s silence
Nary a word has been spoken about climate change on the presidential campaign trail, and it’s a silence that some journalists find deafening.
In the last few weeks, a variety of reporters have called out the candidates for utterly ignoring the issue. The Associated Press’s Steven R. Hurst, for instance, reminded readers that just four months ago, Barack Obama told Rolling Stone that he suspected climate change would become a major point of debate.
“I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we’re going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way,” Obama said. But that promise has come to naught, Hurst reported. Instead, Obama is fighting Republican challenger Mitt Romney “over the struggling American economy and stubbornly high unemployment.”
The New York Times’s Felicity Barringer observed that the candidates are willing to talk about energy policy (as they did last week), largely because it is intimately related to the jobs debate. But “climate change has been the issue that national politicians seem to avoid at all costs,” Barringer wrote. That’s a problem, National Journal’s Amy Harder argued, since “the next president will have to address [global warming], no matter who wins in November.”
Apart from the heat waves, droughts, and wildfires that have “thrust climate change back into the spotlight,” Harder wrote, “the State and Transportation departments must address a European Union cap-and-trade law aimed at forcing airlines to pay fees for greenhouse gases emitted by all flights to and from Europe. Yet neither candidate is addressing these unavoidable realities—at least not yet.”