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60-Second Earth

Candidates Mum on Climate Change

How can we break the ice and get a political conversation started about climate change, David Biello asks

If there's one thing the Democratic and Republican Presidential candidates seem to agree on, it's this: avoid the subject of climate change.

Mitt Romney would rather joke about President Obama's grandiose promise to heal the planet back in 2008. And Barack Obama would rather talk about jobs saved or created in Ohio, Florida and other swing states.

Never mind that this summer saw a record-breaking meltdown of Arctic sea ice, presaging rising sea levels and more extremely weird weather. Or that the U.S. is locked in a historic drought during what will most likely be the warmest year on record for this nation. Or that concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere continue to tick up inexorably. We are basically guaranteeing an even warmer future and much more acidic oceans.

We thank the two presidential candidates for presenting their views on climate change in response to Scientific American's survey this year. However, neither laid out any kind of policy plan for how to deal with global warming.

Let's break the code of silence. Maybe it's time for a moderator or audience member to directly ask a climate policy question during the October debates? Maybe?

—David Biello

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

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