By Simon Watson, Professor of Wind Energy at Loughborough ...
It's almost like President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney have already forgotten that this summer Americans experienced some of the most severe droughts in history and massive wildfires.
Yet here we are with only one Presidential debate to go and not once has either candidate uttered the words “climate change” in the two previous national debates. It doesn't help that neither debate moderator Jim Lehrer or Candy Crowley chose to pose a question about climate change.
Even if one of the debate moderators did ask a question about climate change it would probably be the perennial favorite and completely idiotic question: “Do you believe in global warming?” - as if scientific conclusions, like the theory of gravity, are something we have to believe in for them to actually be real.
Friends of the Earth and Forecast the Facts are running a Climate Silence campaign urging Obama and Romney to speak up on climate change issues in this election, at the least, in the final debate happening tomorrow night.
Jim Talent, a former Republican Senator and one of Mitt Romney’s top campaign advisors, has played an instrumental role in the Romney camp’s positions on energy. Specifically, Talent has pushed for greater consumption and mining of coal to meet America’s energy needs.
What the campaign failed to mention is that the lobbying firm that Talent is still on the payroll with lists one of the largest coal-producing companies in the country as one of its top clients.
And although Talent is not registered as a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. (thereby making it illegal for him to engage in lobbying activities,) his website clearly states that “lobbying” is one of the services he is able to personally provide for clients.
David Halperin has the story at Republic Report:
“Gov. Romney does not think greenhouse gases are pollutants within the meaning of the Clean Air Act, and he does not believe that the EPA should be regulating them,” said Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul. “CO2 is a naturally occurring gas. Humans emit it every time they exhale.” Politico, July 2011 .
“Romney went from believing that humans contribute to global warming, though he was uncertain how much, to saying he didn't know what contributes to global warming.” Andrea Saul denied that Romney had “flip-flopped” on his climate stance, responding:
“This is ridiculous. Governor Romney's view on climate change has not changed. He believes it's occurring, and that human activity contributes to it, but he doesn't know to what extent. He opposes cap and trade, and he refused to sign such a plan when he was governor. Maybe the bigger threat is all the hot air coming from career politicians who are desperate to hold on to power.”