11/01/2011 07:52 pm ET | Updated Jan 01, 2012

GOP Debate Dead Zone

In one important respect, the media have been missing in action during the eight Republican presidential debates already on the books. Journalist interrogators gave the candidates a pass by failing to raise a problem that virtually every nation and major scientific body in the world treats as a matter of grave concern. It is a problem with a potential that exceeds even a struggling economy in potential to disrupt society and diminish the quality of life; and it is a topic that was conspicuously absent in the give and take of the debates.

Why aren't the media doing their do diligence and asking the candidates whether the planet is getting warmer at an inordinately rapid pace, and if so, whether that is due primarily to natural fluctuation or human activity?

Even if the candidates don't consider global warming a legitimate threat, they should be queried how they would handle the climate related changes that are already on record and exude menace.

Let some of the GOP aspirants for their party's nomination dismiss global warming as a Left Wing ploy to obscure a federal government power grab. Journalist moderators should not be deterred from requesting the candidates to elaborate how they would deal with rising sea levels as well as more intense incidences of drought, flooding, and heat waves, all of which have increased dramatically in the past decade. Will Texas Governor Rick Perry, for example, continue to maintain that his drought-stricken state's only remaining recourse to battling the elements is to pray for rain?

The presidential contenders should be asked point blank what they would do to mitigate the alarming temperature-related coral reef and forest cover die-offs that bode poorly for the global environment. What measures would they take to combat the ocean's increasing acidification that poses a threat to fish stocks and other marine life?

Former President Bill Clinton says our refusal to cooperate fully with the international community in tackling global warming is "humiliating", especially since we are the world's leading emitter of polluting greenhouse gases. What is the Republican candidates' response to Clinton's criticism?

Hopefully, when the next GOP debate rolls around in November, the media will be better prepared to draw out the candidates on these climate-related issues that could profoundly impact our future quality of life.

The American people deserve no less.