POLITICS
10/19/2016 11:04 pm ET Updated Oct 20, 2016

Presidential Debate Ignores Climate Change ... Again

It's not like the future of humanity is at stake or anything.
Chris Wallace, not asking a question about climate change at Wednesday night's debate. 
Carlos Barria / Reuters
Chris Wallace, not asking a question about climate change at Wednesday night's debate. 

Wednesday night’s presidential debate came and went ― again ― with no mention of climate change. That makes three chances for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to talk about the issue, and three missed opportunities where they didn’t.

Moderators made time for questions about what the candidates admire about one another and the sexual trespasses of Bill Clinton (who is not running for office). But there somehow hasn’t been any time to ask about what is arguably the most pressing global issue currently facing humanity.

Climate change has come up, but only when Clinton brought it up. She mentioned the problem in the first debate last month, calling out Trump for dismissing it as a Chinese hoax. Trump denied his denial, even though he’s got a traceable Internet trail.

Clinton made passing reference to the issue again on Wednesday, in her pledge to support clean energy development. She said it would help address the “serious problem” of climate change while creating new business opportunities. 

Ken Bone, the internet’s favorite cartoon incarnate, got the closest to asking a climate question, though he didn’t mention the words. He asked the candidates about their energy polices and what they would do to meet energy needs, be environmentally friendly and minimize job loss.

Wednesday’s debate moderator, Fox News’ Chris Wallace, did not bring climate change up at all (despite the promise that the candidates would discuss “foreign hot spots”). This is perhaps surprising to no one, given Fox’s enthusiasm for the subject.

Still, it’s shocking that the country has made it through three presidential debates, and one vice presidential one, without really hearing about the issue.

Candidates were asked about it in the Democratic primary debates. Even the Republican primary debates had a climate change question.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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