May 22, 2013
Even in Writing, Obama and Romney Ignore Climate Change
Posted on Nov 2, 2012
Even in the aftermath of the superstorm that devastated the East Coast this week, neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney discussed the pressing issue of climate change in a pair of CNN op-eds the presidential candidates wrote, making one of their final pleas to voters before next week’s election.
Republican Romney laid out his economic vision for the umpteenth time, which he argues will add jobs and speed up the economic recovery. He also stressed the need for North American energy independence (which we will achieve by 2020 under his leadership, he wrote), and said he will “roll back” the deep spending cuts to the military enacted by Obama.
Romney concluded his editorial by saying that he is “offering real change and a real choice.”
Obama, who campaigned as the candidate of “hope” and “change” in 2008, appears to have dropped the hope part for now, but is adamant that he is still the candidate who will provide “real change” in Washington. He outlined some of the accomplishments of his first four years in office—ending the war in Iraq, the auto industry recovery and the creation of 5 million jobs in the past two and a half years—while reiterating his vision for a second term.
Overall, these two op-eds offer voters nothing new or different from the standard campaign rhetoric Americans have heard time and time again on the campaign trail and in the debates.
And neither candidate addressed an important issue that has been virtually ignored throughout the presidential race—climate science—even as it’s been brought to the forefront by the news media following Hurricane Sandy.
There are some, including Jonathan Foley, director of the University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment, and Michael Mann, a climate researcher at Pennsylvania State University, who believe the issue will continue to stay on the back burner because of the differences in attitude between the two major parties.
Foley, for one, hopes that the Hurricane Sandy experience will at least spur a long-term discussion about climate change and other weather-related issues once the campaign is over.
“This is an opportunity to have a conversation about how vulnerable we are to natural disasters,” Foley said. “We need a good, balanced discussion, but with a sense of urgency.”
—Posted by Tracy Bloom.
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