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.
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.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place