Environmentalists are pushing moderators to deluge the Republican and Democratic nominees during the presidential debates about global warming.
The League of Conservation Voters, among other activist groups, said Friday it managed to scratch together 100,000 signatures of people wanting moderators to pepper Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump with questions about the environment and clean energy resources.
“As the moderators of the 2016 presidential debates, you have the opportunity to ask questions about the most pressing issues facing our country — and climate change must be at the top of the list,” the group’s petition reads.
NBC’s Lester Holt will moderate the first of three debates Monday, which will consist of a 90-minute back-and-forth with the nominees on three primary issues: America’s direction, achieving prosperity, and securing America.
Environmentalists think the debate should also give credence to an issue they think will affect Americans’ “health, the economy, our national security — and their children’s and grandchildren’s futures.”
“We must know where the candidates stand on these issues,” the group’s petition adds. “Please bring this important issue to the national stage by asking the candidates how they plan to address climate change.”
Nearly 1.5 percent of the almost 1,500 questions asked by moderators during the Republican and Democratic primary debates were about global warming — the League of Conservation Voters believes that percentage needs to be increased.
“Both candidates need to be asked about their specific plans for tackling the climate crisis through clean, renewable power, and zero and low emission transportation,” the group said. “Those answers must be measured against both the consequences of inaction and the fundamental scientific facts the world is racing against.”
The differences between Clinton and Trump on global warming couldn’t be starker.
Trump has repeatedly stated global warming is a “a total, and very expensive, hoax,” not to mention a myth, a con, and complete “bullshit.” Trump told The Washington Post in March that he is “not a great believer in man-made climate change.”
The former reality TV star also said this week he would be willing to open federal lands to oil production.
Meanwhile, Clinton has endorsed President Barack Obama’s global warming regulatory regime, and has promised to do more to boost green energy production and cut emissions.
Even so, activists appear dead-set on pushing Clinton into the clutches of the environmental cause. Perhaps one of the reasons for skepticism is the perception that the former secretary of state is getting wobbly legged on her fight against global warming.
While Clinton continues to make promises on “clean energy” jobs, she had dramatically ratcheted down her “climate change” rhetoric in speeches since winning Sen. Bernie Sanders’ endorsement, according to Sept. 22 report by Climate Home.
It discovered that, “since Sanders endorsed Clinton on July 12, the full focus of the Clinton campaign has swung to Trump,” and in “38 speeches since that date, Clinton mentioned climate change specifically eight times.”
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