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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Politics of "Climate Science"

"As has been noted relentlessly this week, Monday evening's third and final presidential debate marked the first time since the 1980s that American presidential or vice presidential contenders were neither asked about, nor inclined to offer up on their own, opinions on climate change and what ought to be done about it.

For environmentalists -- and many ordinary Americans -- it seemed a rather discouraging milestone, particularly as a gargantuan super-storm -- of the sort that virtually all climate scientists have been warning for years would increase in frequency as the planet warmed -- threatens to slam headlong into the East Coast in a couple days' time. "Hurricane Sandy," wrote Daniel Honan at, "Mother Nature's revenge on the 2012 election?"

Phil Radford, the executive director of Greenpeace USA, suggested the absence of high level discussion of climate change at the debates was inexcusable. "I just think it's irresponsible for our leaders to not address one of the biggest challenges facing our generation," he said in a phone call on Friday. "It's one of the biggest security threats we have -- it's a threat to agriculture, it threatens our economy. And to simply not talk about it is one of the biggest failures of our leadership."

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