The second presidential debate was flooded with tension, insults and snide exchanges between Republican nominee Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. (Published Monday, Oct. 10, 2016)
There were three big climate lies in last night's Presidential debate...
One was a lie of omission. Moderators failed to ask even a single question about climate change, despite tens of thousands of people calling for a real climate debate. Hurricane Matthew -- one of the strongest October storms ever -- just ripped through Haiti, the Caribbean and the US Southeast Coast. 900 lives were lost, millions of people were evacuated from or lost their homes, and the water is still rising in rivers flooded by extreme rains.
Climate change is real, dangerous, and happening now. Not asking about it during a Presidential debate is a moral and political failure of the highest order.
If the Presidential debates won't take climate change seriously, we must do it for them. Next Monday October 17 at 6 PM EST we're hosting a Climate Check Forum online with our friend Bill McKibben and frontline leaders from across the country dealing with the reality of climate change and fossil fuel extraction.
Last night, the candidates also failed to discuss the ongoing crisis in Standing Rock, North Dakota where thousands of Native Americans and their allies are camped out to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline. Hours before the debate, a court lifted an injunction on construction, and today fossil fuel resistors in North Dakota are taking courageous actions to protect their land, sacred sites and the climate.
Both candidates still managed to sneak in two lies about fossil fuels.
First, Donald Trump talked a lot about 'clean coal' technology -- which does not exist in any proven form, anywhere in the world, even after tens of billions of dollars have been spent on it. It's exactly the kind of myth that someone who thinks climate change is a 'hoax' would believe in.
And Hillary Clinton, who says she does believe in climate change, said that fracked gas is a 'bridge fuel' to renewable energy. Let's be clear: natural gas is a fossil fuel that contributes to climate change. Fracking for gas leaks one of the most powerful greenhouse gases on earth, methane. Renewable energy has never been cheaper, employs more people than coal or oil, and is ready for mass deployment now.
Building new fossil fuel infrastructure now is dangerous and amounts to climate denial. Both candidates -- but especially the one who says she believes in climate change -- should be opposing coal, oil and gas, and standing with folks like those fighting Dakota Access to stop new fossil fuel development, and backing a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy.
This country -- actually, this entire planet -- deserves a real climate debate. If the candidates won't have it, we will. Join us online Monday, October 17 at 6 PM EST and let's get serious.
Yours with frustration,
P.S. Haiti, a country with a rich culture of resistance and resilience, was hit particularly hard by Hurricane Matthew. Along with the immediate impacts of the storm, a public health crisis is brewing in its wake. If you'd like to support the recovery, we recommend donations to Partners in Health here: donate.pih.org/page/contribute/hurricane-response
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