As The World Warms

Andrew Sullivan —  Oct 17 2012 @ 3:57pm

Chris Hayes on last night's lack of debate on climate change:

Having an energy conversation without talking about climate is like talking about smoking and not talking about cancer.

Andrew Leonard is similarly depressed:

I am sure I am not alone in being baffled at Obama’s reluctance to bring up one of the worst oil spills in American history in the context of a discussion of oil production on federal land, but that’s a minor quibble when compared to the invisibility of climate change. It’s hard to think of a better illustration of how screwed up the debate over energy policy is in this country than the sight of two candidates for president fighting with each other over who supports the coal industry with more gusto. For environmentalists, the worst moment of the debate had to be when President Obama took obvious pleasure in pointing out that Romney had once stood in front of a coal-fired power plant and said “this plant kills.” Ouch.

Lisa Hymas adds:

Obama did talk during the debate about building a clean energy economy: “we’ve got to make sure we’re building the energy source of the future, not just thinking about next year, but 10 years from now, 20 years from now. That’s why we’ve invested in solar and wind and biofuels, energy-efficient cars.”

But in today’s political climate, Obama just doesn’t believe he can turn his back on fossil fuels and still win the election. It’s not even clear that he wants to turn his back on fossil fuels.