Surprise! Climate Questions in Debate

October 1, 2020

Above, Fox & Friends getting nervous about climate change shows the issue is penetrating even very thick skulls.

New York Times:

In the homestretch of a 90-minute, insult-laden brawl that only occasionally veered into detailed policy specifics, Chris Wallace, the moderator of Tuesday night’s presidential debate, sprang a surprise: Nearly 10 minutes of pointed questions on a subject that has almost never been addressed in any general presidential debate.

Climate change wasn’t even on the menu. Mr. Wallace had not included it on the list of topics to be discussed.

That fact has long been seen as a reflection of the perception by political campaigns that climate change is a second-tier issue, a matter of concern to niche environmentalists but not to the general public or the crucial swing-state voters who decide presidential elections.

It would appear perceptions have changed.

“Climate change is usually an orphan issue,” said Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University. “The fact that it got raised at all last night is showing that it’s starting to get some of the national stature it deserves and is no longer just a niche Democratic left concern.”

The questions Mr. Wallace asked were pointed and specific, though the answers were less so. He pressed Mr. Trump to publicly state his specific view on whether humans contribute to climate change, to which he responded: “A lot of things do. To an extent, yes.”

Mr. Trump, as he has before, spoke about his desire for “crystal clean air and water,” while failing to reconcile those with his administration’s rollback of over 100 environmental rules, many aimed at protecting clean air and water.

Mr. Biden sought to portray himself as a champion of renewable energy, while at the same time also attempting to distance himself from the Green New Deal, even though that proposal has informed his sweeping plan to spend $2 trillion on green initiatives, an idea that is likely to gain little traction in Congress.

“While it was great that climate change was raised, it got contaminated by the insult-mania, with answers kind of ricocheting all over the place and the public not getting a clear view of how we are going to attack this crisis,” Dr. Brinkley said.

2 Responses to “Surprise! Climate Questions in Debate”

  1. jimbills Says:

    I was surprised Wallace asked a question about it.

    The whole debate was a mess. I thought Biden held up well enough (he kept his cool better I could likely do, anyway), and Trump was the petulant bully with zero decorum that he is. Trump dodged the climate change question just like he dodged the white supremacist question. He doesn’t want to turn off any of his supporters, no matter how crazed they are, so he refuses to say anything that they won’t like.

    It’s beyond me how anyone could see Trump as anything other than a clear and present danger. He’s only doing great harm as far as climate change, and he’s essentially siding with if not claiming authority over the 2020 American version of the 1930s German brown shirts (“Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by,” Trump said, before immediately pivoting, “But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about antifa and the left.”). His only moral compass is guided by what benefits himself personally, and he has no ability to grasp objective truths over his own subjective interests. We actually saw a sitting President continuously question the legitimacy of our elections. What better way to erode the little democracy we do have?

    Forget conservative politics vs. liberal politics, or the traditional Republican vs. Democrat issues. The guy has actual psychological problems, and thinking four more years of that will be anything other than a disaster is utter foolishness.

    Biden needs to explain his platform to the public more, but Trump makes that all but impossible in the debates.

    On the Fox News clip above, I’m not sure you could find a better example of leading questions in an interview (Wallace did that at points in the debate himself, too). They’re trying their best to help Trump not go off the rails, and he does it anyway.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Trump is an overtly corrupt narcissistic bigot who says the quiet words out loud. In one way is even creepier that so many people in the halls of power are smiling slime monsters that publicly defer to him for their own interests (Pence, Barr, Jarvanka, Pompeo, Graham, wealthy Evangelical grifters, the toadies in the house, etc.) for all the world to see.

      Do you think Putin ate popcorn while watching the “debate”?


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