Texas Tech University

VP debate shows we’re stuck in first grade on climate change


October 8, 2020

Mashable - Until late Sept. 2020, no one had asked a candidate at a presidential debate about climate change for 12 years. Fox News journalist Chris Wallace ended the streak last week with surprise climate questions during the first debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. But the often-ignored topic returned in the vice-presidential debate, too. On Wednesday night, USA Today journalist Susan Page allotted some 10 minutes to a topic that, year after year, is growing in salience as the planet continually warms.

As Katharine Hayhoe, an atmospheric scientist at Texas Tech University, tweeted during the debate: "By continuing to present it as a 'belief,' the media is feeding the explicitly-promoted narrative that climate change is a false, earth-worshipping religion that must be rejected by all true believers. Promoted by whom, you ask? Anyone who wants us to reject climate solutions." (Hayhoe gave examples of Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Lindsey Graham labeling climate change a "religion.")

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