The last presidential debate not only continued the silence on climate change, it also advanced the false narrative that we have to choose between economic growth and action on climate change. While the candidates focused on how to keep gas prices down, increase energy independence, and create jobs, they never addressed how we can use our energy plan to fight climate change. By refusing to address climate consequences, both candidates reinforce the idea that we either focus on economic growth or we focus on the environment, but not both. In fact, the truth is the two are inextricable intertwined and we cannot address one without addressing the other.
The only time the debate came close to touching on climate change was a discussion on energy policy. Yet, instead of discussing how we need a new energy future to stave off the worst impacts of climate change, both candidates touted their love of fossil fuels and their plans to expand, not contract, their use. When asked why she didn't address climate change, the moderator said:
"I had that question for all of you climate change people. ... We just, you know, again, we knew that the economy was still the main thing so you knew you kind of wanted to go with the economy."