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Four debates, no mention of climate change

President Barack H. Obama and his challenger, former Massachusetts governor Willard Mitt Romney, completed their third debate of the 2012 presidential campaign season Monday night without being asked any questions about climate change.

It was a continuation of a pattern that, for the first time since 1988, saw no questions about the phenomenon that threatens to significantly alter Earth’s environment and that is likely to cause huge economic burdens to humanity.

Although not mentioned during the three presidential candidate debates and single vice presidential candidate debate, both Obama and Romney spoke of climate change at their respective parties’ conventions this summer.

Romney said that he is not seeking the presidency to prevent sea level rise or protect the planet’s natural environments, while Obama retorted that “climate change is not a hoax.”

“More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke,” he said in Charlotte. “They are a threat to our children’s future.”

The U.S. Department of Defense has listed climate change as among the most significant security threats to the nation, while local impacts within the country could cost the American economy billions of dollars.

Record ice melt in the Arctic this year is among the latest indications that heating of Earth’s atmosphere as a result of industrial emissions continues.

The debates did include discussion of both candidates’ plans to facilitate increased extraction and use of fossil fuels.

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