Vice President Mike Pence said a bunch of gibberish on climate change. During the vice presidential debate, when moderator Susan Page of USA Today asked Pence about his views on climate, Pence claimed that he and Trump are listening to the scientists. "The climate is changing," he said. "But the issue is, what's the cause and what do we do about it? President Trump has made it clear that we're going to listen to science."
The chatter going into the first 2020 presidential debate was that climate change wouldn't get much, if any, discussion. But the debate's moderator, Fox News journalist Chris Wallace, threw a wildcard. "I'd like to talk about climate change," Wallace said during the second half of the debate. "So would I," snapped former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee. Climate change is an expansive topic, an issue former presidential candidate Jay Inslee argued would have benefited from its own primary debate (this climate-focused event never happened).
Villagers stand on jute plants surrounding a flooded house in the Gaibandha District of Bangladesh. The country is among the most vulnerable to increased flooding with climate change -- and a new report points out that the United States likewise faces major challenges as the world warms. The evidence is now crystal clear that climate change is real, caused by humans, happening faster than predicted, and poses a tremendous threat to the United States and the rest of the world, according to the Climate Science Special Report released Friday. This 470-page U.S. government report evaluated the latest scientific evidence and concludes that storms, including hurricanes, have become more powerful; heavy rainfall is more common in some parts of the U.S.; and heat waves, wildfires, and droughts are more intense and happening more frequently. These conclusions were made with an unprecedented level of scientific certainty, utterly refuting statements made by senior Trump administration officials about the causes and effects of our changing climate.
To say climate science is a "matter of public debate" and to evade questions about the threats posed by climate change is a problematic stance for any adult who is likely to assume a position of great power and decision-making in the United States government. But that's exactly what Judge Amy Coney Barrett, an accomplished jurist who taught law at the University of Notre Dame, did during her confirmation hearing for a lifelong appointment to the highest court in the land. She declined to answer exceptionally easy, rudimentary questions about climate science. Importantly, the Supreme Court will hear a case next year involving oil giants (like Shell) getting sued for climate change damages. While agreeing that coronavirus is infectious ("It's an obvious fact") and that cigarette smoking causes cancer ("Yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer"), Barrett would not offer views on climate change during the hearing, telling Senator Kamala Harris that it's up to public debate, and therefore is debatable.