The next Republican Presidential debate is on October 28 and there's reason to hope it might be interesting to watch. Click here to call on the CNBC moderators to ask about climate change!
Last week, during their first televised debate, Democrats spent some serious time talking about climate change and how to address it.1 None of those candidates will be on stage next week, but their conversation puts some onus on Republicans and the debate moderators of their next debate on the 28th at 8 p.m.1 Also since the last GOP debate, candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio have come out with energy plans.2 So far, those plans aren't very good for the climate but they give moderators a chance to ask questions and other candidates something real to talk about (not just Trump's hair).
This is sounding interesting, but the next debate is moderated by CNBC, and is supposed to focus on financial issues. You might remember we once took CNBC host Joe Kernen to task for being an on-air climate denier.3 Fortunately, Joe isn't moderating this debate, so we just need to make sure his colleagues get the message that climate change is a top issue for voters, and has a LOT to do with the economy, before the stage is set for next week's debate. Can you sign our petition calling on the CNBC moderators to ask about climate change at the next debate?
Despite the focus on financial issues, there's reason to hope this team of moderators will do better than the previous GOP debate hosts at Fox news and CNN.
Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood will moderate. Who are they? Quintanilla is the co-anchor of "Squawk on the Street" and "Squawk Alley." Back in 2014 he helped produce a story on "How to Lessen Climate Change's Impacts"4 and appeared on The 'World Must Act Now to Avert Disaster of Climate Change.'5 Quick is co-anchor of "Squawk Box" with Joe Kernen, but once interviewed Warren Buffett about climate change,6 so she's got some experience asking famous rich people about the topic (a good sign for Trump?). Harwood is CNBC's Chief Washington Correspondent, and in that role asked Carly Fiorina if she believes that "humans contribute to climate change and that the government ought to do something about it," just a few weeks ago!7
All of which is not to mention that climate change is big financial news right now. A study released this week found that in 2005 alone, climate change caused close to $14 billion of additional damage, including devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.8 Last week, 10 of the world’s big oil companies pledged to support an international deal to cut global warming pollution.9 And just yesterday big companies like Facebook, Sony and Coke all committed to a White House climate change pledge.10
Since every member of the CNBC moderating team has asked on climate before, and with the added scrutiny on climate and energy issues overall, there's reason to hope this will be a breakthrough moment for climate change in the GOP race! But we've seen over and over again that the best way to get these moderators' attention is to push them online and on social media. When we tweeted and emailed CNN's Jake Tapper, he responded personally and eventually asked the first, albeit a brief and not very good, question about climate at a Republican debate.
So let's not be shy! Click here to sign our petition to the debate moderators asking them to pose tough questions about climate change - then share the campaign and your question online and on social media!
Drew and the #AskOnClimate crew at Environmental Action
PS - Click here to RSVP early and watch the debate with us next Wednesday.
1 - CNN Money, Democratic debate hits record 15.3 million viewers. October 14, 2015
- CNBC Republican Debate Criteria, CNBC September, 30 2015
2 - Jeremy W. Peters and Coral Davenport, Marco Rubio’s Energy Policy Centers on Drilling and Reversing Obama Rules, The New York Times, October 16, 2015
- Matt Flegenheimer, Jeb Bush Calls for Ending Ban on Crude Oil Exports, New York Times, September 29, 2015
3 - Jesse Bacon, One delivery CNBC should send back: climate denial, Environmental Action Blog, November 15, 2013
4 - Thompson, A. (Reporter), & Quintanilla, C. (Anchor), How to Lessen Climate Change's Impact, NBC Nightly News, April 13, 2014
5 - Kyle Drennen, Panicked NBC: 'World Must Act Now' to 'Avert Disaster' of Climate Change, Newsbusters, April 14, 2014
6 - Terrell Johnson, What Warren Buffett Really Thinks About Climate Change, Weather.com March 4, 2014
7 - John Harwood, 10 questions for Carly Fiorina, CNBC, September 16 2015
8 - Doyle Rice, Study: Climate change adding billions to U.S. hurricane costs, USA Today, October 19, 2015
9 - Stanley Reed, Oil and Gas Companies Make Statement in Support of U.N. Climate Goals, The New York Times, October 16, 2015
10 - Katie Fehrenbacher, Big tech firms, food companies commit to White House climate change pledge, Fortune, October 19, 2015