Our View: Candidates avoid environmental talk

DKS Editors

Summary: Climate change is an important issue looming in our future, and it’s worth discussion — or at least acknowledgement — from the presidential candidates.

Amid clashes in and out of debates, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney seem to agree that the world is warming and humans are partly to blame — but neither has a clear plan of what to do.

Even after a year of record-breaking temperatures, none of the presidential debate moderators asked about climate change, and neither candidate volunteered the topic. Instead, Obama and Romney are seemingly trying to outdo each other as lovers of coal, oil and natural gas — which are the fuels most responsible for rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Obama is touting his new gas mileage goals — 55 mpg by 2025 — and Romney is saying that goal would require too much government regulation on business, but neither will stress environmental issues. Unfortunately, climate change and the health of our environment don’t seem to draw enough potential votes. But we can’t wait for disaster to strike; politicians should care about the environment now.

Currently, clean energy costs more to produce than oil and coal, so we as consumers would initially pay more. But if we continue to show no urgency, the effects on environmental and human health could be devastating in the long run.

Many voters have understandable concern for unemployment, the economy and other immediately affecting issues — which Obama and Romney should of course address and seek to solve. Climate change isn’t putting millions out of work, but it could be just as detrimental in a few decades, and we can’t ignore it forever. A president’s term is only four years, but his choices may impact the environment forever. Obama and Romney, we know you love coal, but what are you going to do when our coal reserves deplete and our climate is beyond saving?

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.