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August 29, 2012

Put Climate Change in the First Presidential Debate

What’s on your TV right now?
Cable news chatter about the Romney family’s dancing horse? A bunch of talking heads yelling about President Obama’s birth certificate?

Let’s face it, from now until November, you and every other voter will be bombarded with non-stop coverage of the presidential election. But the question is: what will we be hearing about? Will we be learning where the candidates stand on serious issues like global warming — or will the news media focus on frivolous gossip and insignificant issues?
The choice is in your hands. We have a plan to make sure that climate change is at the top of the issues list this election, but we need your help.

Will you sign our petition calling on the moderator of the first presidential debate, Jim Lehrer, to ask President Obama and Governor Romney about the climate crisis? We need 50,000 signatures in the next month.
Millions of voters will get their information about the presidential candidates by watching the debates this fall. With a moderator like Jim Lehrer — whose show, the PBS NewsHour, has often covered climate change with the gravity that it requires — we have a real chance to generate a substantive discussion about global warming on the national stage…if he asks the candidates about the issue.

The first debate, on October 3rd, is focused exclusively on domestic issues. With the effects of climate change causing hardship for people across the county — from flooding in the Southeast to drought in the Midwest to the wildfires in Colorado, where the debate is being held — it’s only natural to assume that Mr. Lehrer should ask President Obama and Governor Romney to discuss how they plan to address global warming. 
Unfortunately, experience has taught us that we can’t assume much when it comes to climate change coverage in the national media. Despite the fact that July was the hottest month ever recorded in the U.S., only 8.7 percent of television segments that reported on the record-breaking heat waves made the connection to climate change, according to an analysis by Media Matters for America. But we can change that if we work together.

Will you help us reach our goal of 50,000 signatures? Add your name to the growing list of people calling on Jim Lehrer to make the climate crisis a priority in the first presidential debate!
No matter how many climate change deniers stick their heads in the sand, the climate crisis will keep getting worse until we do something about it. The first step towards making that happen is ensuring that voters know where their elected officials stand on moving us towards a clean energy future.

So, I hope you’ll join us in signing this petition today and sharing it with your community.

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