What Happened Regarding Global Climate Change During 2012 Presidential Election

Falcon.com Exclusive: A Q&A with Maggie Fox, President and CEO of The Climate Reality Project

GUILFORD, November 5, 2012 — Four years ago, global climate change was a major issue in the presidential election—one that seemingly sparked more agreement than debate. John McCain insisted that “greenhouse gas emissions, by retaining heat within the atmosphere, threaten disastrous changes in the climate.” Barack Obama agreed. “Few challenges facing America—and the world–are more urgent than combating climate change,” he said, noting that the U.S.needed to lead the world in “reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.”

The recent presidential debates, however, lacked any discussion whatsoever about global climate change, prompting many of who are concerned about environmental issues to ask: “What happened to global climate change?”

Falcon.com put this question to Maggie Fox, president and CEO of the Climate Reality Project, which was founded in 2006 as the Alliance for Climate Protection by former vice president Al Gore, who serves as the organization’s chairman. An internationally recognized leader in the environmental movement, Fox is the former deputy executive director of the Sierra Club, a board member to The Energy Future Coalition and Western Resource Advocates, and she was honored by the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment as the 2010 Woman of the Year.

In this exclusive Q&A interview, Fox examines such issues as how:

  • Discussions of global climate change and energy, which had been two of the top issues President Obama and Congress planned to address in 2009, came to a standstill during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
  • Climate change was aggressively thrust into the culture wars, being transformed in public opinion from being a matter of scientific fact to being viewed as a divisive matter of opinion. Says Fox: “Suddenly, climate—like religion, politics, and money—became something one couldn’t discuss in polite company.”
  • The fossil fuel industry has been aggressively funding think tanks, spending more than $153 million this year alone in TV advertising to create denial and doubt in the U.S. about climate change.
  • There are several actions that every person can take to stand up to the anti-climate change message, becoming more active in their communities, and using their purchasing power, as consumers, to spend their dollars in more sustainable ways.

You’ll find Falcon.com’s interview with Maggie Fox here.