A noted economist is asking why a very big topic hasn't been coming up in the debates.
The 2016 presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are ignoring one hugely important issue so far in their war of words, says noted economist Paul Krugman. And that’s the climate — something that the media is “criminal irresponsible” in avoiding, he says.
Economist Paul Krugman is urging the moderators of the remaining two presidential debates to start pressing the candidates on the topic of global warming in a column in the New York Times. The Nobel-prize winning economist said that not only should cimate change get more discussion, it should be the “central issue” of the entire campaign.
“It’s time to end the blackout on climate change as an issue,” Krugman wrote. “It needs to be front and center — and questions must be accompanied by real-time fact-checking, not relegated to the limbo of he-said-she-said, because this is one of the issues where the truth often gets lost in a blizzard of lies.”
The candidates have staked out two very different positions on the issue. Clinton says she would slash greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30 percent by 2025 as a continuation of President Barack Obama’s efforts, where as Donald Trump has stated repeatedly that he believes climate change is a hoax that has been pushed by the Chinese in a bid to out-compete America on the global market.
“I wish I could say that this puts him outside the mainstream of his party, but it doesn’t,” Krugman wrote. “So there is a huge, incredibly consequential divide on climate policy. Not only is there a vast gap between the parties and their candidates, but this gap arguably matters more for the future than any of their other disagreements. So why don’t we hear more about it?”
Krugman later added: “Somehow Elaine Quijano, the moderator, found time for not one but two questions inspired by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget — an organization concerned that despite relatively low budget deficits now and extremely low borrowing costs, the federal government may face fiscal problems a couple of decades down the line. There may be something to this, although not as much as deficit scolds claim (and Ms. Quijano managed to suggest that Mrs. Clinton’s proposals, which are fully paid for, are no better than Mr. Trump’s multitrillion-dollar debt blowout).
“But if we’re worried about the longer-term implications of current policies, the buildup of greenhouse gases is a much bigger deal than the accumulation of low-interest debt. It’s bizarre to talk about the latter but not the former.”