Memo to Debate Moderators: You 'Owe It to Future Generations' to Talk About Climate Change

With more than 100 million Americans expected to watch the first presidential debate tonight, there are growing calls to question the candidates' stance on climate change.

Lester Holt "owes it to future generations" to talk about climate change this campaign season, wrote John Sutter of CNN. Shawn Otto, chairman of ScienceDebate.org, said climate change is the most urgent science question to ask during the debate. The issue also figured prominently in recent polls by the Washington Post and New York Times regarding questions the readers would like to ask the candidates.

"Tonight's debate offers a rare chance for America to hear from both candidates about the urgent issues facing this country, so it is vital for Lester Holt to press Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on their plans to deal with the threat of climate change," Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said.

"People all over this country are already dealing with the impacts of climate change, and so during the first presidential debate of 2016, Americans deserve to hear what our two Presidential candidates plan to do about it. Because of the low bar that Donald Trump has set for discussing actual policy during this election, it is up to the debate moderators to demand the candidates take climate change as seriously as the rest of the country does. The American people will not tolerate a reality show in place of what should be a real political discussion. Lester Holt is a serious journalist. He should act like one tonight."

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For a deeper dive:

CNN, John D Sutter column; Newsweek, Shawn Otto interview; Grist, Emma Foehringer Merchant column; Business Insider, Rebecca Harrington analysis; Columbus Dispatch, Jessica Wehrman analysis; Las Vegas Review-Journal, Ben Botkin analysis; Buzzfeed, Dino Grandoni analysis

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

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