Get this existential threat debate scorecard and ask the questions Fox News likely won’t ~ Bulletin of Atomic Scientists

“We will gather around the laptop by the asado fire in our mantas to watch with the huasos!”

Edgar Boyles, rŌbert Patagonia roving correspondent (primer hombre)


By Thomas Gaulkin, September 28, 2020

(Candidate photos by Gage Skidmore via Creative Commons)

Questioning the questioning is part of the ritual of watching US presidential debates. Too many softballs! Too many gotchas! Too many for the candidate I don’t support! But when the moderator for this year’s first debate—Chris Wallace of Fox News—announced the subjects to be discussed, he made it possible to begin the questioning before the debate even begins.

The subjects Wallace listed are clearly worthy of voter interest:

But the Wallace list ignores the two largest threats to the future of humanity, nuclear war and climate change. If these enormous potential catastrophes aren’t seen as pressing issues to be debated, where does the fault rest—with the people running the debates, or the people watching them?

We hope Wallace and the moderators of two subsequent presidential debates ask the following questions:

If you’re a watcher, we recommend you keep track of how well things go at the next debate with our handy existential threat scorecard (below). We can’t promise you’ll wind up with high scores—but maybe the moderator and, better yet, the candidates will surprise us and give the most important issues facing humanity the attention they deserve.

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