Al Gore knocks Obama and Romney for 'conspiracy of silence' on climate

Al Gore isn’t pleased that President Obama and Mitt Romney are steering clear of climate change on the stump despite record-setting heat and extreme drought.

The former vice president expressed his displeasure via Web link, steering readers of his blog to a Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists column titled “Conspiracy of silence: The irresponsible politics of climate change.”

“In a summer dominated by heat waves and a devastating nationwide drought, it would seem that climate change would be a major issue in the US presidential campaign. However, quite the opposite is happening. Neither President Barack Obama nor the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, has focused any attention on this critical issue,” states the Bulletin column, which Gore calls “important.”

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Climate change has played little role in the campaigns, even though Obama and Romney both frequently mention energy.

A few months ago, Obama seemed poised to make climate change a bigger issue in the presidential race. In April, he told Rolling Stone magazine that the debate on climate would be part of the campaign and vowed to be “very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way.”

Obama, however, has largely steered clear of mentioning the issue explicitly, even while talking up his support for green energy and, more recently, federal drought aid efforts.

In his weekly address about drought aid Saturday, Obama cited new federal data showing that July was the hottest month on record in the contiguous United States, but didn’t link it to climate change.