‘Let’s have this debate,’ Ron DeSantis said about the climate crisis, before ignoring the issue. Credit: Brendan Smialowski / AFP. / Getty 

Unlike in recent election cycles, most Republican presidential hopefuls this time around didn’t flat out deny that the climate crisis is real. But on the Fox News debate stage, they made clear that they’re not interested in dwelling on the issues – or doing much about it.

On Tuesday night, the eight candidates were asked to raise their hands if they believed in the reality of human-caused global heating. They all punted.

The Florida governor, Ron DeSantis, immediately derailed efforts to elicit a clear yes or no response. “Let’s have this debate,” he said, before proceeding not to have it at all, instead criticising Joe Biden’s response to the fires in Maui.

Vivek Ramaswamy, a biotech entrepreneur, was notably the only candidate to full-throatedly deny climate science, making the unsubstantiated claim that “more people are dying due to bad climate change policies than they are due to actual climate change”.

There’s no discernible trend of deaths linked to policies […]

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