For the first time in 24 years, the words "climate," "warming" or "greenhouse effect" were not used once in the presidential debate cycle. Meanwhile, "oil" and "natural gas" were mentioned 56 times. To put that in context, the U.S. just experienced the warmest eight months on record, when 60 percent of the nation experienced moderate-to-exceptional drought conditions, 44,000 wildfires burned 7.7 million acres, and U.S. corn production reached its lowest yield in 17 years. In 2011, the 14 most severe weather events in the country cost the U.S. close to $140 billion. And now comes Hurricane Sandy, which is on track to be the largest storm ever to hit the East Coast, with damage estimated in the tens of billions.