Dr. James Hansen of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies said Wednesday that climate change was not discussed in the 2012 presidential campaign because both parties were intimidated by the fossil fuel industry.

"Neither party wants to offend the fossil fuel industry," he told Current TV host Cenk Uygur. "They want to win the election, and they know the power of the fossil fuel industry. You can’t turn on your television without seeing these advertisements about clean coal, clean tar sands and the claim that there’s more jobs associated with fossil fuels than other industries. That’s of course not true, but they’re hammering that into the voters’ heads."

For the first time since 1988, neither Barack Obama or Mitt Romney mentioned climate change during this year's presidential debates. Both candidates have been reluctant to discuss the issue, though former President Bill Clinton -- while campaigning for Obama -- slammed Romney after Hurricane Sandy’s devastation. The GOP candidate had mocked climate change during his address at the Republican National Convention.

"So if anyone challenges the fossil fuel industry, first of all, they're going to lose the money they get from the fossil fuel industry and, secondly, they're going to have the fossil fuel industry against them in the election," Hansen added, admitting it was partially a problem with the campaign finance system.

Despite record-breaking heat waves and severe drought during the summer of 2012, major networks largely ignored the subject of climate change as well.

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below: