New York Times columnist Peter Applebome wasn’t surprised that a recent National Center for Atmospheric Research report was buried by media more focused on “Kentucky foot stomps, dead wrestlers, $2 billion in campaign spending, and the pitched battles for control of Congress.”

So much for one more report that “over the next 30 years, warming temperatures associated with climate change were likely to create increasingly dry conditions” in the U.S. and globally “on levels seldom seen before.”

A much drier western U.S. and “extreme drought” and “Dust Bowl-style drought within two decades” just can’t compete in the era of a shrinking news hole, political year or not, Applebome wrote. He pointed out that concerns over two words — “climate change” — have been largely absent from much of the campaign coverage.

“You can barely find the phrase ‘climate change’ on the websites of Democrats running for office,” Applebome wrote, while “for Republicans it has become an item of faith to be a skeptic on the science.”

“It’s not hard to understand why. It’s the economy, stupid, as never before,” Applebome wrote, unearthing Democratic consultant James Carville’s iconic campaign advice during Bill Clinton’s campaigns.

He points to well-recognized communication hurdles involving climate change — carbon in the air is invisible, and the problem is perceived as being global and not local.

The possible silver lining in Applebome’s analysis? “You can make the case that in some ways climate awareness has gone mainstream. No one talks about climate change, but even Republicans voice support for clean energy and green jobs.”

That situation, Applebome writes, could yet lead to progress on clean energy in a “postpartisan climate approach.”