When again told that TheDC had analyzed the speeches and found no mention of climate change on the convention’s first day, Woodhouse said: “I’m not the right person to ask. Like I said, I haven’t seen the speeches, so I don’t know the answer.”
Woodhouse then pivoted to take a different tack.
“But I’ll say this, I mean, you know, I don’t believe that, I don’t believe that’s the case,” he said, suggesting he didn’t think the lack of comment on climate change meant Democrats were giving the issue a lower priority.
“We’ve gotten this question on other issues. This election is about the economy; it’s about the middle class. And that’s the core about what people are talking about. They’re not necessarily doing it purposely to exclude other issues, but they’re trying to focus on a core set of issues.”
In his keynote speech Wednesday evening, former President Bill Clinton gave only a single passing nod to the climate when he said Obama’s efforts to lower fuel consumption would “cut greenhouse gas emission.”
Liberal Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich said he didn’t know why climate change wasn’t being emphasized, but expressed hope that Obama would bring it up in his speech Thursday night.
“Of course it is — are you kidding? It’s a fundamental issue,” Kucinich told TheDC while racing through the arena, when asked whether climate change was still an important issue.
“Well, I don’t know, but I can tell you this. We have to start recognizing that climate change is an economic issue, it’s a social issue, it’s a health issue as well as a political issue,” he added, when asked why it has hardly been mentioned during the convention. “We can’t run away from it. I think that maybe the president will address this in his speech, I hope.”
But for a party that once promoted the threat of climate change in sensationalistic terms, it says a lot that the party’s high priest of climate change, former Vice President Al Gore, isn’t even attending the convention, much less delivering a speech.
Politico reported that while Gore gave a high profile speech in 2008 warning about the threat of climate change, he is covering this year’s gathering remotely in New York for Current TV, a left-leaning cable network he co-founded.
“We are facing a planetary emergency which, if not solved, would exceed anything we’ve ever experienced in the history of humankind,” Gore inveighed during his 2008 address to the Democratic National Convention.
The Democratic speakers in Charlotte evidently no longer believe humankind faces quite the threat it did just four years ago. That tone may change Thursday, though there has been no indication that it will.