Hillary Goes Yard

Last night’s speech was the best I have ever seen Senator Clinton give, and I’ve seen quite a few. On top of the passion and compassion that she expressed so eloquently, she provided more than lip service to the issue of the environment. I was thinking about posting on the Las Vegas over-under for mentions of the environment at the DNC.  My bet would have been three, but Hillary blew that out of the water last night.

Clinton talked about climate change, the need for alternative energy, and green-collared jobs as an integral part of a vibrant economy. Would I have been happier if she included a statement on the need to protect the rights of all Americans to clean air, water, soil and food? Of course, but that’s asking too much from a speech delivered to promote party solidarity behind Obama. I can only hope that her comments are the beginning of political mainstreaming of environmental issues in the presidential election.

Brian Schweitzer — the bolo-wearing, cattle-ranching governor from Montana — also made a strong impression. He shocked the house by going hard after administration subsidies of the oil industry and the White House’s Neanderthal petroleum-based energy policy. The urgent need to move quickly towards alternative energy and conservation was strongly emphasized by the guv in the cowboy boots.

Maybe future comprehensive comparisons between McCain and Obama will include a significant assessment of their stands on the environmental issues that are so critical to Americans and to people across the globe. I understand how naïve that statement is, but Clinton’s speech was truly an inspiration. And her pitch for America to tackle climate change and move towards a green economy could not have been lost on the millions of viewers watching the convention coverage.

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