Democratic National Convention: Night 2 Recap – A “Side” of Climate Change and Calamari!

Climate change, clean energy, and green jobs and infrastructure were mentioned numerous times during the evening — they came up right off the bat in the “chorus” of bright stars in the Party who delivered the opening Keynote address. It received many additional mentions in the numerous short speeches and testimonials about the Vice President.

  • Senator Schumer said that if elected, Vice President Biden will take on climate change and “save the planet.”
  • Caroline Kennedy’s son Jack Schlossberg said this election is key for the future that his generation will face,  that we need to tackle climate change, and we need to make a better world place and that Vice President Biden would.
  • President Bill Clinton called Joe Biden a “go to work” President, saying Biden has smart, detailed plans to invest in areas that are vital to our future like green energy jobs that take on climate change — to build an economy far better suited to our changing world.
  • Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez surprisingly did not talk about climate change at all.
  • Secretary John Kerry spoke with passion about our leadership in the world, specifically for delivering the global agreement on climate change, reminding that the climate crisis cannot be resolved “without bringing the world together with strength and humility.”

Dr. Jill Biden was the night’s star as she talked about education, the COVID crisis, and her family’s recovery from losses and of course, her husband.  And though she did not talk about climate change, she has seen its impacts first-hand. In 2014, she traveled to Kenya with USAID Administrator Raj Shah and saw the human tragedy and suffering caused by the historic drought in East Africa. She heard stories from climate refugees of the horrors they were facing and then came back to Washington and did something about it.  It is clear that the climate crisis had moved her and that she understands its devastating impacts here at home and around the world.

Interestingly, numerous states mentioned clean energy, climate change and the environment in their roll call speeches, including Alaska, California (climate change is not a hoax it’s real – the whole speech was climate and environment), Idaho (clean energy means good-paying jobs), New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio (electric vehicles), Rhode Island (ocean and fishing state – the “calamari comeback state” – who knew), Vermont (racial justice), and Wisconsin.

Why This Matters:  The COVID crisis, health care, and national security were the issues of the night.  But climate change made it into the discussion.  Many speakers and state nominators mentioned the climate crisis and Biden’s plan for a clean energy future and building back better.  And my (Monica’s) personal highlight –  Rhode Island’s calamari comeback!

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