Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who could become the next secretary of state if President Obama wins reelection, sees climate change as a serious threat to national security: It's "as dangerous as" the possibility of a nuclear Iran or the situation in Syria, he said on the Senate floor in August.
And in his speech at the Democratic convention this month, Kerry, chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, "an exceptional country does care about the rise of the oceans and the future of the planet" -- rebutting Mitt Romney's snide comment about climate change.
Still, though Kerry is the Senate's strongest advocate for climate action, he's realistic about the fact that America is still reliant on fossil fuels.
We spoke to Kerry about Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy, prospects for national and international climate progress, and Romney's record on clean energy in Massachusetts.
Q. The climate issue is barely registering in this election. Why has this issue fallen off the Democratic agenda?