This is part of a series of interviews with presidential candidates produced jointly by Grist and Outside.

Update: John Edwards dropped out of the presidential race on Jan. 30, 2008.

John Edwards

John Edwards.
Photo: Rachel Feierman

John Edwards has gone to great lengths to outshine the top Democratic candidates with an aggressive environmental platform. On the 2008 campaign trail, this blue-collar defender has painted himself as a bleeding-heart greenie.

The first candidate to call for an 80 percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050 and the first to make his campaign carbon neutral, Edwards has had a pied-piper effect on the other Dem contenders, prompting them to make similar pledges. He has also set himself apart with his call for a freeze on all development of coal power plants until they can be outfitted with carbon-sequestration technology. But the former senator from North Carolina runs with the pack in his enthusiasm for corn ethanol, and his green mantle is a fairly new accessory.