There was — see if this sounds familiar — almost nothing about climate or energy in the recent Democratic primary debate hosted by NPR. There was one intriguing tidbit at the end, however, triggered off this question from a listener:

Mr. JAMES IRWIN: What do you think the toughest choice you have left to make is? Is it gay marriage, immigration, the war in Iraq? What haven’t you made up your mind on yet? And why haven’t you?

Clinton, Gravel, Dodd, Edwards, and Kucinich gave fairly boring, wishy-washy answers. But Obama’s jumped out at me:

SEN. OBAMA: The issue of climate change. I’ve put forward one of the most aggressive proposals out there, but the science seems to be coming in indicating it’s accelerating even more quickly with every passing day. And by the time I take office, I think we’re going to have to have a serious conversation about how drastic steps we need to take to address it.

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You wouldn’t want to make too much of it, but it’s hard to help thinking that maybe Obama — and his Dem opponents as well — really does get the scope of the problem. Maybe he understands that the political space is confined right now, and needs to be expanded, and that he can do a better job of expanding it once safely in office. Or am I reading too much into it?

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