Why does no one talk about climate change?

At the risk of cross-posting, I am currently engaged in a spirted debate with the head of the Sierra Club, Carl Pope, about the role Climate Change isn't playing in the elections.

My original argument was simple. These elections present a great American climate-change puzzle. Fertile conditions - the energy debate itself, gas prices, progressive Californian policies, Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth, overwhelming scientific evidence, and more - should have pushed climate change onto the agenda. They have not. And I claimed, somewhat gingerly, that no one is joining the dots because of the way that Democrats have difficulty talking openly about issues that excite their base........But what sort of progressive politics exist when the Democratic Party doesn't campaign on climate change, but the president of the Christian Coalition and a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals do?

I find the lack leadership on this issue puzzling, and something we as progressives have to begin to deal with in the run-in to 2008. This election is evidence that even threat of planetary catastrophe is not enough to make Americans talk about climate change at election time. It is simply not enough to hope that Al Gore will run, and bring the issue with him. And who is the only politician of stature to consistently mention it? Well, whadayaknow?

Obama sounded like a national candidate, but neither he nor the other speakers who lavished praise on him directly referred to his presidential bid. Obama sketched in a platform that calls for changes in the nation's Iraq policy and improvements in health care, education, climate change and other concerns.

Bottom line. Its so simple. Saving the planet is a winning issue for Democrats. End of story. Lets start behaving like that.