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Saturday, October 22, 2016

5 Ways Obama Can Address Climate Change in Second Term

Coming off the warmest year in American history, and with the Northeast still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, President Obama boldly called for climate action during his second inaugural address on Monday.

The president put global warming front and center in his speech, saying “we will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.” Then, acknowledging the 97 percent of climate scientists who agree that humans are causing global warming — while also taking a shot at the congressional Republicans who deny man-made global warming — the president said “some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.” Obama then made a compelling call for American leadership on climate change, saying “the path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition. We must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.”

The National Memo asked several climate experts about their impressions of President Obama’s surprisingly aggressive call for climate action and what they would like to see happen in his second term, along with their predictions for what will likely happen.

Climate experts interviewed for this story include Dr. Kathleen Miller from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, Dr. Aiguo Dai, associate professor of climate science in the Department of Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at the University of Albany-SUNY, and Harvard professor Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Environmental Economics Program and chairman of the Environment and Natural Resources Faculty Group.

Miller perhaps summed up best what was on the minds of many climate scientists following the president’s speech when she told us that “it’s about high time someone at the top level of national government takes this seriously.”

Here are five ways the president can address climate change in his second term.

Photo credit: Rob Carr via Associated Press

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  • I doubt much will change. The oil industry, and other special interests, are simply too powerful and influential to allow meaningful initiatives to curtail the effects of man-made pollutants on our environment and the implementation of initiatives designed to minimize the effects of global warming.
    The consequences of years of neglect, or deliberate demonization and ridicule of what should be obvious to everyone, are bound to be far reaching, not only because of the impact that global warming will have on our country, but because of the financial impact of last minute remedies to save our coastal towns, fertile lands, and availability of potable water.
    Sadly, the ones that will pay the price for our decisions are our children and grandchildren.

    • It is not about Oil Industries Dominick Vila, it is about people who are so ignorant about climate change. Once they are educated on it, they will not let those who pretend they have money power to destroy the environment. We have recently witnessed (during the last election) that money nowadays – do not speak .

      • Ignorance and ideology allow unscrupulous politicians and special interests to achieve their narrow goals. With that in mind, we have to do both, educate the populace and ensure the best interests of our country take precedence over those of people focused on the attainment of wealth at the expense of everyone and everything else.

  • m8lsem

    Teddy Roosevelt taught us a hundred years ago, as did FDR slightly more than 30 years later, that an intelligent and open-minded President can harness the people to run over the top of the 2%. Technology has changed, and thus methods of reaching the people must also expand, but visionary leadership can overpower the Princes of Wealth for the sake of humanity, to save the Princes of Wealth from themselves.

  • Snowbeard

    I’m happy that education topped the list. Folks need to understand that Nature set up a fine balance of carbon, in the ground, on top of the ground and in the air. And nature does a pretty good job of regulating that balance. It’s people who are putting too much carbon in the air. It’s people who need to clean up their mess. Because when you mess with nature, nature has a way of turning around and biting you.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Josh Marks, useful idiot du jour, comes up with yet another repeat of the same old leftist freak mantra for solving a non-issue: MORE GOVERNMENT SPENDING AND BIGGER GOVERNMETN. Shocker!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Scare the hell out of people and then convince them that they should give more of their earnings to politicians and change their lives so the elite ruling class can fly their jets all over the world telling all of us how to live while they run up $30,000 electric bills per month at their mansions. The whole man made global warming thing is a complete hoax. Only you leftist idiots actually believe it.

    BTW….. Didn’t Obozo promise to all you drones that his 2008 election would cause the seas to recede and the planet to heal? Wasn’t that your messiah, you freaks? I think it was. What happened? Did the planet not listen to Lord Obozo?

    Have a nice day!

    “As Steven Guilbeault of Greenpeace explained, “global warming can mean colder, it can mean drier, it can mean wetter.” No set of facts can disprove the environmentalists’ secular religion. In 2004, former vice president Al Gore gave a speech on global warming in New York City on the coldest day of the year. Warm trends prove global warming. Cold trends also prove global warming. This is the philosophy of a madman.” — Ann Coulter

  • A large part of the problem of climate change is overpopulation, and the rapidly growing population of the U.S. because of Legal & Illegal immigration in an advanced society is much greater. This also greatly contributes to our dependence on foreign oil. Thus, I fail to see the disregard of securing our borders and granting “another” Amnesty when the serious problems “directly” related to it are obvious. Our top priorities should also be much lower unemployment, loss of jobs to overseas because of the global market & regulations, & slowing spending & debt. Until these are addressed in a responsible fashion, the stability and debt will make other issues impossible.