Monday, 21 January 2013

Is Climate Change back on Obama's agenda?

We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. 
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.

An excerpt of President Obama's inaugural address today. It has been widely remarked upon that the address was both more specific on policies than expected, and that climate change was given a prominent mention.

1.5 of the 18 minutes of the speech was devoted to the issue. That may not sound like a lot, but given the deafening silence on the campaign trail, and for much of his first term, it is significant.

Obama made an explicit link between climate change and extreme weather events, and cast the nation's response to the threat as both its duty to future generations and an economic necessity.

Here's how it has been received in the press:
As one political historian put in a video on the White House YouTube channel: "When you have a second term there is nothing left to run for except your place in history". Hopefully the environment has a place in that legacy.

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