In his second inauguration speech today (January 21), President Barack Obama addressed climate change and, doubling-down on a promise by Vice President Biden earlier that the administration’s second term will not ignore the issue, urged the need for the country to lead and take action.
“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity,” he said. “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.”
“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. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
Over on the Washington Post, Brad Plumer has put together a list of modest proposals the administration might take to address some of the above issues. But pessimism sadly continues to damper any enthusiasm over real progress – in particular with Republicans likely roadblocking anything meaningful. But here’s to hope and change – even if we’re already in the tailspin.