Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Warming Wednesdays: the Prez steps up on climate change

After (and perhaps before) Obama spoke yesterday announcing administrative measures to cut fossil fuel emissions, my inbox flooded with requests that I thank him.

Good politics that; always thank 'em when they do something you approve of.

The Young Turks clip about the speech posted above -- and Cenk's skepticism about how the Prez might weasel out of doing much -- seem about right to me.

But I'll give a more positive assessment here from Michael Mann who has been fighting the climate wars for decades. He is encouraged.
Ultimately, we need a comprehensive energy and climate policy that prices carbon pollution and levels the playing field for renewable sources of energy that are not degrading our climate and planet. But given that we have an intransigent congress (the current House Science committee leadership continues to deny even the existence of human-caused climate change), the president has been forced to turn to executive actions. His call for carbon emission limits on *all* coal-fired power plants, not just newly built plants, is a bold step forward. It will go some way to stemming our growing carbon emissions, and the impact they are having on our climate.

The President's comments about the Keystone XL pipeline are also encouraging. He indicated that he will block the pipeline if it is going to lead to increased carbon emissions. Since all objective analyses indicated that the construction of the pipeline *will* lead to increased carbon emissions (because it will lead to far greater extraction of Canadian tar sands), this should translate to a decision not to move forward on that project.

Finally, the president spelled out promising ways forward to (a) introduce greater incentives for renewable, non-carbon based energy, (b) reduce energy usage/improve energy efficiency, (c) encourage developing nations to meet growing energy demand through renewable energy, and (d) adapt to those climate change impacts which are already locked in and unavoidable.

All in all, it is the most aggressive and promising climate plan to come out of the executive branch in years, and President Obama should be applauded for the bold leadership he has shown in confronting the climate change threat head on.
Maybe the Prez should just say, "my daughters made me do it." That's what I always hear somewhere in the background when he gets around to climate.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

For the kind of life we lead, we don't consume all that much. It's the trips to see kids and grandkids,travel and my husband's business trips that put us into the plus column on energy consumption.
If we just stayed at home, we would generate more energy than we consume, with our photovoltaic panels and solar hot water. We hardly ever drive our one car long distances; we eat almost all locally produced food, including a lot of food from our lot: avocados and bananas, principally.
For us, definitely travel is what makes us wasteful consumers. Something to think about.
We could go live in Seattle near our kids, but then I'd have to kill myself.