Obama Tries to Cool the Planet

John Kerry in India
John Kerry in India

In a speech on Climate Change, the U.S. President sets a clear direction for the U.S. and the world.

by Dinesh Sharma

If visuals could convey his message, Obama wiping his brow with his handkerchief in the summer heat as he delivered his speech on the climate, it suggested that ‘he gets it.’ In Washington on June 25, Obama spoke on America’s role in preventing climate change. The day prior, Al Gore blogged on his Facebook page, “Looking forward to tomorrow’s speech by President Obama. We must not delay, there is too much at stake.” In the President’s wide-ranging speech on climate change, Gore was not disappointed: Obama tried to cool the planet.

As the president flew off to Sub-Saharan Africa the same week, one of the regions facing the wrath of climate devastation, he made a resounding call to action.  Is this the second coming of the almost mythic and progressive Obama, who like Superman flies from one corner of the earth to another to save it?  Mired in controversies from the NSA-Snowden story and the IRS debacle and facing a gridlock in Congress, the President may have sounded a clarion call to action, but it is not clear what will actually materialize from his progressive speech:

We have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that’s not polluted or damaged, and by taking an all-of-the-above approach to develop homegrown energy and steady, responsible steps to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our kids’ health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so we leave a cleaner, more stable environment for future generations.

He said the U.S. has “limits in place for arsenic, mercury, and lead, but we let power plants release as much carbon pollution as they want.” These carbon emissions contribute to higher rates of asthma attacks and cause frequent and severe floods and heat waves.

While arguing for the safety of the next generation, Obama also made a case for innovation and independence from foreign oil—suggesting that we need “cleaner forms of American energy”.  Tackling one of the major challenges of the 21st century will require …

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