Obama sweats through climate action speech

Jul 22, 2013
Obama sweats through climate action speech

US President, Barrack Obama’s plan calls for accelerating clean energy permitting, expanding and modernising the electric grid, spurring investment in advanced fossil energy projects

“We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” declared President Barack Obama today at Georgetown University, taking aim at climate change deniers as he laid out his National Climate Action Plan. “As a President, as a father, and as an American, I’m here to say we need to act.”

Often wiping perspiration from his face in the 90 degree heat of the nation’s capital, the President said, “… science, accumulated and reviewed over decades, tells us that our planet is changing in ways that will have profound impacts on all of humankind.”

“The 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15 years. Last year, temperatures in some areas of the ocean reached record highs, and ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record – faster than most models had predicted it would,” said Obama. “These are facts.”

“Now, we know that no single weather event is caused solely by climate change,” said the President. “Droughts and fires and floods, they go back to ancient times. But we also know that in a world that’s warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected by a warming planet. The fact that sea level in New York, in New York Harbor, are now a foot higher than a century ago – that didn’t cause Hurricane Sandy, but it certainly contributed to the destruction that left large parts of our mightiest city dark and underwater.”

“The potential impacts go beyond rising sea levels,” he said. “Here at home, 2012 was the warmest year in our history. Midwest farms were parched by the worst drought since the Dust Bowl, and then drenched by the wettest spring on record. Western wildfires scorched an area larger than the state of Maryland. Just last week, a heat wave in Alaska shot temperatures into the 90s.”

“So the question is not whether we need to act. The overwhelming judgment of science – of chemistry and physics and millions of measurements – has put all that to rest,” said Obama. “Ninety-seven percent of scientists, including, by the way, some who originally disputed the data, have now put that to rest. They’ve acknowledged the planet is warming and human activity is contributing to it.”

“So the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late,” the President said. “And how we answer will have a profound impact on the world that we leave behind not just to you, but to your children and to your grandchildren.”

“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing. And that’s why, today, I’m announcing a new national climate action plan, and I’m here to enlist your generation’s help in keeping the United States of America a leader – a global leader – in the fight against climate change.”

Before Obama explained the details of his plan to cope with the changing climate, he emphasized how precious and fragile the planet is. He recalled how as a seven-year-old child he was impressed by the first photograph of planet Earth taken from space on Christmas Eve, 1968 by the Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders.

“It was an image of Earth,” Obama said, “beautiful; breathtaking; a glowing marble of blue oceans, and green forests, and brown mountains brushed with white clouds, rising over the surface of the Moon.”

“And while the sight of our planet from space might seem routine today, imagine what it looked like to those of us seeing our home, our planet, for the first time. Imagine what it looked like to children like me,” he said. “Even the astronauts were amazed.”

To protect the planet, Obama said his plan “begins with cutting carbon pollution by changing the way we use energy – using less dirty energy, using more clean energy, wasting less energy throughout our economy.”

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