Sunday, September 05, 2010

Where Is Obama’s Climate Change Speech?

Many of us who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 expected him to give a major speech on global warming during the first year of his presidency. Well here we are toward the end of his second year in office and so far there has been no speech. Even with a comprehensive climate bill stalled in the Senate there was no speech. What gives Mr. President who promised change we can believe in? We are still mainly relying on greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels for most of our energy needs and an end to this madness is nowhere in sight.
Is a major speech on global warming really necessary? With domestic and international efforts to fight global warming going nowhere it would seem the only way to break the stalemate would be for the President of the United States to take a political risk and give a major speech on global warming followed by many other speeches the way he did to push through healthcare legislation. There doesn’t seem to be any other way to convince the public about the dangers of global warming and the need for urgent action. All other attempts to get out the message have been successfully countered by climate change deniers. For all the books, articles, talk shows, blogs, etc. on why urgent action is needed there are books, articles, talk shows and blogs by deniers claiming that global warming is a hoax or is based on bad science or some other nonsense.
The government has a website on climate change where the scientific facts are readily available. The days of George W. Bush trying to hide the scientific facts are behind us. But that really hasn’t changed anything. The fossil fuel industry still seems to call the shots. The House did pass a climate bill but it was woefully weak and at best could have been viewed as a first step forward, coming nowhere close to what the climate scientists say is needed. So far, the Senate has been unable to even get a climate bill to the floor for a vote and apparently it will not happen at all this year.
So as we watch the volume of ice in the Arctic get smaller each summer, and the melting of ice on Greenland accelerate, and record high temperatures outnumber record lows by a two to one margin, and global temperature trends upward, and the oceans acidify, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere steadily increase from one year to the next, and climate computer models spin out disastrous predictions which are almost hard to believe there is still no big speech by Obama, no major push to try to break the political stalemate that is preventing needed action to stop a threat that many say could ultimately result in the demise of modern civilization.

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