Yesterday, President Obama delivered a speech on climate change that was both necessary and well over-due. It focused on reducing carbon pollution and preparation for the effects of climate change. His main points from the White House fact sheet about the Climate Change Action Plan are below:
- Cuts Carbon Pollution in America. In 2012, U.S. carbon pollution from the energy sector fell to the lowest level in two decades even as the economy continued to grow. To build on this progress, the Obama Administration is putting in place tough new rules to cut carbon pollution—just like we have for other toxins like mercury and arsenic —so we protect the health of our children and move our economy toward American-made clean energy sources that will create good jobs and lower home energy bills.
- Prepares the United States for the Impacts of Climate Change. Even as we take new steps to cut carbon pollution, we must also prepare for the impacts of a changing climate that are already being felt across the country.
- Lead International Efforts to Address Global Climate Change. Just as no country is immune from the impacts of climate change, no country can meet this challenge alone. That is why it is imperative for the United States to couple action at home with leadership internationally. America must help forge a truly global solution to this global challenge by galvanizing international action to significantly reduce emissions, prepare for climate impacts, and drive progress through the international negotiations.
The President and the White House also stress that it is our moral obligation to change the outlook on environmental policy in order to protect future generations. My question is, how has it taken this long?? We have it on good authority, from the top climate scientists in the world, that climate change is inevitable, and there is a good chance that global warming and climate change are caused by humans. Even though I am a little bit sour about the timing of this speech, I am glad that something is finally starting to happen in regards to the effects of climate change and preparing the nation for the harmful effects of climate change that are already being felt across the nation and around the world. Let’s hope that words from our leader will finally begin to mobilize the country on taking action.
Despite all these promises and plans, we must remember that most likely, these plans will be tied up in legislation for years and by the time they may pass, they may be changed. However, just because the legislation will be tied up, that does not mean that we can’t make changes now. In the Climate Change Action Plan, Obama focuses on community planning and education – these two pillars are important in changing the minds of people across the United States.
Full video of the speech can be found below (it is private from the White House video stream, so you will have to click through):