Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Barack Obama on Earth Day

Read Sen. Barack Obama's statement for Earth Day. Also, read his plan on energy and the environment.

“As America and the world observe Earth Day, the call to save our planet has never been more urgent. In recent years, we’ve seen the harm that more severe weather events can do. We’ve seen it in the droughts that have swept the South, the hurricanes that threaten our shores with increasing ferocity, and the rising sea levels that could one day submerge our cities. This is a challenge unlike any the world has ever faced, and America must lead the world to meet it.

“But Earth Day is not just an urgent call to action; it is a reminder that what is now a global effort began as a grassroots movement for change. Nearly forty years ago, our nation was at war, recession loomed on the horizon, and Americans were losing faith in their own government. But in the face of division and despair, young Americans came together around a common purpose. In high schools, and on college campuses, in small towns and big cities, they rose up to demand that Washington help solve our growing environmental crisis and establish Earth Day.

“While our planet is in greater peril now than it was forty years ago, we are now better prepared to protect it. From solar panels to windmills to biofuels, innovators in America and around the world are inventing our way to a clean energy future. But solving our climate crisis requires more than technological breakthroughs. Our leaders in Washington have to put what’s right for our planet ahead of what’s good for their friends in the energy industry. Executives in the energy industry have to understand that there’s nothing inconsistent about acting in a way that’s both responsible and profitable. And each of us has to do more in our own lives to use energy more efficiently.

“We have a choice in this country. We can continue with an energy policy that makes no sense, and serves the interests of the big oil and gas companies at great cost to our planet. Or we can choose a different future – a future where America is energy independent, and no longer funding both sides in the war on terror; a future where we’re leading rather than undermining the global effort to combat climate change; and investing in green energy technology, and creating the jobs of the future. That is the future I believe in, and that is the America I’m running for President to lead.

“On this Earth Day, let’s recapture in Washington, on Wall Street, and all across this country the spirit of unity and urgency that led those students to found Earth Day all those years ago. And if we can do that, then I truly believe we won’t just be freeing ourselves from the tyranny of oil, or saving this planet for our children, we’ll be fulfilling our obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation.”

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