Friday, October 16, 2009

Yes, Obama has time for climate change

The ABC News article Climate Concerns: Is President Obama's Plate Too Full? asks a question that seems a little too easy to answer from my perspective. Not to bash on author Huma Khan as this question has been popping up quite a bit in the media lately.

The simple fact is for anyone who believes the majority of scientists commissioned by the UN or working at major universities, the only answer to the question of whether Obama has time for climate change is 'doh, yes!' Now, if you believe in a small minority of scientists, most of whom have have been shown to be on the payroll of energy companies, who say humans cannot do anything about global warming, then maybe such a question reasonably exists.

But Obama does not belong to that minority of people on this globe. He has clearly stated that he fully accepts the threats posed by climate change, and the ability of humanity to do something tangible in combating those threats.

Now, the climate change threat is not something that will only effect tiny island nations out in the Pacific. Most U.S. cities are located in areas that will feel the impact of rising sea levels. The entire Gulf coast and the Eastern seaboard are all under threat of an increase in the number and intensity of tropical storms that are fed by warming oceans. Indeed, there is no spot on earth that will not suffer some types of serious problems when normal climate patterns change.

So, the question is sort of like asking FDR during WWII, "We're pretty busy with Japan, do we really have the time to deal with Hitler and the Nazis?"

Yes, the president is going to be very busy mainly due to having inherited so many problems from the previous administration, but in no way can he afford to put climate change on the back burner.

1 comment:

Joe Markowitz said...

I don't think the issue is the president's time. I think the issue is whether the Congress has the political will to do it. The cap and trade bill is already out there and is floundering around in the Senate. It is not likely to get passed before Copenhagen. It could be that making health care a priority has contributed to slowing down the progress on an energy bill, but my guess is that the cap and trade bill would be floundering around in the Senate even if the Senate committees were not spending so much time on health insurance reform. It is more a question of politics than time, I think.

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