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Obama Makes Climate Change a Priority in Inaugural Speech

Obama went all climate hawk on America in his second inaugural address (full text here).

These are, I believe, his longest and strongest remarks on the subject in any major national speech, let alone one of this import:

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity.  We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.  Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.

The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.  But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it.  We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise.  That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaksThat is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.  That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.

We will soon see if these words have any meaning whatsoever — since approving the Keystone XL pipeline would utterly vitiate them.

Joseph Romm's picture

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Kristopher Settle's picture
Kristopher Settle on January 22, 2013

Obama has a lot on his plate with renewable energies in his second term, especially having to replace a lot of the members of his core energy team (Ken Salazar, Lisa Jackson, ..rumored that Steven Chu will announce his departure soon too) It's smart of him to address climate change without needing to be prompted..if he didn't, the speculation that he would be shying away from renewable energies would blow up pretty quickly.  It was a good start by renewing the tax credits/exemptions for wind energy at the beginning of the year, let's see if he keeps it up!  

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