President Obama Promises Action on Climate Change
President Obama's forceful pledge to "respond to the threat of climate change" during his second inaugural address Monday was both specific and somewhat surprising. Also bold and welcome.
Coming in the wake of the federal government's 1146-page National Climate Assessment ten days earlier, which makes for some pretty scary reading, his statements underscored in a major way why climate change has to be an urgent national priority. That's because failing to act will "betray our children and future generations," Obama said.
The executive summary of the NCA draft report, which was issued for public comment on January 11, is not a fancy or slickly produced document. Indeed, its message is quite stark, as its opening paragraphs state:
Climate change is already affecting the American people. Certain types of weather events have become more frequent and/or intense, including heat waves, heavy downpours, and, in some regions, floods and droughts. Sea level is rising, oceans are becoming more acidic, and glaciers and arctic sea ice are melting. These changes are part of the pattern of global climate change, which is primarily driven by human activity.
President Obama photo via Shutterstock.
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