In his inaugural address President Obama pledged that America would respond to the growing threat of climate change for the sake of our children and future generations. President Obama finally came forward with a response and presented his much anticipated Climate Action Plan.
The President acknowledged that:
“…climate change is no longer a distant threat – we are already feeling its impacts across the country and the world. Last year was the warmest year ever in the contiguous United States and about one-third of all Americans experienced 10 days or more of 100-degree heat. The 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15 years. Asthma rates have doubled in the past 30 years and our children will suffer more asthma attacks as air pollution gets worse. And increasing floods, heat waves, and droughts have put farmers out of business, which is already raising food prices dramatically.”
The President’s detailed plan (21 pages) sets forth, among other things, a proposal for new carbon standards on power plants which would cut carbon pollution that causes climate change and threatens public health.
During his speech President Obama had a few notable quotes:
- “This plan begins with cutting carbon pollution by changing the way we use energy.”
- “Today I am setting a new goal. Your federal government will consume 20% of its energy from renewable resources.”
- “I am willing to work with anybody…to combat this threat on behalf of our kids.”
- “We have to all shoulder the responsibility for keeping the planet habitable, or we’ll suffer the consequences together.”
He ended up talking about the controversial Keystone Pipeline, and without saying outright that he was going to deny the project he did state that the net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.
The President’s plan isn’t perfect, but it’s a good start and a step in the right direction, but more is needed. Much more. As Philip Radford, the Executive Director Greenpeace said: “to truly meet his obligation to future generations, this must be the foundation – not the final act – of his climate legacy.”
I reached out to a few green bloggers to see what they thought about the President’s Climate Action Plan. Here’s what they had to say:
“We are savoring THIS day…as we tell our children, actions speak louder than words. We are proud that the United States now has a President that is ready to use his bully pulpit to publicly recognize the overwhelming scientific evidence that tells us that we humans are causing our climate to change and then FOLLOW THROUGH. President Obama has laid out an ambitious plan that takes the important and necessary steps to put the United States on the right path domestically to be prepared for and to fight climate change. In addition, he is claiming our rightful, but recently “empty” seat at the world table. It is past time that the United States became an active player on the world stage for setting in motion a dynamic international agenda that moves quickly to protect our planet and our people from the present and future dangers of climate change. ” ~ Harriet Shugarman, ClimateMama.com
“It’s making me sad that he has to do all this convincing.” ~ Amity Hook-Sopko, Green Child Magazine.
“President Obama’s Climate Action Plan isn’t perfect and it wasn’t the Bulworth moment I wanted. It’s not quite aggressive enough in my opinion. Yet all things considered the plan is a monumental step forward for us and it deserves the support of the nation and the world. We do not have to choose between the health of our children and the health of our economy. We cannot fear the future, we have to seize it. Now. Thank you Mr. Obama for opening up the discussion today and laying the groundwork for what will hopefully be important change. ” ~ Tiffany Washko, Nature Moms Blog
“I was disappointed when I heard President Obama supporting the natural gas industry and being proud of America as the leader in natural gas production. While natural gas burns cleaner than coal at the power plant the process of extracting the gas and transporting it through pipelines is carried on the backs of all Americans…the pollution from the extraction of the gas from the ground is getting more desperate in an effort to keep the US as a leader and involves volatile chemicals that companies are struggling to dispose of…Clean renewable energy is the long term solution not natural gas. “~Leigh, Green4u.com
“The apocryphal story goes that FDR said to labor constituents, “I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it.” What I heard in Obama’s speech was a call to the public to keep him honest on his climate change program, and make sure that his actions match his rhetoric. ~ Marcia G. Yerman, mgyerman.com
“I was inspired, energized and quite frankly relieved by President Obama’s historic speech on climate change. It was exhilarating that the President found his environmental voice in such an emphatic manner, deftly defining the absurdity of partisan politics, whilst rebutting the standard rebuke that forces us to choose between the health of children or the health of our economy. President Obama’s climate change plan requires strong action to follow these strong words, but more than that, it requires us all to step up and step out. It’s now our mission to advocate and be activists, especially in light of next year’s congressional elections. A clean environment is the future, for us, our children and our children’s children. Indeed Mr. President, this is not a meeting of the Flat Earth Society, welcome to the Save Earth Society-it’s great to have you here.” ~ Penelope Jagessar Chaffer, Toxic Baby