Wednesday, November 7, 2012

President Obama addresses climate change in acceptance speech

President Obama addresses climate change in acceptance speech

Dorsi Diaz

By Dorsi Diaz

In a move giving hope to environmentalists, climatologists, scientists and humanity, President Obama mentioned climate change in his acceptance speech last night after winning his bid for re-election.

Despite all the threats that America faces, Obama zeroed in on climate change.
“We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”
Although climate change was not mentioned once in the candidate’s debates between Romney and Obama, clearly our warming climate is on the President’s mind.

After Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and cost lives and billions of dollars in damage, the subject of climate change has repeatedly been brought up, and the tide of public opinion on global warming has shifted – with over 70% of the U.S. now believing that climate change is real.

Days before the election and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the subject of climate change also shifted the thoughts of some on who to vote for in the election.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York decided to vote for Obama saying he had decided that Mr. Obama was the “better candidate to tackle the global climate change, which he believes might have contributed to the violent storm.”
Our climate is changing”, Bloomberg wrote. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be - given the devastation it is wreaking - should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”
Although the debates featured both candidates speaking of drilling for oil, it looks like the President’s agenda will be to continue focusing on clean energy, sustainability and green issues. Although there were some failed attempts to implement Obama's policies in his first term, we can be sure to expect the continuation of working towards a more sustainable future in the next 4 years.

When elected in 2008, President Obama had high hopes for addressing climate change, but with the focus then on saving the faltering economy, bailing out the banks and a corrupted Wall Street system, attention was diverted away from the subject. Despite the threat of an economic meltdown when Obama first took office, there was still a major push towards creating green companies, researching alternative energy sources and a focus on green energy jobs.

Although the President faced opposition from many Republican leaders who didn't believe in climate change, the tide of public opinion and the necessity to address climate change has many people concerned. With extreme weather on the rise and costing lives and billions of dollars in damage, people are also waking up to the growing threat of a catastrophic release of methane gas from the rapidly thawing Arctic.

Methane gas is many times more powerful than carbon dioxide, and has the ability to send the Earth into runaway and/or abrupt climate change.

In a recent plea to world leaders to address the growing threat of climate change: Why Arctic Sea Ice Matters To You and Me (pdf), John Nissen of AMEG (Arctic Methane Emergency Group) didn't mince words when he put this out on the table for world leaders to ponder:
“We are toppling over the cliff edge. Collapse of sea ice could be even more dramatic next year. We face an almost irreversible transition to an ice-free Arctic. Only immediate and drastic action to cool the Arctic can stop it now. The consequences of further meltdown would be dire for you and all your citizens. The weather extremes we've witnessed this year could get far worse, leading to widespread crop failures and an ever deepening food security crisis affecting every country in the world.”
Written in September of 2012, before Hurricane Sandy hit, Nissen's plea seems to hold many truths as we stand witness to the devastating damage from an unprecedented storm dubbed “Frankenstorm”.

With a need to put more pressure on global leaders to address the growing threat of climate change, more action is needed to act fast and act quickly. Climatologists and scientists say the window of opportunity is rapidly closing.

With Obama's words on climate change during his acceptance speech, a tiny flicker of hope has been stirred that maybe, just maybe, something can be done to avert a climate change mega-disaster.

And with the Pentagon stating that climate change is the number #1 threat to national security, perhaps a global consensus surpassing partisanship can take place – with saving humanity as the ultimate goal.

After all, the economy won’t matter if there are no people left to have jobs.

From an article posted earlier at - posted with the author's permission


  1. There is still hope to contain the threat. There is a hope, but not certainty. I'll explain below.

    Sandy is but one most obvious and direct example - showing us that now we are already threatened by destructive force of warming; there are many other examples.

    To remove the threat - and let our children to inhabit Earth which is not threatened by warming anymore, - it would be required to remove the main cause of warming: increased concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth athmosphere.

    Scientific projects exist which attempt to do it - to remove carbon dioxide out of athmosphere. However, when one studies what progress such projects have made, it becomes crystal clear - granted that some basic knowledge of physics and chemistry is used, too, - that mankind won't be able to remove greenhouse gases from the athmosphere with any rate comparable to putting into it (by burning fossil fuels). All projects of this kind confirm very basic idea from chemistry: to break something which is formed as a result of energy-generating chemical process (burning coal/oil/gas), same-or-larger input of energy is needed. Sadly, most of our energy is generated - and will be generated for a few more decades at least, - from burning fossil fuels. The option of storing greenhouse gases in liquid form (underground, etc) is proven to be practically impossible - on scale and timescale which is required to make a difference. Carbon dioxide just leaks back, and sheer size/number of required underground storage resevoirs is way beyond and realistical possibilities. In sum, all above means that mankind will emit more greenhouse gases, much more, and gases will stay in the athmosphere for a long time.

    Thus, the main cause of warming is impossible to remove, for at least two more decades. It will be growing, too. Thermal inertia of world ocean (~20...25 years) and masking effect of global dimming (which will drop ~5 years after we stop burning fossil fuels) will add to it dramatically, with time. Even if new extremely powerful source of energy would be found (such as, perhaps, fusion reactors), - it will take at least 2 decades to re-built mankind's energy generation infrastructure to be mostly (or completely) non-greenhouse-emitting. And much longer than 2 decades for transportation sectors, too - to replace all cars, ships, planes, agriculture machinery with new ones which work without burning fossil fuels will probably take 3+ decades.

    Logic dictates that the only solution is to counter-act the main cause of the warming, then. That's why it has to be geo-engineering - whatever method(s) used, that is. Geo-engineering won't be a permanent solution, though; but it's the only way to get at least several decades of functioning global economy, sciences and industries to develop and build non-fossil energy source(s) (like fusion reactors of adequate number and capacity) before we can hope to clean up the athmosphere of excessive greenhouse gases - and thus be able to stop continuous geo-engineering.

    Geo-engineering required to contain warming within tolerable limits is said to be dangerous in its side-effects, especially in yet unknown side-effects. It may be that those side effects would lead to even worse problems, and thus mankind will be forced to stop geo-engineering and adapt to destructive warming, with all losses it would bring. Thus the threat of it will nonetheless be present even if we do all geo-engineering we can.

    Mr. Obama, the question now is not whether our kids will be threatened by global warming; they will be. The question now is whether most of our kids and grandkids will be able to contain the threat and survive - or die (among most others) prematurely and unnaturally due to warming raging uncontained.

  2. On Think Progress is story of how public opinion numerically if each vote was counted equal would result in US House of Representatives more than likely being also in Democratic hands. There is talk of how essentially what amounts to stacking the deck by the way county lines are drawn tipping the balance in favor of having a Republican dominated House. Then on a map of outline of individual counties and how they went in this last election is red and blue map
    (That was on a link to an article by Wall St News.)
    Right off the bat someone pointed out on discussion at Google+ the Red was largely rural country and Blue more peopled. However, -and i was trying to get back there to say specifically that the Red regions of US are also to Dust Bowl like in a few years.. The Red is of country, rural farm land largely the heart of the food producing area too.. On line at this site in most recent Diagram of Doom, Food is Drawn as Engine to confront accelerated global warming; Fuel of the means to break deadlock and to unite the world for the common good. Food is discussed on site here at Arctic News and is a key element to revaluation of worth for even financial forces-that-be.. World food production is needed for peace and for time in which to alter Earth's path to oblivion now..