“I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing.” – President Barack Obama
On Tuesday, June 25, President Obama addressed the country regarding climate change. In his address, Obama announced his action plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare the U.S. for the impacts of climate change, and lead international efforts to address global climate change. President Obama started his address by stating that the weather we are experiencing is more extreme because of climate change. He explained that 2012 was the hottest year on record, and that because of this, droughts, wildfires and floods were all more frequent and intense. These natural disasters came at a cost. In 2012 alone, extreme weather cost the American economy more than $100 billion. Obama recognized that carbon pollution is the biggest contributor to climate change, and America has made some progress in this respect because of stronger fuel economy standards, doubled renewable energy, and a decrease in carbon pollution. In order to further reduce carbon pollution in the United States, Obama plans to reduce carbon pollution from power plants, accelerate clean energy leadership, build a modern transportation sector, cut energy waste in homes, businesses, and factories, reduce other greenhouse gas emissions, as well as federal leadership. In addition, the Obama administration plans to support climate-resilient investments, rebuild and learn from Superstorm Sandy, launch an effort to create sustainable and resilient hospitals, maintain agricultural productivity, and provide tools for climate resilience.
While I appreciate Obama’s commitment and dedication towards the topic of climate change and global warming, I found his plan rather vague. I’m happy that President Obama recognizes the problems at hand as well as the causes of these problems; however, I’m not sure he really demonstrated specifically what the plan is to fix this problem. I would have liked if Obama spent more time in his address talking about the specifics of his plan, instead of dwelling on the problems.
Written by Lauren Henry, Class of 2014