Strategies of Communication on Climate Change

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Climate change: time for action, at last?

Obama breaks the silence on climate change. Is it the last chance for the frog to jump out of the pot?

My statement on President Barack Obama's climate plan announced earlier today:

Ultimately, we need a comprehensive energy and climate policy that prices carbon pollution and levels the playing field for renewable sources of energy that are not degrading our climate and planet. But given that we have an intransigent congress (the current House Science committee leadership continues to deny even the existence of human-caused climate change), the president has been forced to turn to executive actions. His call for carbon emission limits on *all* coal-fired power plants, not just newly built plants, is a bold step forward. It will go some way to stemming our growing carbon emissions, and the impact they are having on our climate.

The President's comments about the Keystone XL pipeline are also encouraging. He indicated that he will block the pipeline if it is going to lead to increased carbon emissions. Since all objective analyses indicated that the construction of the pipeline *will* lead to increased carbon emissions (because it will lead to far greater extraction of Canadian tar sands), this should translate to a decision not to move forward on that project.

Finally, the president spelled out promising ways forward to (a) introduce greater incentives for renewable, non-carbon based energy, (b) reduce energy usage/improve energy efficiency, (c) encourage developing nations to meet growing energy demand through renewable energy, and (d) adapt to those climate change impacts which are already locked in and unavoidable.

All in all, it is the most aggressive and promising climate plan to come out of the executive branch in years, and President Obama should be applauded for the bold leadership he has shown in confronting the climate change threat head on.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps "encouraging" but also potentially dangerous as it could give the impression that it's sufficient. (it is not sufficient for the U.S. and it's certainly not sufficient for the world) Obama can be "applauded for his bold leadership" once a plan (U.S. and preferably global) that can make a difference actually starts being implemented.

    In this respect please also see this:

    Though some others are more sanguine (I am not since I know that Obama is great at making "stirring" speeches and we've already seen their stellar practical results later)