"We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society," President Obama declared in a speech at Georgetown University today, firing a shot at climate change deniers during his unveiling of a new climate action plan, a broad outline that includes efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and invest in clean energy at home and abroad.
The president's 21-page climate change initiative has been a long time coming for many who felt that Obama's rhetoric on climate change has been more bark than bite. During his State of the Union in February, he promised to come through with executive actions to reduce pollution, increase protection against the damage caused by climate change, and transition us to cleaner energy sources.
It seems that he's following through, pledging in his three-pronged plan to cut carbon pollution, prepare communities and infrastructure for the impacts of climate change, and lead the international effort to fight pollution and expand clean energy use.
"Americans across the country are already paying the price of inaction," he noted in his Georgetown speech. "The question is not whether we need to act. The overwhelming judgment of science--of chemistry and physics--has put all that to rest. The question now is whether we have the courage to act before it's too late."
The main tenant of the new plan involves setting federal standards limiting carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants, which generate about a third of our greenhouse gas emissions nationwide. "We have already set limits for arsenic, mercury, and lead, but there is no federal rule to prevent power plants from releasing as much carbon pollution as they want," the plan states.
A section on "using sound science to manage climate impacts," promises $2.7 billion of the President's 2014 budget to researching climate science and developing better risk and catastrophe models, and the launch of a data initiative to provide federal climate data "to stimulate innovation and private-sector entrepreneurship in support of national climate-change preparedness."
And while Obama called for America to lead by example when it comes to combating climate change, carbon pollution is rapidly rising in developing countries, he noted. "We compete for business with them, but we also share a planet and we have to all shoulder the responsibility of keeping the planet habitable." That includes an end to U.S. support for public financing of most new coal plants abroad.
At home, the plan calls for greater use of clean energy, and for the U.S. to double its power from wind and solar energy, partially through permitting more renewable energy generation on public lands. Over the next seven years, all government agencies will shift to consume at least 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar.
However, he did not indicate that we would be weaned off fossil fuels anytime soon, and neatly sidestepped the issue of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. "I do want to be clear: Allowing the Keystone Pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so will be in our nation's interest," he said. "And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution." (Because we typically all agree with what the government thinks is in our nation's best interest.)
Speaking of disagreements, throughout his remarks, Obama lambasted Republican obstructionism, saying that "this is a challenge that does not pause for partisan gridlock." As he reminded the crowd, much of the wind power generated in this country comes from Republican districts in places like Iowa and Kansas anyway--Republican opposition to cleaner energy hurts their constituents there.
As The New York Times puts it, Congress "has shown no appetite for dealing with global warming and its attendant energy challenges in a comprehensive way." Speaker of the House John Boehner's response to the new plan: "I think this is absolutely crazy!"
As Obama moved into his rabble-rousing finale, he also called out the GOP for stalling his nomination of Gina McCarthy as head of the EPA, saying she has been "forced to jump through hoops no nominee should have to. The Senate should confirm her without any further obstruction or delay." Will they listen? Doubtful, but nice try.
Regardless, it's nice to see the president is finally taking our advice.
The President should orient the people on how to deal with the climate change. - <a href="http://pinterest.com/casasandoval/">Casa Sandoval</a>
Any plan that sidesteps the authority of congress is unethical and should not be applauded.
It may be popular, but consensus (and simply saying so) is not science. Popsci makes me sick.
All we have is evidence that climate changes (always has!) and carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Therefore...give all of the people's money you can to companies that claim to be able to solve your problem. Nice.
We don't have time for a Flat Head Society either, Mr. President. Try some science for a change rather than "consensus" and "overwhelming judgement" and your dismissive, condescending attitude.
By the way, Ms. Ferro, by "carbon pollution" do you mean carbon monoxide (CO) or carbon soot (black carbon)? The rest of us recognize that carbon dioxide (CO2) is a necessary and beneficial atmospheric gas found in minute quantities (0.04%) in our atmosphere. Satellite imagery shows that greater concentrations of CO2 in the last century have led to improved plant production globally.
Anyone paying attention realizes that carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. have decreased over the last 5 years, doing better than the majority of nations who signed on to the Kyoto Protocol. Even if the U.S. drastically restricts carbon dioxide emissions by onerous government regulations (which won't happen, by the way), it will do nothing to curtail rapidly increasing CO2 emissions in China and India. But this is beside the point because human CO2 emissions (4%) are dwarfed by natural emissions (96%) and China's and India's emissions will naturally decrease sometime in the next 50 years as they become wealthy and improve the efficiency of resource use, just as every post-industrial nation has.
But if you would like to cede more control of the economy to the flathead society in government that manages to get just about everything wrong economically, go ahead. Meanwhile, I'll vote for the other guys.
The delivery style of his speech is rather closed minded, WoWzers!
We could even share common points in thinking, but his expression or word use to anyone who does not think his way is of the flat Earth society or he will just ignore them.
The best part of Obama now is it is illegal for him to be president again, lol.
I really hope you have a beach house
"The main tenant of the new plan involves setting federal standards limiting carbon pollution from both new and existing power plants, which generate about a third of our greenhouse gas emissions nationwide."
Unless it is paying rent, "tenant" should probably be "tenet"
i would have to say that our president is doing the wrong thing here. yes it's always a good idea to work towards sustainability but he's using the tools and mechanisms that has been scaring me and countless others like me since he came into office.
we are not a feudalistic state, we don't have a king, we have an elected president. one i might add who has a job: to work as one man for the people at large considering what they want and taking action concurrently within the bounds of the constitution. there's a reason why we have checks and balances, it's so that things like executive orders don't exist. the president shouldn't be allowing anything to pass through congress that doesn't have a big bold text saying budget on it's front.
i am not scared of obama, funnily enough. he's small time, he genuinely thinks that he can as one man fix america in the way that he was told is possible by his peers and teachers. take a good look this is what it looks like when you have an honest to God liberal in office.
what scares me is who will come afterwards. who will we allow into office after Obama is given the pat on the back and asked to leave the stage peacefully. how far into degradation are we going to travel until we will finally say "this is too much". will it be before or after we start killing our own citizens.
to mars or bust!
JAPAN embraces "TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT" from a USA Industrial Engineer who promoted this to the USA companies, but fell on deaf ears. The local USA companies believe all they can do to make a profit and quality is not JOB one.
I am all for operating our lives in an efficient manner and making a clean\non-polluting environment. We do not need to brain wash the USA or the world with climate change.
Total Quality Management is the right way to conduct business and manufacturing and being effective and efficient in combination is the definition of being productive. And pollution just brings us clean and healthy lives without fewer waists of resources.
laurenra7, I actually agreed with the "end" of your post. Shocking. However, it isn't America that is a huge offender of climate change. We don't have an overly giant population either and Obama talking about cleaner energy without backing that $2 billion up with infrastructure money that would support his new cleaner energy sources, like solar, then he is just squandering, or laundering, more of Americas money (Solyndra?). Besides more regulatory control over energy companies and ensuring that no new reactors come online to offset energy costs, due to more strict regulations, he is simply trying to put more nails in the economic coffin that is our economy. I can't stand this man. He is trying to force a socialist state by bankrupting an over-privileged America. Get the f*ck out of office you f*cking hidden agenda having douchebag. I cannot stand you and given a chance to meet you in person I would bombard you with stories of how America "was". I would endlessly make points about how our constitution could have been amended differently and how slow, and useless, our Supreme Court has become in the face of such massive growth in every industry. You have done nothing positive for this country EVER. Not one thing. We have been worse off since you began and our congress and senate is more divided than ever. Put your gold teeth in please in Mr. President. A sad state this country is in. You must be proud.
Harry Reid, Eric Holder, Jannt Napolitano, Elena Kagan, and now Gina McCarthy as EPA giving Obama regulatory control over environmental and energy. Good one Obama. You piece of sh!t.
"Do not try and bend the spoon. That is impossible. Only try and realize the truth - there is no spoon."
Does "taking our advise" mean popsci as a whole are agreeing to police "carbon pollution"? or maybe a few authors and the editor are in favor of carbon police.
A president's "plan of action" are political speeches that don't mean anything. They are used to placate\appease a group of people, like shaunacy ferro and her ilk for obvious reasons (money, power, beliefs etc.)
I wonder how the president feels about natural gas. Humans are made out of carbon and breath out C02, I wonder if humans behavior is to be policed under the presidents new "carbon pollution" position. What a great sci-fi novel idea...the gov't trying to control human behavior by claiming we are "polluting" our planet by existing.
People like Shaunacy ferro will be looked at in the past as complete idiots who grabbed on to a ideal for there own self interest rather than actually practicing real science.
Those of us who truly believe in science have to laugh at such behavior...a dog being made to wag it's tale by giving it a bone...very funny.
0bama promises to 'work with anyone' who agrees with him - and divisively labels anyone who does not, a 'flat earther.' .... what a guy.
LoL, we agree.
By the way, depending up the distance and perspective of looking at Earth and the topic of conversation the Earth can be considered flat, ball, egg shaped or maybe from a a great distance a single point in the cosmos. Oh yes yes, if we do not agree with Obama point, we are just wrong and "Flat Earth-ers"/sarcasm.
Thank goodness he can not make a 3rd term, ha ha HA!
I believe there Earth is warmed by the sun cycles,
human induced pollution and gases and yes the changes of Earth magnetism too. But that is me and has nothing to do with Obama.
my classmate's step-aunt makes $89 every hour on the internet. She has been without work for 6 months but last month her pay check was $16775 just working on the internet for a few hours. Read more on this site...... www.bay95.com
just as Linda explained I am shocked that a mom can profit $6614 in a few weeks on the computer. did you look at this page......... www.bay95.com
I have a perpetual motor that can be made in many different size/horsepower ratings. It is multipurpose and can power anything from electric generators & farm equipment, to pumps and cars.
It is 100% green to build these motors and 100% green to operate.
It makes the internal combustion engine 100% obsolete. This will eliminate the need for fossil fuel, and unlike solar or wind turbines, the weather will not effect your power output.
If anybody is serious about changing the world and mankind as we know it, this is it!
Its certainly about time we left the the dull minded in the dust. Science has changed the entire game for mankind and it has always provided solutions thus far. As long as President Obama follows the lead of our best scientists, take all their advice, heed all their warnings.