Skip to comments.Obama vows to fight for climate action, make global warming a key 2012 issue (Inner Weatherman)
Posted on 04/25/2012 6:34:06 PM PDT by Libloather
Obama vows to fight for climate action, make global warming a key 2012 issue
By Ben Geman - 04/25/12 10:40 AM ET
President Obama is vowing to make the case for action on global warming during the 2012 campaign.
I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way, Obama told Rolling Stone magazine in a newly published interview.
Obamas comments follow a first term that saw global warming legislation collapse in Congress but several administrative steps to address climate proceed, such as tougher auto mileage rules and first-time greenhouse gas standards for new power plants.
Part of the challenge over these past three years has been that people's No. 1 priority is finding a job and paying the mortgage and dealing with high gas prices. In that environment, it's been easy for the other side to pour millions of dollars into a campaign to debunk climate-change science, Obama said.
Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, has called for stripping the Environmental Protection Agencys (EPA) power to regulate greenhouse gases and also opposes cap-and-trade proposals.
On Capitol Hill, where Republicans are trying to thwart EPAs rules, skepticism about climate science has become commonplace in the GOP, and cap-and-trade legislation is a nonstarter.
The vast majority of scientists say global warming is occurring and human activities are a key factor. A small minority call data on warming trends and the human contribution inconclusive or inaccurate.
Obama, in the interview, cited climate change in noting the GOPs broader rightward shift.
Think about John McCain, who obviously I have profound differences with. Here's a guy who not only believed in climate change, but co-sponsored a cap-and-trade bill that got 43 votes in the Senate just a few years ago, somebody who thought banning torture was the right thing to do, somebody who co-sponsored immigration reform with Ted Kennedy. That's the most recent Republican candidate, and that gives you some sense of how profoundly that party has shifted, he said.
Internationally, plans for a binding global emissions treaty are proceeding far more slowly than advocates have hoped, although diplomats have made some progress in areas such as slowing deforestation and providing aid to help poor countries tackle climate change.
Frankly, I'm deeply concerned that internationally, we have not made as much progress as we need to make. Within the constraints of this Congress, we've tried to do a whole range of things, administratively, that are making a difference doubling fuel-efficiency standards on cars is going to take a whole lot of carbon out of our atmosphere. We're going to continue to push on energy efficiency, and renewable energy standards, and the promotion of green energy. But there is no doubt that we have a lot more work to do, Obama said.
But while environmentalists will likely welcome Obamas comments on climate, in the same interview he downplayed the climate-change impact if the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline is built.
The administration has delayed, until well after the 2012 elections, a decision about whether to issue a cross-border permit for the project, which would bring Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.
High-profile NASA climate scientist James Hansen has said that exploiting the massive oil sands, which are already being developed significantly, would mean game over for the climate.
James Hansen is a scientist who has done an enormous amount not only to understand climate change, but also to help publicize the issue. I have the utmost respect for scientists, Obama said in the interview. But it's important to understand that Canada is going to be moving forward with tar sands, regardless of what we do. That's their national policy, they're pursuing it.
He later added: The reason that Keystone got so much attention is not because that particular pipeline is a make-or-break issue for climate change, but because those who have looked at the science of climate change are scared and concerned about a general lack of sufficient movement to deal with the problem.
Congressional Republicans are pushing legislation that would require approval of TransCanada Corp.s project, efforts that Obama bashed in the interview.
My goal has been to have an honest process, and I have adamantly objected to Congress trying to circumvent a process that was well-established not just under Democratic administrations, but also under Republican administrations, he said.
Capitol Hill Republicans have also alleged that regulation of greenhouse gases will hurt the economy and attacked federal spending on green energy programs.
But Obama told Rolling Stone that the nation can take serious steps to battle climate change in a way thats entirely compatible with strong economic growth and job creation, such as retrofitting buildings to slash energy use.
He’s pandering to his base. That’s all there is to it. He can’t run on his record so he’ll make stuff up. The GOP really needs to bring up his past.....over and over again. He has accomplished nothing.
How about starting by reducing the number of ozone destroying flights on his run about the world airplanes. In other words, take the shoe leather express.
The more Hussein talks about global warming the more he will draw attention to the doubling of gas prices on his watch.
nobama...truly a mental midget.
Baraq is definitely the green candidate.
He’s spent more time on the golf course in the last 3 years than my SIL who’s a PGA pro.
This is a good strategy on the part of the Ubanga team.
If you go back and study the Mittens/Kennedy race from 1994, you see how Mittens ran like a coward from the liberal press until he was more liberal (more gay-friendly, etc.) than Kennedy. It was pathetic. By the time this campaign is over Mittens will be more green-friendly than even the craziest rats.
Rather than channeling global warming crap, Buckwheat should worry more about finding a hiding place after his clown posse secret service decides to desert post en masse and go find a whore.
Me a hot secret service dude.
Me gotta big burrito in my pants.
Barak Ostalin is using the climate change hoax to further ruin the United States economy.
But what about that 16” of snow they received in upstate NY just the other day?
He better hurry up. 2012 is flying by.
“But what about that 16 of snow they received in upstate NY just the other day?”
Everybody knows that increased snowfall is caused by global warming...or have you been smokin’ crack again?
Yeppers! I’ve been smoking the crack of anti-AGW lately. Glad someone brought me back to my senses! What would I do without ya?
Let’s hope he does make it a big issue, and looks like a fool doing it. Average people have caught onto the game, and won’t be fooled again. He’ll make himself a laughingstock, and provide more opportunity to publicly prove AGW is the most massive pseudo-scientific hoax of all time. I made a stink with the hierarchy of my church for backing it a few months before the emails came out, and one at a time they have come to me quietly and told me they had had their doubts, but were afraid to speak up. Now that the truth is out, they’re generally pretty pissed. This is a losing issue for the Idiot-In-Chief.
Obama will do everything except his job
He's pandering to his base because he knows his base is looking at Romney as an alternative champion to their AGW cause.
He's attempting to keep them from straying off the reservation.
I hear this repeated all the time but have yet to see it supported or fact-checked.
Mr Carlin had this right.