terça-feira, 22 de janeiro de 2013

What Can Obama Do about Climate Change?

Climate change appears to have climbed to the summit of policy promises yesterday when President Obama vowed in his second inaugural address to confront carbon emissions, because anything less would "betray our children."
He lingered on the issue in a speech filled with snap references to national priorities, devoting more time to the interwoven policies of climate, energy and environmental hazards than to war, deficits and immigration. It was a promise for action that stood in dramatic contrast to his near-silence on the politically difficult issue in the months preceding the November election.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," Obama said to cheers. "Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms."
The address captured what some advocates had hoped to hear from Obama following the bruising impacts of widespread disasters last year, including a drought that sizzled 60 percent of the nation and damages from Superstorm Sandy exceeding $50 billion. Last year was the warmest on record in the United States, which registered 90 percent of the world's insured losses from disasters.
If advocates doubted the president's strategy before, those concerns seem to have dissolved with his curtain-raising speech.
"President Obama's clarion call to action on the threat of climate change leaves no doubt this will be a priority in his second term," Alden Meyer, policy director for the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a statement. He added that it will take a "sustained campaign" to establish policies that reduce emissions.
Now the question turns to what Obama can accomplish. His climate priorities are unknown and his address yesterday failed to set out his goals, but that could come later in his State of the Union address.

In full/Completa: here/aqui.

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