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In his first press conference after being re-elected, President Obama told reporters that climate change could take a backseat to efforts to boost the economy in the near term.

It sure didn't take the President long to water down the passionate commitment he made to the electorate just a week ago when he stated in his acceptance speech that:

"We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."

Last time around, when there was a climate bill making its way through the House of Representatives we were told that the bill would be put on hold until Obama's health care reform was taken care of.

We all know what happened. No climate bill.


Obama is walking a fine line here when he told the gathered press that:

“I think the American people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy, jobs and growth that if the message is somehow that we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anybody’s going to go for that. I won’t go for that."

Setting up a presumption that solutions to climate change are somehow an opposing force to economic growth has, in the case of many other politicians, been the first step down the road to avoiding doing much about the issue at all.

The United States continues to lag in the worldwide renewable energy boom. There is, for instance, a huge opportunity for the President to lead in education initiatives that will teach a generation of students the expertise they need to compete in a re-invented global energy sector. Not to mention the opportunities to re-invent America's manufacturing sector.

There is also the escalating costs to the American taxpayers to cover the devastating effects of climate change in the form of more frequent weather events like Hurricane Sandy, droughts in the farming belts and out-of-control wildfires like the ones we saw this summer in Utah and Colorado.

Time will tell whether Obama stays true to his word, but it sure as heck isn't a good sign that the President already appears to be waffling on an issue that just eight days ago he spoke so passionately about.

I guess time will tell if he truly is committed to seeing a world in which our children aren't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.


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Comment Preferences

  •  Not entirely fair (27+ / 0-)

    Obama was ripped going into 2010 mid-terms, for ignoring jobs and the economy to push through a health care plan. He certainly doesn't want to have that bit of history repeat itself.

    So, he says:

    "if the message is somehow that we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anybody’s going to go for that. I won’t go for that."
    It's not great messaging, but he's not saying the reverse, either -- He isn't saying that he'll pick the economy and jobs and growth to ignore climate change.

    You're saying he's made a dichotomy between the two, but I think he's trying to bridge or erase that dichotomy. He's going to make the case that we can do both -- indeed he has already made the case for green jobs to compete globally.

    He is laying the groundwork, I expect, for a more aggressive push to link growth, jobs, and addressing climate change.

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:49:51 PM PST

    •  He could have done a better job of (5+ / 0-)

      talking about a green job boom, and explaining how transitioning to clean energy makes us safer for a lot of reasons.  I don't really see this as waffling, he's never been especially strong on climate change and I really can't imagine him going to bat for a serious reform.  I hope I'm wrong about that.

      We need to work toward a dem house in 2014 and then get them to pass comprehensive climate bills that Obama can sign.

      The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

      by AoT on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:08:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is why we lose the mid-terms! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chicagoblueohio, Chaoslillith, AoT

        He concentrated on health care and then didn't push a climate change bill through!
        I don't understand why he didn't after we gave him that super-majority at the 2 year mark; led by Joe Lieberman and those good ol' Blue Dog Democrats?!

        "If you tell the truth, you won't have to remember anything", Mark Twain

        by Cruzankenny on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:25:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Just having someone who understands the science (5+ / 0-)

    in the Oval Office is not enough. There is simply not - incredibly, inexplicably, horrifyingly - a strong movement making demands, organizing legislative strategy, educating the public, picking targets and doing direct action, in ways that will finally force us to accept the "inconvenient truth" and get to work.

    I would love to see a high school-based movement begin; they should be furious at the crap future they are being left just because we can't make reasonable lifestyle adjustments.

    But we can't expect the President to act.  He must be forced; my guess is, he'd be happy to be forced, but he cannot move on his own.  I cannot understand why we are not on the streets demanding the community based changes we need to make and the larger societal changes we need to commit to.  It's sickening, really.

    •  because the concept is too large. That's where th (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chicagoblueohio

      e climate argument has gone wrong.  

      People were more active when they could relate to environmental issues--Smokey the Bear.  Local trash pickup.  Even rainforest decimation.  THAT would have helped the climate.

      But climate change?  It's too broad a concept.  And to yell about it every time a big weather event happens, and to forget about it otherwise, is pointless.

      •  The fact of the matter is that you can see (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chicagoblueohio

        a shift in attitudes that are directly related to the amount of money that corporations have dumped into climate denial groups.  I personally blame the climate deniers and their corporate funders for the anti-science bullshit we see so widespread now.  They fucked us all over and have a lot to answer for.

        The future will judge them harshly.  Unfortunately they won't be around for that.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:26:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  climate denial is a symptom not a cause. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          Stems from all the anti-environmentalist, pro-business, pro-industry 'American Dream' nonsense...

          People handle environmental issues better when they can feel it directly.  Dirty water.  Bulding on parkland.  Forest/wildlife loss.

          The climate umbrella is too big--I have always maintained that the way to global solutions is through local actions (and that means local framing as well)

          •  Climate change cannot be fixed locally (0+ / 0-)

            Some of what has to happen needs to occur locally, but we need to focus beyond the local.  Focusing too local has turned into NIMBYism and has ended up helping the well off and not helping the poor and marginalized.

            You may be right that the climate umbrella is too big, but if that's the case then we're in real trouble.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:55:00 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  don't agree. I think that we had a much stronger (0+ / 0-)

              sense of 'environmental' issues before the 'global warming' frame took center stage.  Far stronger.

              I'm all in favor of a higher-level strategy, but the direct focus on 'climate change' as THE target has lost a LOT of people.  Even things like the ozone layer, rainforest decimation, recycling--those are big, but they made sense to people.  Climate change doesn't, because its symptoms are chaotic and basically infinite.  So people either ignore it, or get hyped up over some big event like a tornado, and then forget about it again.

              I think the focal shift has made matters much, much worse.  Local action (on environmental issues, say pollution) has an effect globally--albeit small scale.

        •  Agreed. Dear Bill Clinton, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, Chaoslillith, Aviate

          Maybe YOU can explain that
          - Earth has an atmosphere
          - The atmosphere has a known chemical composition
          - We know exactly how we are changing its composition
          - When you change the composition of matter, you change its characteristics
          - We broadly understand what those new characteristics are and will be

          I mean, since nobody else seems to be making a dent in the blockheads...   So could you do that please?
          ;)

          To your sadly factual point: Yes, they - and we - will be judged and condemned by our progeny for a great many generations to come.  And you just know that deep down, Inhofe just doesn't give a flying fuck.

      •  So make it about energy reform (0+ / 0-)

        A renewable energy reform package would put the US in a leadership role in the global energy economy. Right now the country is beholden to every oil state in the world. Look at the war in Iraq - cost a trillion dollars to protect US oil interests.

        And coal is disappearing. So if pulling our hair out about climate change isn't the answer then we need to focus on the solutions and all the benefits economic, health and environment-wise.

    •  Exactly. I really get depressed over he's the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aviate

      Prez so he should make everything a priority and take care of it personally.  We need to mobilize to give him an army to overcome the regressives and the ones waiting for armageddon. Otherwise we won't have anyone to work for us because if they step out there they are going to get slaughtered because the regressives know most are dillantes who write about thier displeasure and fears but take no action. He will do what he sees a priority as evidenced by a peoples movement and the best advice he can get. Without support he is toast in the face of corporations like that coal company guy or Papa John or the Koch bros who really like thier entitlenments or the Ryans/Romneys who speak of thier entitlements to take as much as they can steal and leave the rest of us footing the bill....

      So what happens now? absolute panic over a statement that is open to interpretation... Like about medicare and social security... Sigh.

      How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

      by boophus on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:42:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly right (0+ / 0-)

        Why do we keep acting like our job is done once the elections are over? We just expect the people we elect to do everything we want & get all upset when it doesn't turn out that way?

        Look at the right. Do they rest on their laurels when Republicans win? No. Grover, the NRA, Club for Growth, Heritage, FOX, etc all keep the pressure on. We have to do the same. And we have to accept that this isn't going to be solved quickly and that Obama's tools to act on his own are limited.

  •  There's another way to see this: (16+ / 0-)

    Obama said that he would not support Climate Change actions that undercut the employment picture or economic growth.

    However he leaves wide open a whole series of proactive, job-creating programs that stimulate the economy via retooling america to adapt to climate change.  This would actually be a brilliant move - opening up a whole frontier of economic opportunity in fuel and energy efficiency innovation, enhanced public funding for new jobs in energy audits and efficiency upgrades, new farm bill programs aimed at improving carbon sequestration in soils.

    I have issues with Obama in other areas (see, War, drone strikes, and American exceptionalism), but I actually think he's going to be our best climate change president since Carter.

    Howard Dean will always be my president.

    by 4democracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:51:04 PM PST

    •  There is really one answer to all the problems. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4democracy, CupaJoe, cherie clark, dnta

      (I'm exaggerating, a little. )
      Pres. Obama knows this.
      We need investment in 21st cent. infrastructure and clean energy.
      This will create millions of working class and middle class jobs and opportunities for entrepeneurship.
      We are on the cusp of a revolution in this area.
      This will radically change the debate on deficit/debt issues and the social safety net, etc.

      We just have to get the gop out of the way. We're almost there. It will require some jiu jitsu until we completely shut them up and get them either out of the way, or cooperating.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:16:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kee-rist, would you just STFU? (22+ / 0-)

    President Obama has already provided the means for many alternative energy jobs to begin. Also, the increased mpg requirements will help a lot.

    And what he says in a speech about climate change actually does NOTHING. Legislation needs to be written and passed. In case you didn't know, THAT is not a function the Constitution gives to the Executive branch of government.

    Right now the asshole Rs are fighting to keep the tax cuts for the rich, and if the president does what I hope, we will all plummet off the fiscal cliff.

    I think climate change is important. I also think it is too far advanced to be turned around by January 1, 2013. People need jobs and income to stay alive for the foreseeable future.

    Pull your head out of wherever it is stuck and go suck your thumb somewhere else.

    "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

    by glorificus on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:52:04 PM PST

    •  I wish you'd be more polite. (5+ / 0-)

      I didn't necessarily agree with everything the poster said either, but I don't think that's any reason to respond with the above tone.

      Howard Dean will always be my president.

      by 4democracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:54:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I happen to like the tone (5+ / 0-)

        because all of the pearl-clutching is so tiresome.  

        I've fallen into it a couple of time myself.

        Look, recognizing global warming in a speech does not translate into policy.

        Nothing he has said since then contradicts the idea that we need to deal with a warming planet.

        If we are going to react like this to every word, every nuance, like a jealous girlfriend parsing her lover's words, we are all going to go insane.

        It will be a roller coaster of overreaction and worry and then elation, disappointment, anger, relief.  We'll all go grey if we're not there already.

        Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

        by delphine on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:59:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  OK.. I just think telling people to STFU (4+ / 0-)

          should be reserved for people who disagree with the progressive agenda.  Why can't people just go comment on a blogpost that they agree with rather than tear to shreds the ones who don't share their exact view on things?  Actually, who DO share their view, but have a different emotional response to the events around them.

          I just hate the witch-hunting of people who aren't witches, but fellow progressives.

          Howard Dean will always be my president.

          by 4democracy on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:04:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Pearl clutching? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks

          We're staring down the barrel of a mass extinction event and global changes that human civilization as it currently exists cannot hope to withstand.

          The unemotional, scientific, non-hyperbolic reality with which we must deal is that this is, in no uncertain terms, the most dangerous threat we've faced in many thousands of years.  I'd expect it to get at least as much urgency as, say, killing a few guys in caves who on their best day might blow up a building or two.

          And please see my comment below regarding why this should not even be a question under discussion.

          "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

          by quillsinister on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:08:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes it is. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            glorificus

            Now how do you propose we go about doing that? If Obama had given a very stern lecture on the need to confront climate change today, would that have changed anything? Do you think the vast majority of Americans are more likely to support the necessary changes if we tell them they will cost jobs and harm the economy? Do you think Republican federal court judges are going to all of a sudden stop blocking administration efforts to reduce pollution because Obama gets up and says the planet is doomed?

            Can we maybe stop treating every utterance from the President like it's some pronouncement whose every syllable must be parsed, deconstructed, and analyzed to death for possible hidden significances? The guy did not exactly run for reelection on climate change. The things he can do without congressional approval are limited. And if he starts going on and on about OMG climate change we have to do something now! All that will guarantee is that Republicans dig in their heels even more against even the most basic, sensible changes.

            On this issue, change is going to have to come from us, from the bottom up.

      •  I wish the diarist wouldn't start screaming (8+ / 0-)

        the sky is falling because the president is responsible enough to recognize there are competing priorities.

        Many things he has done and will do address climate change; for the diarist to declare gloom and doom is ludicrous.

        As for my tone? You reponse is your choice.

        "I believe more women should carry guns. I believe armed women will make the world a better place. Women need to come to think of themselves not as victims but as dangerous." Anna Pigeon

        by glorificus on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:00:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with glorificus. I'm fed up with some (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight, arabian, glorificus

        posters here. All they do is attack and think the worst about him.

        They put out pfffffft. They get back pffffffft. And they turn off more people than they turn on about a supremely important subject.

        "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan." --Joel McCrea as "Sully," in "Sullivan's Travels."

        by Wildthumb on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:34:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There is no need to be polite towards people like (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jan4insight, arabian

        the diarist who deliberately distort the facts until they suit their conclusions.

  •  Time Magazine (16+ / 0-)

    http://swampland.time.com/...

    I’ll have more to say about this after the debate. But while it’s absolutely fair to complain that Obama doesn’t talk about climate change anymore, except at rallies when he’s firing up his liberal base, it’s also worth noting that he’s probably done more to prevent climate change than anyone else on the planet. His stringent new fuel efficiency rules for cars and light trucks are expected to reduce emissions by 6 billion metric tons by 2025, the equivalent of wiping out an entire year of emissions. As I’ve written here, , and in The New New Deal, Obama’s stimulus bill also launched a quiet clean-energy revolution, with unprecedented investments in wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables; energy efficiency in every possible form; blue-sky research into low-carbon technologies; the smart grid; electric vehicles; advanced biofuels; and the factories to build all that green stuff in the U.S. It almost goes without saying that Republicans opposed all of these shifts towards a greener economy, as well as a cap-and-trade plan that had been part of McCain’s agenda. They’ve blocked Obama’s efforts to kill tax loopholes that benefit the oil industry, and extend tax credits that benefit the wind industry. But U.S. emissions are still falling even though the economy is growing.

    The point here is not to excuse Obama’s climate silence. He’s got a big megaphone, and what the president says and doesn’t say matters. It would be nice to hear him talk about clean energy as a planetary imperative as well as a source of green jobs, and hear him call out Romney for backing away from climate science to pander to Tea Party activists. But if his words have been unsatisfying, his deeds have been impressive. Which matters more?

    Ron Reagan: "Sarah Palin's constituency are people who wear red rubber noses and bells on their shoes."

    by AnnetteK on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:53:46 PM PST

  •  nothing actually changed between the acceptance (7+ / 0-)

    speech and now.  Not sure why the doom and gloom prediction.  

    He's right.  A major climate bill wouldn't stand a chance at this moment.  Zero.  Rather than address the infinite behemoth of 'climate', targeted solutions (movement towards wind/solar, etc.) are probably the best way forward.  Even those meet incredible resistance.

  •  Only a week... (22+ / 0-)

    ...and those determined to find a reason to oppose good government in the name of the perfect declare that We Have Been Sold Out. (What, again?)

    I'm impressed that they waited that long.

    Visit Lacking All Conviction, your patch of grey on those too-sunny days.

    by eataTREE on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:54:47 PM PST

  •  Misrepresentation of what he said. nt (10+ / 0-)

    "So, am I right or what?"

    by itzik shpitzik on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:54:50 PM PST

  •  Gee (5+ / 0-)

    Not like there isn't anything else going on!!!!!!!!!

    Quit your freakin whining, and how much did you hear from the press on this not to mention your freakin representatives, I'd like to see more as well but I'm not, apparently, as ignorant of what's going on as some are as they pick individual issues and want it done yesterday, sounds like a teabag mentality!!!!!!!!!

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:55:48 PM PST

    •  You do know (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gallimaufry, IndyReader, glorificus

      That you have representatives in congress don't you, they are there for you to contact and push on the needed legislation they present and pass or not, so get to f'in work and contact them, over and over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

      by jimstaro on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 04:58:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  There are other things going on, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qofdisks

      but nothing else nearly as important as this.  And addressing this actually does fix the other things as well.

      The economy vs. ecology question is a false choice; the economy is a subset of the ecosystem, inextricably bound to the fate of the larger whole.

      "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

      by quillsinister on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:12:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What in his first term (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    gave you the idea that Climate Change would be a priority in his second term? No offense but rhetoric is not action.

  •  Oh jeez, another Obama failure.......NOT!!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jerry056, cherie clark, jan4insight

    Puh-leeze..........

  •  Reminds me of Clinton/Gore (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    too many people

    lots of talk... Lots.

  •  Wells first things first (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherie clark

    and he has a deadline to keep the country from going over a cliff. One thing Obama knows is he can't over reach and it looks like a fight over everything.

  •  I didn't hear him waffling. I heard him setting up (10+ / 0-)

    a future battle over clean energy jobs.
    First things first. Middle class tax cut, expiration of Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.
    Then a deal on the "fiscal cliff".
    Then (or maybe simultaneously) a battle on jobs, jobs, jobs, which will include clean energy jobs.
    The bigger sales job on climate change will be a big fight. It will be armageddon. It's not going to happen overnight.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:10:49 PM PST

  •  Actually, PBO's response was (6+ / 0-)

    excellent - he began by summarizing the carbon reducing bills already implemented - like higher mpg, and investing in new energy sources, etc.  and then he said it he will get the best in the business - i.e. scientists and engineers,  to come up with more creative/revolutionary solutions - this is great - and if you are expecting a miracle, time to come back to reality

  •  Oh Christ (5+ / 0-)

    And so the circular firing squads start to form anew.

    The 47% also "pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more" but when Romney does it he thinks it's a virtue, while when they do it, he thinks they are deadbeats.

    by jsfox on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:14:17 PM PST

  •  I wasn't impressed with a lack of passion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    about the issue in the press conference.  I really think it's pathetic how when the President shows passion for a subject he's being presidential and it's hallelujahs all around, yet when he does that wet wash cloth bit on a subject near and dear to a lefty's heart, no discussion of it can take place here.  

    "Something in the way, yeah." Kurt Cobain

    by The Hamlet on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:28:12 PM PST

    •  You don't "discuss." You attack, insult, and (0+ / 0-)

      denigrate. Then you wonder why the "discussion" goes off the rails from the get-go.

      This is a supremely important subject, and you begin by turning people off royally around here. Wake up, and start a real discussion without the no-people-skills horseshit.

      "There's a lot to be said for making people laugh. Did you know that that's all some people have? It isn't much, but it's better than nothing in this cockeyed caravan." --Joel McCrea as "Sully," in "Sullivan's Travels."

      by Wildthumb on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:37:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I guess I read that differently. (6+ / 0-)

    I read it as we can walk and chew gum at the same time.  But anyone who is suggesting that we stop walking so that we can chew gum is insane.

  •  Climate change does not take a backseat to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    anyone or anything. Our lack of action on climate change is the single most important issue facing Americans and the planet. Yes, Obama increased mileage requirements and his future policies will be infinitely better than a Romney administration. But really, we are just making ourselves feel better while the warming and its consequences are accelerating. Fixing what is wrong would take a huge concerted effort on an international scale, and that is very hard to see happening. Could Obama pull off an international agreement if he put his mind to it? I can't think of anyone more likely than him, with his charisma and international poularity, to pull it off, but he won't even try.

    Meanwhile, it is in each nations best interest to pollute if there are no international binding agreements on CO2 reduction. It is the tragedy of the commons.

    •  he can sign all the agreements he wants (0+ / 0-)

      Unless he gets 2/3 ds of the Senate to ratify them, they're worthless and not a good use of his time.

      And it'll take a lot more than charisma to get the Chinese, Indians, and other big polluters on board.

  •  Building the post-fossil fuel infrastructure (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chaoslillith, qofdisks

    is the answer to our economic issues.  Especially getting people back to work and, y'know, avoiding unfortunate things like having our coastal cities pulverized by superstorms or having our crops wiped out by freak heatwaves.  Very likely, pioneering the post fossil-fuel economy is the only viable answer to our economic issues, in the long run.  It will also allow us to retake a mantle of global leadership on an issue where the rest of the developed world is starting to leave us behind.

    Pretending to have to choose between jobs and climate change represents a false dichotomy at best and pandering to oil companies at worst.  Why do it?  He got his reelection, it's time to see him fight for this or we are well and truly fucked as a nation and a species.  Not to dump all that on him, but he is the leader, and leadership is needed.

    "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

    by quillsinister on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 05:54:50 PM PST

    •  We are already past avoiding. We can (0+ / 0-)

      Stop making it worse and hope for a reversal as we prepare the species to hunker down for a millennium. Our existence is fragile.

      •  Well, yes. (0+ / 0-)

        We are very likely past avoiding it.  I think that argument was made very well in Eaarth (and if you haven't read that, I highly recommend it).  Still, the basic questions remain how humans should live on this planet and how we build a place where we can live like that.  So, we may be past avoiding what's coming, but in terms of what we must do, I'm not sure there's really much difference; nature just won't be as cooperative as she has been for the past several thousand years.

        I don't expect the president to charge in with a magical broadsword and make all that happen overnight, but it would be nice if he at least got the conversation rolling.  Don't get me wrong, what he's done with investment in renewables and mileage standards is great, but they're still just feel-good measures unless the urgency-o-meter gets turned up to... let's say eleven.  I've found that I can convert cold, conservative military men with an argument based in thermodynamics and economics, so I certainly wouldn't expect him to rely on fluffy hippie treehuggery to make this case.  :-)

        "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

        by quillsinister on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 02:29:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who is making a fluffy hippie treehuggery case? (0+ / 0-)
          •  One of the most common refrains one hears (0+ / 0-)

            from people who oppose immediate action on environmental issues, as well as the apologists for those people, is that the economy and environment are in a zero-sum relationship.  In this view, environmental efforts will harm the economy, economic efforts will harm the environment, and that the economy must take precedence.  The implication here is that preserving the biosphere is somehow superfluous or at least optional, and serious people should focus on getting the economy going until it's strong enough to allow for the leisure of worrying about the future of life on this planet.  The idea that we can deal with both issues at the same time with many of the same tools, much less the idea that we cannot address our economic issues without also dealing with the fundamental relationship between civilization and biosphere, is not discussed.

            "If Mitt takes office, sooner or later, the Zomnies will come for all of us." -Joss Whedon

            by quillsinister on Sat Nov 17, 2012 at 11:52:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with Climate Change (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    is it's not like any other problem we face.  It truly is the problem of the global age.  And it will take a new consciousness to solve.  That means each individual person has to be in an ongoing, rigorous process to examine every action in every moment for it's impact on the planet.  It requires sacrificing convenience and more physical labor, it means extra time spent doing tasks manually, it means forgoing pleasures we've forgotten are luxuries.  But once it starts in you, you realize this is the ultimate bottom line and that motivates you to keep doing more, chipping away everyday at your carbon footprint.  I refuse to believe we can't do this.

    "Something in the way, yeah." Kurt Cobain

    by The Hamlet on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:25:12 PM PST

    •  It means our evolution or extnction within the nex (0+ / 0-)

      couple of generations. Slowing down and living more efficiently could mean higher culture for humanity. In any case, there will be fewer people if any. We can consciously adapt or we can just let it happen as

  •  Everyone here on dailykos knows (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks, The Hamlet
    Hidden by:
    IndyReader, OrganizedCrime

    Obama is the greatest human being to ever live and he has never done anything wrong. Anything wrong you think he did, was actually his plan, to screw the Repubs over in the end. This is just another 11th dimensional chess move which you plebs are too dumb to understand.

    "You have to understand Neo, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged, and many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it." Morpheus - The Matrix

    by pot on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 06:54:39 PM PST

    •  you and the diarist both are wrong (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glorificus, Aviate, skohayes

      The diarist twisted Obamas words to fit her views. You think sarcasm is a cover for making personal remarks about kossacks and the President.

      Neither of you are as cute as you believe you are.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Wed Nov 14, 2012 at 08:01:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here we have a hint of rightwing talking points. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes

      crap about the left having a cult personality and seeing Obama as a "messiah" like figure. When not one of us has ever mentioned that president Obama is"the greatest human being who has ever lived" who said that and why are you using that language? Why are you angry?

  •  Politicians will care about climate change (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quillsinister, qofdisks

    only when people are starving in the streets and whole cities are wiped out. A few more Sandy type storms and some serious droughts will wake them up, then it will be too late.

    Obama has tried but at this point in a lot of ways all we can do now is try to minimize the damage.  

    Governments waited too long to actually try to stop it at all.

  •  Not to parade on your rain, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    qofdisks

    Obama has actually been pretty good so far in dealing with climate change.

    Especially considering all the other complicated issues and obstructionism hes also had to deal with.

    Not only can a small group of dedicated people change the world, its the only thing that ever has.

    by fToRrEeEsSt on Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 12:08:38 AM PST

  •  After 4 freaking years of history making (0+ / 0-)

    obstruction, here we have the kind of mess that lost us the 2010 midterm election. People who wanted their specific issues addressed regardless of circumstances, ignoring circumstances and using language out of context to make their whining point. Hey, Obama has done more for climate change than any president in history, despite the fact he was filibustered more times in just his first 2 years than all president from George Washington to GWB combined. I hate this kind of sh%t, because this is the kind of mess that led to those teabagging nuts taking the house in 2010, resulting in teabaggers gerrymanding their states and denying us the opportunity to take back the house this Nov. How much clamite changing legislation have you seen come out of this republican congress since 2010? And why bring this up now, considering all the nasty crap republican are spreading now?

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