Director, Global Possibilities
by Casey Danson
Climate Change is having a huge impact on the world today and will greatly burden out children and their children if we do not act quickly. We are not as vulnerable as the world’s poor and they will suffer the most along with countless species of animal and mammal life. We have challenges and need clear and strong leadership from Obama as the cornerstone of building a solution to these environmental crises.
On Huffington Post Carter Robert wrote about Obama’s moral imperative to address Climate Change.
Our current president is already a historical figure as a symbol of America’s evolution since Lincoln secured passage of the 13th Amendment. But I wager that, like Lincoln, President Obama will be remembered most for what he does to address the existential threat that history has presented on his watch: the breakdown of our planet’s natural systems upon which all life depends, and specifically human-caused climate change. By seizing solutions within his power, a looming crisis can become the foundation for the president’s legacy. Here’s how he can do it: Foster a bipartisan national conversation: Earlier this month the most up-to-date summary of climate change impacts in the United States was released. The president should not sweep this under the rug, as happened with a similar report in 2009. Instead, he should use the “public review draft” of the National Climate Assessment to help communities understand how they will be affected by a changing climate and what practical steps are needed to prepare. A conversation built around local impacts and solutions would 1) help communities get ahead of the next Sandy; 2) remind us that we have the tools, the industry and the ingenuity to prosper; and 3) provide openings for rebuilding bipartisan support. The president should actively engage his vast grassroots network in this effort. Use existing authorities to act now: Lincoln didn’t wait for Congress. The president has many tools available now, and he should fully use them all. The most important is the Clean Air Act — one of America’s most well-loved laws — which can help clean up our electricity system (the largest source of America’s climate pollution). The long-delayed climate standards for new power plants should be finalized, and strong standards for the nation’s oldest, dirtiest power plants should be created in 2013. Empower John Kerry: The U.S. and other countries agreed last year to complete an international compact to fight global warming by 2015 — and the clock is ticking. A united global effort is vital to fully tackling such a global challenge. The Senate’s most outspoken climate hawk will lead these talks as the new Secretary of State. John Kerry needs the authority and flexibility to strike an ambitious deal with China, Europe and the other countries of the world.
Let’s hope that Obama makes some new decisions that will benefit our environment. SOON!