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US President Adds Climate Change To Lengthy To-Do List

Obama Brings God Into the Climate-Change Fight


By --January 22, 2013

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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… That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.—President Barack Obama,Second Inaugural Address, 21 January 2013

By bringing in God, Obama is attempting to reframe the issue as one that transcends not only partisanship but the divide between those who believe in science and those who doubt science but believe in God. Left or right, atheist or creationist—either way, Obama is saying, we’ve got to do something.—Will Oremus, Slate, 21 January 2013

Obama’s decision to include the climate issue in his speech signals that he’s at least hoping to pursue yet another very difficult legislative goal. And climate change is about as difficult as any of the other items. Legislating the issue is even more difficult than finding a public consensus. With Democrats now in the minority in the House and with a smaller Senate majority, it’s hard to see how [climate] legislation would pass now, without being significantly scaled back or without some pressing new impetus. Even in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there wasn’t a concerted push on climate change. And given all the more time-sensitive issues on the table right now, it’s unlikely climate change will become a real priority any time soon.—Aaron Blake, The Washington Post, 21 January 2013

When President Obama takes the oath of office for the second time, he will also usher in a new era in American power politics. Whereas the old left-wing definition of “who rules” focused on large corporations, banks, energy companies and agribusinesses, the Obama-era power structure represents a major transformation. Today’s new hegemons hail almost entirely from outside the material economy, and many come from outside the realm of the market system entirely. Daniel Bell, in his landmark 1973 The Coming of Post-Industrial Society, may have been the first to identify this ascension to “pre-eminence of the professional and technical class.” This new “priesthood of power,” as he put it, would eventually overturn the traditional hierarchies based on land, corporate and financial assets. As befits a technological age, the new clerisy also enjoys the sanction of what Bell defined as the “creative elite of scientists.” More disturbing still may be the clerisy’s regal disregard for democratic give and take. Joel Kotkin, Forbes, 19 January 2013

One of his most passionate moments was even devoted to addressing “climate change,” of all things. He rarely mentioned the subject in the election campaign. But doing something about global warming is a commandment in the modern liberal catechism, and now Mr. Obama says it will be a major priority in the next four years. He even used the stock liberal description that those who disagree with him on climate change “deny” scientific fact. It’s another example of deliberately stigmatizing his opposition. –Editorial, The Wall Street Journal, 22 January 2013

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration, he added.—Robin McKie, The Observer, Sunday 18 January 2009



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