I was glad to hear President Obama speak out strongly about a variety of issues dear to my heart in his inaugural address, including climate change. Thankfully, he acknowledged the scientific consensus, the “overwhelming judgment of science” and reminded us of our obligations to future generations. He even related climate change to faith, claiming that “our planet” is “commanded to our care by God.” He said:
“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. 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 path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. 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.”
I trust that the president is speaking in good faith about his concerns and his intentions to address climate change. He could provide strong leadership on this issue, but so far government action has been lukewarm.
Besides, no one person can do this alone. It’s really we the people who need to rise to this challenge by taking strong grassroots action to counter the fossil fuels lobby, to highlight the urgent need to address climate change, and to move government officials to establish policies that will significantly reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses.
Such efforts include grassroots struggles against the Keystone XL Pipeline, fracking, mountaintop removal, and campaigns such as 350.org’s “do the math” campaign, which focuses on divesting from the fossil fuels industry. You can plug into such efforts through http://350.org.