Our elected officials in Washington have ignored climate change for a very long time and unfortunately lots of people in the U.S. are now paying for this neglect. I was pleased to learn that President Barack Obama plans to work with Congress in his second term in an effort to curb human-aggravated climate change. The President said this can be done without damaging the U.S. economy. President Obama said at a news conference:
I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior, and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.
Without specifying what actions he would take, President Obama said he would speak in the coming months and years to get bipartisan support for tackling the problem of rising global temperatures. The President pointed to his Administration’s tightened fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks and the increased use of renewable energy in the United States as moves that will limit the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere. President Obama plans “a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers and elected officials to find out what … more we can do to make short-term progress in reducing carbons.” Noting that it is unclear now what Democrats or Republicans are prepared to do to ease the climate problem, and that regional differences complicate the situation, President Obama said any serious solution would require “some tough political choices.”
Extreme storms like Sandy, along with more intense droughts, wildfires and floods, are projected by some to be results of climate change. That’s even though climate scientists generally decline to attribute individual weather events to global warming. But when you check the trends over the past 20 years, it is difficult to disregard the drastic changes in our weather patterns.
So-called cap-and-trade legislation meant to limit U.S. carbon dioxide emissions died on Capitol Hill in 2010 and has not been re-introduced. There has been serious opposition to measures needed to control carbon dioxide emissions. I am convinced that the President and Congress must resist taking the “ostrich” approach any longer when it comes to the critically-serious problems being caused by climate change. Hopefully, the Obama Administration will make this a top priority in its second term. This will require breaking the stranglehold the oil industry lobby has had on Congress. Not having to worry about re-election, and wanting to leave a strong and positive legacy when he leaves office, provide President Obama an opportunity to get some good things done on this critically-important issue.
Source: Insurance Journal
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