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Obama says the US will step up to meet the challenge of climate change

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
It looks like President Obama has stepped up to the climate change plate.  In Italy, at the G8 Summit, Obama said, "Developed countries like my own have a historic responsibility to take the lead....We have the much larger carbon footprint per capita, and I know that sometimes the U.S. has fallen short of meeting our responsibilities....Those days are over."

This comes from the LA Times:

Speaking from Italy, where officials from 17 nations met and set the new targets, Obama warned that further steps would be needed and cautioned against those who would dismiss today's announced agreement, which fell short of what some environmentalists had hoped for but was a significant step from the policies of the Bush administration.

"We've made a good start, but I am the first one to acknowledge that on this issue it will not be easy," Obama said. "I think one of the things we will have to do is fight the temptation toward cynicism, to feel that the problem is so immense that somehow we cannot make significant strides.

"It is no small task for 17 leaders to bridge their differences on an issue like climate change," Obama said.

The president spoke at the news conference after the forum that included key industrialized countries and developing economies such as Australia, India, China and South Korea. The countries represent more than three-quarters of emissions blamed for raising the world's temperature.

The group agreed to prevent the Earth's climate from rising by 2 degrees Celsius (about 3.6 degree Fahrenheit). That will entail a sharp cut in emissions by 2050, about 80% for industrialized nations and 50% for the developing world.
post #2 of 6
Yeah I'm glad he made the committment.  Now he has to follow through by putting pressure on the Senate to pass the carbon cap and trade bill.  If we can't pass legislation to regulate CO2, all the verbal committments in the world won't mean jack squat.
post #3 of 6
Speaking of jack squat. Kind of an interesting article from the NYT a couple days ago called "Disillusioned environmentalists turn on Obama as Compromiser."

For environmental activists like Jessica Miller, 31, the passage of a major climate bill by the House last month should have been cause for euphoria. Instead she felt cheated.

Ms. Miller, an activist with Greenpeace, had worked hard on her own time to elect Barack Obama because he directly and urgently addressed the issue nearest her heart: climate change.

But over the last few months, as the ambitious climate legislation was watered down in the House without criticism from the president, Ms. Miller became disillusioned. She worried that the bill had been rendered meaningless — or had even undermined some goals Greenpeace had fought for. And she felt that the man she had thought of as her champion seemed oddly prone to compromise.

“I voted for the president, I canvassed for him, but we just haven’t seen leadership from him,” said Ms. Miller, who rappelled down Mount Rushmore on Wednesday with colleagues to unfurl a banner protesting what they called President Obama’s acquiescence to the compromises. (They were arrested and charged with trespassing.)

Here's the lead image from the article:
post #4 of 6
 Hey! He wanted to get elected. The Republicans can't win the presidency without the freaky right and Democrats can't win it without the loony left. Fact of life. To get past Clinton he needed all the far left support he could get so he went after it and did well.

Ms. Miller should have realized that up front. Not exactly rocket science. I have trouble believing she is really surprised and not just playing for sympathy.
post #5 of 6
That kind of attitude really irritates me.  What do they expect Obama to do, go around punching Republicans and moderate Democrats until they agree to vote for a better bill?

It's true, the bill isn't as strong as most environmentalists would like.  But suck it up and deal with it.  It's actually a pretty good bill, and it's the best we're going to get in the forseeable future.  If you hold out for a better bill, you're going to end up with nothing at all, and there's nothing Obama can do about that.

Really that's what bugs me about those criticizing Obama and the bill.  It's this "my way or the highway" attitude.  Yeah in an ideal world you would get the bill you want, but in the real world, you need to take what you can get.  And Waxman Markey is the best you're going to get.  By undermining it (as Greenpeace did by coming out against the bill) all you're doing is trying to assure that we several years longer without regulating carbon emissions.  Talk about damaging the environment.

By refusing to support the bill and its compromises, they're doing a lot more harm than good.  And that ticks me off.  Sometimes you have to compromise.  As a politician, Obama understands that.
post #6 of 6
 I believe politics is sometimes defined as 'the art of compromise'.

Obama hardly has a lock on congress - as if any president since FDR has had. At present the Democratic party is spread across a very wide spectrum. To get and keep them all on board for anything will take a masterful touch.

We just wait and see what the senate does - that will be very tough! 
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