Obama Says 'Climate Change Can No Longer Be Ignored' as Jeb Bush Admits He's 'Concerned'
"2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record," said Obama. "Fourteen of the 15 hottest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century. This winter was cold in parts of our country—as some folks in Congress like to point out—but around the world, it was the warmest ever recorded."
"The fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications for the way we live now," he reminded us. "Stronger storms. Deeper droughts. Longer wildfire seasons. The world’s top climate scientists are warning us that a changing climate already affects the air our kids breathe. The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security."
He boasted about the growth of wind power in the U.S., more fuel-efficient cars and more energy-efficient buildings. He touted some of the things his administration is already doing to address climate change, including his events last week on the health impacts of climate change.
But he called climate change "an issue that’s bigger and longer-lasting than my presidency."
"It’s about protecting our God-given natural wonders and the good jobs that rely on them," said Obama. "It’s about shielding our cities and our families from disaster and harm. It’s about keeping our kids healthy and safe. This is the only planet we’ve got. And years from now, I want to be able to look our children and grandchildren in the eye and tell them that we did everything we could to protect it."
He also announced that on Earth Day he will visit Everglades National Park "to talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy."
"The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country," he said. "But it’s also one of the most fragile. Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure—and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry—at risk."
Obama advisor Brian Deese revealed that during the week, the White House will be announcing natural landscapes to be targeted for conservation efforts, along with new funding to help farmers and ranchers reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also invite social media followers to submit photos of their favorite natural areas that are threatened by climate change.
“This Earth Day, we’re far beyond a debate about climate change’s existence,” said Deese. “We’re focused on mitigating its very real effects here at home, preparing our communities where its impacts are already being felt and leading an international effort for action.”
One Floridian who seems to be trying to stake out a position on climate change that will sound reasonable to most Americans yet align with the climate denial of many Republican primary voters is former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
Joining the pack of 2016 presidential hopefuls in the early primary state of New Hampshire, Bush appeared to be trying to edge away from the full-throated climate deniers in the field like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul.
"The climate is changing, and I’m concerned about that," he said, before falling back on the false choice between addressing climate change and a strong economy. But he hasn't walked back on his statement that "It is not unanimous among scientists that it is disproportionately man-made,” technically accurate but misleading in light of the fact that 97 percent of scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities. Bush embraces, as does President Obama, increasing natural gas extraction which has shown huge growth due to fracking.
And in February Bush told a meeting of the conservative Club for Growth that the Clean Air Act had "stifled the ability for people to rise up," and that the country's priority should be "growth at all cost." It seems that his "concern" for the climate only goes so far.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.
A new EarthxTV film special calls for the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that call it home. EarthxTV.org
- Meet the 'Women Warriors' Protecting the Amazon Forest - EcoWatch ›
- Indigenous Tribes Are Using Drones to Protect the Amazon ... ›
- Amazon Rainforest Will Collapse by 2064, New Study Predicts ... ›
- Deforestation in Amazon Skyrockets to 12-Year High Under Bolsonaro ›
- Amazon Rainforest on the Brink of Turning Into a Net Carbon Emitter ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Anke Rasper
"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.
- World Leaders Fall Short of Meeting Paris Agreement Goal - EcoWatch ›
- UN Climate Change Conference COP26 Delayed to November ... ›
- 5 Years After Paris: How Countries' Climate Policies Match up to ... ›
- Biden Win Puts World 'Within Striking Distance' of 1.5 C Paris Goal ... ›
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?
- This Indian Startup Turns Polluted Air Into Climate-Friendly Tiles ... ›
- How to Win the Fight Against Plastic - EcoWatch ›
In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
- Appalachian Fracking Boom Was a Jobs Bust, Finds New Report ... ›
- Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water ... ›
- Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Much Higher Than ... ›
Colombia is one of the world's largest producers of coffee, and yet also one of the most economically disadvantaged. According to research by the national statistic center DANE, 35% of the population in Columbia lives in monetary poverty, compared to an estimated 11% in the U.S., according to census data. This has led to a housing insecurity issue throughout the country, one which construction company Woodpecker is working hard to solve.
- Kenyan Engineer Recycles Plastic Into Bricks Stronger Than ... ›
- Could IKEA's New Tiny House Help Fight the Climate Crisis ... ›