Is Obama Already Waffling on his Climate Change Commitment?

Is Obama Already Waffling on his Climate Change Commitment?
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In his first press conference after being re-elected, President Obama told reporters that climate change could take a backseat to efforts to boost the economy in the near term.

It sure didn’t take the President long to water down the passionate commitment he made to the electorate just a week ago when he stated in his acceptance speech that:

“We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.”

Last time around, when there was a climate bill making its way through the House of Representatives we were told that the bill would be put on hold until Obama’s health care reform was taken care of.

We all know what happened. No climate bill.

Obama is walking a fine line here when he told the gathered press that:

I think the American people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy, jobs and growth that if the message is somehow that we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anybody’s going to go for that. I won’t go for that.”

Setting up a presumption that solutions to climate change are somehow an opposing force to economic growth has, in the case of many other politicians, been the first step down the road to avoiding doing much about the issue at all.

The United States continues to lag in the worldwide renewable energy boom. There is, for instance, a huge opportunity for the President to lead in education initiatives that will teach a generation of students the expertise they need to compete in a re-invented global energy sector. Not to mention the opportunities to re-invent America’s manufacturing sector.

There is also the escalating costs to the American taxpayers to cover the devastating effects of climate change in the form of more frequent weather events like Hurricane Sandy, droughts in the farming belts and out-of-control wildfires like the ones we saw this summer in Utah and Colorado.

Time will tell whether Obama stays true to his word, but it sure as heck isn’t a good sign that the President already appears to be waffling on an issue that just eight days ago he spoke so passionately about.

I guess time will tell if he truly is committed to seeing a world in which our children aren’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.

Is Obama Already Waffling on his Climate Change Commitment?

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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