Obama climate interview

2014-06-08

in Economics, Politics, Science, Security, The environment

Thomas Friedman interviews Obama on climate change, and the president explicitly states that we can’t burn all the world’s remaining fossil fuels and that we should keep to the target of keeping warming below 2˚C.

He also endorses a price on carbon.

This makes it seem that Obama does understand the key dimensions of climate change; he just hasn’t made dealing with it a high enough priority to produce the kind of progress that is necessary for achieving the 2˚C target.

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. June 8, 2014 at 12:22 pm
. June 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Who can save the planet? Voters

Mr. Obama’s remarks to the Times continue to reverberate in environmental and business circles, being that they represent the frankest he has been to date about the threat climate change poses. He admitted, for instance, that reviews undertaken by the Defence Department and Joints Chiefs of Staff have identified climate change as a “significant national security issue” that can no longer be ignored. When asked what he would like to see the U.S. do about it, he was unequivocal: Put a price on carbon.

Mr. Harper recently reasserted his position that the economy reigns supreme, insisting that if other world leaders were being honest that they would also admit that jobs trump the environment. Standing beside his ideological soulmate, Australian PM Tony Abbott, Mr. Harper praised his Down Under counterpart for killing the carbon tax that had been introduced by the previous government.

It was all rather depressing.

The Conservatives will barely concede there is a climate problem, and to the extent that there is, it’s someone else’s dilemma to solve. Canada has no hope of meeting the targets set out in the Copenhagen Accord and Mr. Harper’s government doesn’t care. Its only concern is jobs, and creating more of them. This is a noble goal, and one every government must be concerned with, but not at the expense of everything else.

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