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Weekly Address: President Obama “Confronting the Growing Threat of Climate Change”

From the White House – Weekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama tells the American people about a plan he unveiled a few days ago to confront the growing threat of climate change. His plan will cut carbon pollution, protect our country from the impacts of climate change, and lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate.

Transcript: Weekly Address: Confronting the Growing Threat of Climate Change

Hi everybody.  A few days ago, I unveiled a new national plan to confront the growing threat of a changing climate.

Decades of carefully reviewed science tells us our planet is changing in ways that will have profound impacts on the world we leave to our children.  Already, we know that the 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15, and that last year was the warmest in American history.  And while we know no single weather event is caused solely by climate change, we also know that in a world that’s getting warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected by it – more extreme droughts, floods, wildfires, and hurricanes.

Those who already feel the effects of a changing climate don’t have time to deny it – they’re busy dealing with it.  The firefighters who brave longer wildfire seasons.  The farmers who see crops wilted one year, and washed away the next.  Western families worried about water that’s drying up.

The cost of these events can be measured in lost lives and livelihoods, lost homes and businesses, and hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency services and disaster relief.  And Americans across the country are already paying the price of inaction in higher food costs, insurance premiums, and the tab for rebuilding.

The question is not whether we need to act.  The question is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late.

The national Climate Action Plan I unveiled will cut carbon pollution, protect our country from the impacts of climate change, and lead the world in a coordinated assault on a changing climate.

To reduce carbon pollution, I’ve directed the Environmental Protection Agency to work with states and businesses to set new standards that put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants.  We’ll use more clean energy and waste less energy throughout our economy.

To prepare Americans for the impacts of climate change we can’t stop, we’ll work with communities to build smarter, more resilient infrastructure to protect our homes and businesses, and withstand more powerful storms.

And America will lead global efforts to combat the threat of a changing climate by encouraging developing nations to transition to cleaner sources of energy, and by engaging our international partners in this fight – for while we compete for business, we also share a planet.  And we must all shoulder the responsibility for its future together.

This is the fight America can and will lead in the 21st century.  But it will require all of us, as citizens, to do our part.  We’ll need scientists to design new fuels, and farmers to grow them.   We’ll need engineers to devise new technologies, and businesses to make and sell them.  We’ll need workers to man assembly lines that hum with high-tech, zero-carbon components, and builders to hammer into place the foundations for a new clean energy age.  We’ll need to give special care to people and communities unsettled by this transition.  And those of us in positions of responsibility will need to be less concerned with the judgment of special interests and well-connected donors, and more concerned with the judgment of our children.

If you agree with me, I’ll need you to act.  Educate your classmates and colleagues, your family and friends.  Speak up in your communities.  Remind everyone who represents you, at every level of government, that there is no contradiction between a sound environment and a strong economy – and that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.

We will be judged – as a people, as a society, and as a country – on where we go from here.  The plan I have put forward to reduce carbon pollution and protect our country from the effects of climate change is the path we need to take.  And if we remember what’s at stake – the world we leave to our children – I’m convinced that this is a challenge that we will meet.

Thank you, and have a great weekend.

Bolding added.


Fact Sheet on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan


Editor’s Note: The President’s Weekly Address diary is also the weekend open news thread. Feel free to leave links to other news items in the comment threads.


  1. Support for the president’s plan

    On Tuesday, President Obama announced his comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution and lead global efforts against climate change. With our country facing increasingly volatile weather, rising sea levels and dangerous levels of pollution, the President presented clear steps that the administration will take to address these problems.

    However, as President Obama stated, climate change represents not only a challenge to America but also an opportunity for us to create sustainable employment and economic growth in the future in a vast array of fields, from building wind turbines in Iowa to designing the next generation of electric cars in California.

    With so much at stake in this debate, from the strength of our economy to the type of world we leave our children, newspapers across the country reported on the President’s common-sense plan.

    Click the link for regional coverage of the president’s speech on Tuesday.

  2. Renewable Energy Closing In On Natural Gas As Second-Largest Source Of Electricity Worldwide

    Renewable energy will soon beat out natural gas as the second-largest source of electricity worldwide, according to projections from the International Energy Agency.

    Electricity from solar, wind, hydropower and other renewable sources will increase by 40 percent in the next five years, making up about 25 percent of the world’s energy sources by 2018. Renewables will provide the second-largest amount of global electricity by 2016, topped only by coal, the number one supplier of electricity around the world. Today, hydropower dominates the renewable energy mix, supplying 80 percent of the world’s renewable electricity, but IEA projects non-hydro sources of renewable energy will double over the next five years, comprising about 8 percent of the world’s energy sources by 2018.

    Lower costs are a major contributor to the spike in renewable energy – in many developing countries in Africa and Asia (and some developed ones, like Australia) renewables like wind are actually cheaper than coal

  3. North Carolina Becomes First State To Eliminate Unemployment Benefits

    North Carolina not only is cutting benefits for those who file new claims, it will become the first state disqualified from a federal compensation program for the long-term jobless.[…]

    With the changes to North Carolina law, state benefits will last three to five months – at the longer end when unemployment rates are higher. Qualifying for benefits becomes more difficult. Weekly payments for those collecting the current maximum benefit of $535 drop to $350, falling from the highest in the Southeast to comparable with neighboring states.


    Moral Mondays: The Biggest Liberal Protest Of 2013 In 35 Photos & Video

    RALEIGH, North Carolina – To little national fanfare, the largest liberal protest of 2013 took place on Monday this week in North Carolina, with thousands in attendance and hundreds getting arrested.

    For weeks, faith leaders in the Tar Heel State have gathered every Monday to give voice to women, the poor, and other groups under attack by the Republican-held legislature.

    My favorite sign:

    “Removing $780 million from the economy will create jobs … said NO ONE, ever”.

  4. GOP Leaders Warn Pro Sports Leagues Not To Promote Obamacare

    Senate Republican leaders have sent letters warning six professional sports leagues not to provide the Obama administration any assistance in promoting Obamacare.

    The letters, dated June 27, warn the chiefs of the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Professional Golf Association and NASCAR that partnering with the administration to publicize the benefits of the health care law would damage their reputations.

    “Given the divisiveness and persistent unpopularity of this bill, it is difficult to understand why an organization like yours would risk damaging its inclusive and apolitical brand by lending its name to its promotion,” wrote Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX).

    This warning does not extend to any Republican policy initiatives:

    Democratic aides point out that it’s nothing new for political leaders to partner with private organizations on behalf of their constituents, citing as one example the 2007 partnership between Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and the Boston Red Sox to promote Romneycare. McConnell and Cornyn argued in their letters that there were “key differences” between the two laws, observing that one was bipartisan and the other passed on a partisan vote.

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!! So because the Republicans did not vote for it, the law is partisan and is subject to different rules.

    Note to Senator “Let’s Make Obama a One-Term President”: The political forbears of your party, Southern Democrats circa 1965, also voted against the Civil Rights Act. Maybe you should mention that in your letter to the sports leagues. Or maybe mention that your party would like to repeal Medicare and Social Security and cut food stamps to millions of poor families … all on a partisan vote.

  5. From my Bernie Buzz email: Bernie Sanders: Student Loan Disaster Warning

    Citing a major crisis in college costs, Sen. Bernie Sanders urged quick action by Congress to keep student loan interest rates from doubling on Monday. “If we do not act immediately, the subsidized Stafford loan program will see a doubling of interest rates from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.”

    Well, it happened: Student Loan Rates Set To Double On July 1

    The interest rate on government-backed student loans is going to jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent Monday.

    Republicans, Democrats and the Obama administration could not agree on a plan to keep it from happening. Lawmakers say a deal is still possible after the July 4 recess. But if they don’t agree on a plan soon, 7 million students expected to take out new Stafford loans could be stuck with a much bigger bill when they start paying the money back.

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