Environmental Superhero Earth Dog Welcomes President Obama's Commitment to Fight Climate Change
Environmental superhero Earth Dog welcomed President Barack Obama's call to combat climate change, applauding the renewed commitment to help create a cleaner planet for future generations and offering to help take the message to the nation's classrooms.
"We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations," said President Obama in last week's second inaugural address.
The message is timely, given that last year was replete with unusual and extreme U.S. weather events that raised questions about climate change: an historic Midwestern drought, massive East Coast storms like Sandy, brutal heat waves, and widespread wildfires in Western states.
According to recent reports, Obama's last term saw limited progress on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, and the decline in man-made carbon emissions was partly attributable to the economic slowdown and the shift from coal- to natural gas-based electricity production.
At the 2009 Copenhagen U.N. climate change summit, Obama boldly promised to cut emissions by 17 percent by 2020. First-term federal initiatives to fight climate change included the creation of federAl Greenhouse-gas standards for vehicles. In addition, most states moved to embrace more aggressive climate policies.
In the coming term, the administration is expected to take a number of regulatory actions to reduce emissions, while working to build support for a more comprehensive approach to fighting climate change. Bolder measures in keeping with Obama's Copenhagen pledge to reduce emissions by 83 percent by mid-century could start with expanding energy research and development to find ways of making low-carbon energy cheap enough that a cap-and-trade system to curb carbon emissions becomes more feasible.