Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Obama on climate change

President Obama's State of the Union remarks on climate change last night:
But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Yes, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science – and act before it’s too late.
The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.
Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. We’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year – so let’s drive costs down even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we. (emphasis added)
What must the brain trust in Ottawa be thinking after hearing that? Would have loved to be a fly on the wall in the Harper living room or office or wherever it was viewed. A bit of discomfort, you'd think.

The McCain-Lieberman draft legislation was a cap and trade system. Interesting if that is indeed what the Obama administration will be pushing Congress to pursue. If it did come to pass, it would affect Canada's choice too.

Also note his emphasis on clean energy and going all in. Ontario has been a leader in this but imagine what could be done if we had a federal government that creatively engaged and encouraged clean energy across the country. 

Now what to watch...Harper et al's language and whether it changes ever so slightly in any regard on this issue.

Oh why, oh why can't we have nice things too....