“No challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” U.S. President Barack Obama told a largely hostile U.S. Congress January 20, in a State of the Union address that mocked legislators who deny climate change and put far more emphasis on clean energy than on the government’s “all of the above” energy strategy.
“Over the past six years, we’ve done more than ever before to combat climate change, from the way we produce energy, to the way we use it,” the President said. “And that’s why I will not let this Congress endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”
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Several outlets picked up Obama’s criticism of what InsideClimate News called the “new, stock response” from Congressional Republicans who say they can’t declare themselves on climate change because they aren’t scientists.
“Well, I’m not a scientist, either. But y’know what ? I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities,” Obama said. “The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate” and are warning of the overwhelming costs of inaction.
“The president’s comments were also notable for what they omitted,” Banerjee and Bagley write. “Unlike past speeches, Obama did not mention by name his ‘all-of-the-above’ energy policy that embraces fossil fuels, though he alluded early in the speech to booming oil production. In previous addresses, his comments about climate change revolved around the economic potential of renewable energy. This time, he pivoted to the science.”
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