Obama's Climate Speech Lacks Sexiness

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Yahoo News asked voters to comment on President Barack Obama's climate change plan, which he largely unveiled in a speech on Tuesday. Here's one response.

COMMENTARY l On Tuesday at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama unveiled his plan on climate change. He says, "Since 2006, no country on Earth has reduced its total carbon pollution by as much as the United States of America." That may be true on the account that the United States was second behind China in countries that produce the world's most annual emissions.

Obama says, "Four years ago, in Copenhagen, every major country agreed, for the first time, to limit carbon pollution by 2020." By how much, what are the goals and what has been done in the four years to demonstrate a consensus between the countries' unanimous agreement?

According to a 2008 report from the United Nations Statistics Division, a U.N. division which ensures environmental sustainability and integrates the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programs to reverse the loss of environmental resources, the millennium development goals indicators state that China's annual emissions at 7,031,916 accounts for 23.5 percent of the world's emissions and the United States closely behind with 5,461,014 and 18.27 percent of the world's emissions.

Obama says, "So I know these standards don't sound all that sexy, but think of it this way: That's the equivalent of planting 7.6 billion trees and letting them grow for 10 years -- all while doing the dishes. It is a great deal and we need to be doing it."

Why has it taken so long to get something done?

-- Michael Drentea, San Diego

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