The 'President of Hope' Owes U.S. More on Environment

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The 'President of Hope' Owes U.S. More on Environment

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File:Diagram showing the Earth's energy budget, which includes the greenhouse effect (NASA).png From …

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 President Obama's declaration from Tuesday is correct, but insufficient. The global warming debate is "obsolete," which was Obama's stand at the previous four UN conferences on climate change. Here was an unprecedented opportunity to elevate and re-frame the dumbed-down global-warming issue. Obama should have educated America fully on relationships between global temperature and chemical emissions. From now on, mankind manages Earth as a system. If our representatives are acting (or voting) on it, let's understand it.

The UN global climate model, the best science available, makes stark, devastating forecasts. From our time forward, policymakers must confront all the consequences of the model. It explains not only the current, long-term temperature trend's correlation with carbon-dioxide emissions, but also Earth's "clima(c)tic" history (mass extinctions!) and future terrestrial consequences of chemical, atmospheric and geological changes.

The president said Tuesday at Georgetown University, "As a president, as a father and as an American, I'm here to say we need to act." This San Francisco father and American agrees. Communities, corporations and humanity must change their behavior. Obama's proposed regulations, incentives and renewables permitting are similarly right, though inadequate. They're feasible examples for future improvement.

First change: Learn these ABC's of species survival. Each person, in every way possible, must make the changes indicated. They are vast, like political will for deferred gratification. (For instance: "We won't build pipelines we can't make clean.") They are immeasurably small -- coffee cups re-used, not thrown away to decay and release CO2. These changes are survival imperatives.

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