Obama and climate change: Let's act now, before it's too late


Ron "Mac" McDowell is the president of Solar Oregon.

Rather quietly and in front of a small audience at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama on Monday announced he’s issuing a presidential memorandum to launch the first-ever federal regulations on carbon dioxide emitted by existing power plants.

He articulated that his climate strategy will focus on three key areas: cutting the amount of carbon pollution in the U.S., preparing the country for the long-term effects of climate change and leading global efforts to combat it.

Speaking to a predominantly student audience, the President said, “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that is beyond fixing … I’m here to enlist your generation’s help in keeping the USA a leader, a global leader, in fight against climate change.”

It was fitting that President Obama chose to give his speech before a group of young people who face a daunting future.

“It was important for me to speak directly to your generation,” Obama said, “because the decisions we make now, and in the years ahead, will have a profound impact on the world that all of you inherit.

“The question is not whether we need to act … the overwhelming judgment of science has put all that to rest. So, the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late. And, how we answer will have a profound impact on the world we leave behind, not just to you, but to your children and to your grandchildren. As a President, as a father, and as an American, I’m here to say – we need to act!”

As a renewable energy advocate, and someone who is concerned with destructive behavior towards our own environment, I’ve been waiting to hear this kind of message from a sitting American president for almost twenty years. I pray it isn’t too late.

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