Obama: It would be a “dereliction of duty” to ignore climate change

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Obama calls climate change an ‘indisputable’ reality that threatens American national security.

NEW LONDON, Conn. President Barack Obama has called climate change a “serious threat” to America’s national security and linked extreme weather to the rise of Boko Haram and the outbreak of war in Syria. Mr Obama said rising sea levels could undermine the effectiveness of US forces, jeopardise its military bases around the world and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Out West, deeper droughts and longer wildfires could threaten training areas our troops depend on.” Preparing for and adapting to climate change won’t be enough, he said. “The only way the world is going to prevent the worst effects of climate change is to slow down the warming of the planet.” He laid out his administration’s steps to reduce carbon greenhouse gas emissions, including strict limits on emissions from vehicles and power plants. The government expects those emission reductions to provide the U.S. contribution to a global climate treaty that world leaders are expected to finalize in December.

Without identifying the skeptics or those who resist action on climate change, Obama acknowledged the difficult terrain in Washington. “The politics will be tough, but there is no other way.” He repeated: “This will be tough.” Obama’s climate change agenda has drawn strong political opposition from the GOP-led Congress and faces a number of legal challenges. Obama had a determined and hopeful response to all of that, but one not likely to be fulfilled: “This cannot be subject to the usual politics and the usual rhetoric.” His message was reinforced by Secretary of State John Kerry, just back from meetings in Asia. David Titley, of the private Center for Climate and Security, said Obama’s “rhetoric is all good,” but he was waiting to see if the administration commits enough money to deal with the challenges the president identified. Obama’s appearance at the Coast Guard Academy was his second and last commencement address of the season after speaking earlier in May at a community college in South Dakota.

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