Climate Change: The Gap Between Rhetoric And Action

Obama naugural speech

With hurricane Sandy as the opening act, President Obama, in his second inaugural speech, has elevated climate change discussion once again. Given the gridlock in Congress, just what can the administration actually accomplish without their participation?

A question also remains: what have environmentalists learned from their past failures to affect substantial emission declines and how will they help new efforts going forward?

Changing the Conversation on Climate Change

BLOOMBERG - Rohit T. Aggarwala

Politically, environmentalism has had a few good months in the U.S. Hurricane Sandy put the words “climate change” back in the national vocabulary. Republican attempts to attack Democrats for waging a “war on coal” failed to win many votes in states like Virginia and Ohio on Election Day. In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama made climate action a priority. A climate rally in Washington is being planned for later this month, and the president has committed to conducting a “national conversation” on the subject.

We’ve seen this kind of momentum before: in 2009, at the start of the failed attempt to pass comprehensive climate legislation in Congress. In hindsight, environmentalists underestimated the obstacles they faced. Now the risk is great that they are making the same mistake again.

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Outgoing EPA chief convinced Obama serious on climate change

REUTERS - The departing chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa P. Jackson, says she cringes whenever she is asked if President Barack Obama is truly serious about confronting climate change.

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Up w/Chris Hayes Panel Discussion

In this three part panel discussion, Chris Hayes and his guests cover President Obama's inaugural speech, the gap between rhetoric and action, stopping the Keystone pipeline, and actions the EPA can take to reduce global warming emissions.


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Part 1

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Part 3

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Recommended Books:

Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition

Yellowstone's Wildlife in TransitionOver thirty experts detect worrying signs of a system under strain. They identify three overriding stressors: invasive species, private-sector development of unprotected lands, and a warming climate. Their concluding recommendations will shape the twenty-first-century discussion over how to confront these challenges, not only in American parks but for conservation areas worldwide. Highly readable and fully illustrated.

For more info or to order "Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition" on Amazon.

The Energy Glut: Climate Change and the Politics of Fatness

The Energy Glut: Climate Change and the Politics of Fatnessby Ian Roberts. Expertly tells the story of energy in society, and places 'fatness' next to climate change as manifestations of the same fundamental planetary malaise. This exciting book argues that the pulse of fossil fuel energy not only started the process of catastrophic climate change, but also propelled the average human weight distribution upwards. It offers and appraises for the reader a set of personal and political de-carbonising strategies.

For more info or to order "The Energy Glut" on Amazon.

Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled Planet

Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest to Save a Troubled Planet by Todd Wilkinson and Ted Turner. Entrepreneur and media mogul Ted Turner calls global warming the most dire threat facing humanity, and says that the tycoons of the future will be minted in the development of green, alternative renewable energy. Through Ted Turner's eyes, we consider another way of thinking about the environment, our obligations to help others in need, and the grave challenges threatening the survival of civilization.

For more info or to order "Last Stand: Ted Turner's Quest..." on Amazon.


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