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Obama: Our Children Want Us to Preserve the Planet

Brad Johnson
Think Progress / Video Feature
Published: Friday 24 February 2012
“In a speech today on energy policy at the University of Miami, President Barack Obama went off his prepared remarks to note that young people seem to care more than his generation does about the fate of the planet.”

In a speech today on energy policy at the University of Miami, President Barack Obama went off his prepared remarks to note that young people — including his daughters — seem to care more than his generation does about the fate of the planet:

Anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about or just isn’t telling you the truth. Young people especially understand this, because, you know, it’s interesting. When I talk to Malia and Sasha — you guys are so much more aware of conserving our resources and thinking about the planet.

The president’s speech forcefully rejected the Republican idea that the solution to all of the world’s ills — including rising gas prices — is to drill, baby, drill. However, not once did Obama directly recognize the reality of climate change. The past burning of hundreds of billions of tons of fossil fuels is already degrading the safety of our planet for human civilization. To keep Obama’s own promise of limiting total warming to no more than 2°C, about 80 percent of proved fossil-fuel reserves will have to remain in the ground.

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ABOUT Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is the Editor for ThinkProgress Green at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Brad holds a bachelor’s degree in math and physics from Amherst College and master’s degree in geosciences from the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. He is the co-author of Technomanifestos and the founder of Prior to joining the Center, he worked as a developer for Saatchi & Saatchi, Lextranet, and the Democratic National Committee. Brad grew up in Boston, Massachusetts.

Maybe this will help you guys

Maybe this will help you guys get a more accurate assessment of what's going on.

Traveling through Europe, one

Traveling through Europe, one sees vast fields of wind turbines, solar arrays, etc., especially in places one wouldn't expect (Croatia, Hungary, etc.), yet they are also still hugely dependant on fossil fuels for the majority of their needs. We will have reached a critical energy demand point long before we have any major alternative energy infrastructure in place to replace oil, and then the poop will hit the fan as the have nations try to satisfy the have-nots, with the resulting elbowing aside to be first in line (read wars). Guess who has the biggest elbows?

OK, good, O's got Malia,

OK, good, O's got Malia, Sasha, and Michelle on one side. Yes. Good.

But then, too, look who's he's paid to surround him on the office side: Geithner, Summers, Immelt, and all the other reps of big banks and corporate self-bonusing.

Stay tuned, kiddies.

Catering to Islamists? That's

Catering to Islamists? That's nonsense.

The Great Plains in the

The Great Plains in the midwestern U.S. is a tremendous resource of renewable, clean, pollution-free energy. We should be erecting wind turbines there from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts as well as the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes and any other place there are steady winds, as quickly as possible. (We should have been doing it since the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.). To Hell with Big Oil and Clean Coal and nuclear power.
Electric cars are something we should be pursuing overzealously. (This too should have been pursued since the 1973 OPEC oil embargo.) Battery research and development or capacitance electric energy storage should be our new Moon project.

Every rooftop should be a solar energy utility. Coal-fired power plants and nuclear power plants could be quickly phased out if this was allowed to happen.

Maglev high-speed rail powered by non-polluting, renewable, clean, wind and solar-generated electricity could be replacing much of the oil-dependent, polluting, domestic airline industry.

We need to quit burning polluting, dirty fossil fuels and generating dangerous radioactive waste for which there is no safe, economical disposal. The idiocy needs to stop for the sake of humanity.

We already have all the

We already have all the renewable energy we need: Solar (both thermal and photovoltaic), geothermal (our basements), wind, hydro (small rivers that could have flow through turbines). It needs to be harvested on our roofs and basements and avoid making large grid power plants. With the development of electric cars and high capacity batteries, we could use our electric cars to store the day energy and thus completely get off both from coal and oil.

They, President Obama will not have to genuflect to Saudi King or make delusional statements about greatness of Islam, which is incompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

If President Obama wants to insure future of our children, he should stop catering to Islamists as he had been doing and helping CAIR and OIC white wash Islam, which is making US unsafe from terrorist attacks by those who want to destroy Western civilization.

As a Christian who

As a Christian who passionately defends freedom of (and from) religion, I must contradict your puzzling comments about President Obama, and especially, about Islam. Since it's one of the great religions of the world, practiced by well over a billion people, I hardly think calling it "great" is delusional While the US supports many oligarchies and dictatorships around the world with human rights records as terrible as Saudi Arabia's for trade reasons, like petroleum, and strategic reasons, like Saudi Arabia's place in the Middle East, Islam is not incompatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights--the US never signed, and does not comply with it.

Islam and political Islamism are not the same. US hunger for oil makes involvement in Middle East politics and military bases there important. It may start another war. There is no reason that renewable energy could not cut US petroleum needs drastically this year.

Those fossil fuel reserves

Those fossil fuel reserves should be made historic landmarks and illegal to suck up out of the earth

I don't think you can fault

I don't think you can fault President Obama on his support alternative energy. He has pushed it over and over and done more than any previous president to put resources into r & d. But let's be real, The fossil fuels are not going to stay in the ground when there are billions to be made. This makes r & d even more important. We need not only to find alternate sources of energy, but ways to cope with carbon and methane emissions.

Just to be clear. You can --

Just to be clear. You can -- and should -- fault President Obama for all of his lack of leadership on cleaner energy.

He supports more drilling, fracking, and a host of other polluting industries; and his actions, which include pro-industry agency appointments, setting or continuing of bad policies of previous administrations, and also allowing continued leadership roles of Bush-era lackeys, show his allegiances.

Whether it is the State Department, EPA, FDA, etc., Obama-era energy and environmental policies and decisions benefit and expand polluting industries.

Consequential environmental damages sustained have been directly related to Obama administration subservience to oil and gas industry wishes, whether by waiving EIR's and compliance for safety and environmental standards, or by expediting approval on industry projects.

The focus of studies are manipulated in ways that slant results and obscure specific findings against proposed projects and conclusions of department and agency studies are altered for political reasons rather than fact-based science.

Obama's actions that work against environmental causes demonstrate more than his lofty, but hollow rhetoric and empty election-time pandering speeches, and reveal his true intent. It's lip service for the masses, results for industry.

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