Obama’s Warming to Climate Change Policy
Having significantly turned up the proverbial “heat” on the issue in his State of the Union address in January, President Obama made good on his ultimatum to Congress that he would soon take executive action on climate change if they failed to do so. Low and behold Congress, moving slower than a receding glacier on this issue, has yet to take any significant steps toward passing climate change legislation.
As Reform Jews, there were many points of progress in the President’s remarks. The event took place at Georgetown University and was directed to a younger audience. “[I]t was important for me to speak directly to your generation because the decisions that we make now and in the years ahead will have a profound impact on the world that all of you inherit.” Indeed the theme of l’dor v’dor (from generation to generation) underscored his statement. “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 that we leave behind not just to you but to your children and to your grandchildren.”
Perhaps more interesting to those of us who make social action a focus of our lives was that the President’s remarks called for all of us to take action and become advocates for our climate. “What we need in this fight are citizens who will stand up and speak up and compel us to do what this moment demands. Understand, this is not just a job for politicians. So I’m going to need all of you, to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends.” Indeed, politicians are only part of the policy process.
Now that we have seen the actions the President intends to take on the issue, it is time for us to step up. While he implements his executive actions, we need to try and convince Congress to take the issue at least as seriously. Ask them to pass comprehensive climate legislation and energy efficiency legislation. The ball is now once again in our court to make a difference!
Image Courtesy of the White House.