Climate Action

President Obama’s 2016 State of the Union

Last night, in his seventh and final State of the Union Address, President Obama delivered two top-line zingers against climate deniers. He also had other quotes focused squarely on the #ParisAgreement and the need for clean energy. Take a look: Zinger 1: Sixty years ago, when the Russians beat us into space, we didn’t deny Sputnik was up there. We didn’t argue about the science, or shrink our research and development budget. We built a space program almost overnight, and twelve years later, we were walking on the moon. Zinger 2: Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it. Quote 3: Even if the planet wasn’t at stake; even if 2014 wasn’t the warmest year on record — until 2015 turned out even hotter — why would we want to pass up the chance for American businesses to produce and sell the energy of the future? Quote 4: When we lead nearly 200 nations to the most ambitious agreement in history to fight climate change — that helps vulnerable countries, but it also protects our children. The president went on to say this: “Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and employs more Americans than coal–in jobs that pay better than average. We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy — something environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support.” “Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future–especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. That way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system.” If you are an American environmentalist, we are rather confident you had a good night last night. If you are an American climate denier, we are rather confident you changed the channel. But our job is not done. We want the president, as well as leaders from all across the globe, to sign the #ParisAgreement on #EarthDay2016, just like the United Nations plans. Please join us in keeping the heat on our leaders to do just that.