I stayed up late last night (UK time) to watch Barack Obama deliver his 2015 State of the Union address to the United States Congress. I was particularly interested to hear what he had to say about climate change. In the event he said the word "climate" four times. Apparently that's a new record.
When will the world's policymakers stop spouting hot air and start taking practical measures to mitigate the inevitable climate change that we all must now face.
The answer seems to be "not just yet", because in the United States the Democrat and Republican parties are still at loggerheads in Congress over "Obamacare", and as a result many "non-essential" services have been shut down, and getting on for a million US government workers have been told to stay at home. Here's a video report from Al Jazeera on the current state of the nation in the land of the free:
After an expensive and thoroughly negative campaign that failed to mention climate change at all, Barack Obama has been voted another four year term in charge of a nation that pumps a lot of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere. According to the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL for short):
Four years ago Barack Obama was President Elect. Here's a speech he gave at that time:
Notice his concluding remarks:
Once I take office you can be sure that the United States will once again engage vigorously in…. negotiations, and help lead the world towards a new era of global cooperation on climate change. Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all. Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response. The stakes are too high. The consequences too serious. Stopping climate change won't be easy and it won't happen overnight, but I promise you this. When I am president, any governor who's willing to promote clean energy will have a partner in the White House. Any company that's willing to invest in clean energy will have an ally in Washington. And any nation that's willing to join the cause of combating climate change will have an ally in the United States of America.
Stopping climate change hasn't happened overnight, or over the last four years for that matter. The stakes are higher. The consequences more serious. Stopping climate change is now much harder. Whether as a result of Michael Bloomberg's last minute introduction of climate change onto the agenda or not, Mr. Obama has just been voted another four years in office by the U.S. electorate. Here's his 2012 acceptance speech:
Having spent some days blogging about the effects of Hurricane Sandy, I had intended posting today about some of Sandy's causes. That will have to wait for a while now though, since a post about the politics of climate change has suddenly risen to the top of my to do list. My headline today comes to you courtesy of Bill Clinton, via Michael Bloomberg.
The United States' National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC for short) has just issued a press release about the amount of ice in the Arctic at the moment. You may be wondering why on Earth that is relevant to you, but please bear with me as I endeavour to explain, with the help of a few videos. Here's the first one which shows summer 2012 in Sidmouth, a seaside town down here on the not so sunny south coast of Devon:
It's been strengthening very slowly, but at 11:20 AM CDT yesterday Isaac was officially declared to have become a category 1 hurricane. Whilst still a mere tropical storm, here's what it did to Haiti a few short days ago: