The Obama Administration, with many highs and lows during the two four year terms, ended 2015 with another high, this one pertaining to climate change. Bernie Sanders, who was scoffed on Fox News as nutter on this issue, and ignored in seriousness by the dominant Democrats, both elected and seeking election, is right – climate change is the major issue of our day. While I do not seek to denigrate the other serious issues of the day, in climate change the life of the planet is at stake.
Certainly the recently concluded conference does not eliminate any of the climate change issues. What the conference did was begin the process of working on climate change with full participation by the whole world. Getting everyone together speaks volumes about the seriousness of the issue and also the amount of political capital the Obama Administration was willing to invest to begin the global interchange regarding climate change.
“The global conference that the United States participated in regarding climate change may be seen by historians as the crowning achievement of the Obama Administration’s eight years in office. There also is no doubt that what was achieved was but a small step toward the climate change solutions that are critical to saving this planet. Just a few short months ago it seemed unlikely that any worldwide climate change accord was likely. The fact that we now have the tools to move forward and also have rekindled the hope of getting some usable climate change provisions enacted is such a large positive.”
“As one of our two major political parties remains incredibly stupid on the issue, in fact appears to have a Party policy that consists of hiding their heads in the sand on the issue, the domestic disagreement on climate change was overwhelming. Added to this fact that several of the emerging industrial countries in the world are the major polluters, and the hope to stem climate change for our future generations seemed dismal. Barack Obama and John Kerry’s political and ethical will on the matter should not be forgotten by anyone concerned about the state of the world we are leaving our children.”
“Mitigating climate change is not a simple yes-no proposition. Holding temperature increases to 2.5 or 2.7 degrees Celsius may not be as good as holding them below 2 degrees, but it’s much better than holding them to 3.3 or 3.8 degrees. What’s more, the structure of the agreement is designed to produce additional reductions over time. At the urging of the U.S., countries are required to reconvene every half-decade and consider tighter reductions.”
“Obviously, such reductions will only happen if they are economically feasible. But recent history shows that political willpower and innovation feed off each other. Support for green energy in the United States (through the stimulus), Europe, China, and elsewhere spurred research and investment that have triggered a revolution in affordable solar and wind power, among other green-energy technologies. The green-energy revolution has made what was unaffordable in 2009 suddenly affordable. It is realistic to assume that the momentum from Paris will continue the virtuous cycle of political willpower and market innovation — the massive new market for reducing carbon emissions will spur more investment that will produce newer and more efficient technologies, allowing elected officials to make deeper emissions cuts.”
“It is hard to find any important accomplishment in history that completely solved a problem. The Emancipation Proclamation only temporarily and partially ended slavery; the 13th Amendment was required to abolish it permanently, and even that left many former slaves in a state of terrorized peonage closely resembling their former bondage. The Lend-Lease Act alone did not ensure Great Britain would survive against Nazi Germany; the Normandy invasion did not ensure the liberation of Europe. Victories are hardly ever immediate or complete. The fight continues and history marches on. The climate agreement in Paris should take its place as one of the great triumphs in history.” http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/12/climate-deal-is-obamas-biggest-accomplishment.html#