January 25, 2013 by Op-Ed
President Obama has said that addressing climate change is an “obligation” we cannot ignore. Let’s hope that as he prepares to begin a second term in office, he is ready to fulfill that obligation by taking real action to reduce climate change.
Changing our communities to be more impregnable when it comes to extreme weather is much more complicated than regulating industrial carbon pollution. Building new infrastructure to adapt to destructive forces is backward-looking, and our country lacks the political will to raise the proper funding that such retrofitting would require. Tackling industrial carbon pollution is the only real way to fix the larger problem of global climate change. Defending and rebuilding from outcomes is expensive and time-consuming. This issue can be fixed with carbon pollution regulations and new technology. If we don’t do something about it now, you can guarantee that events like Superstorm Sandy will become more common and more severe. The simplest way to alleviate impacts of climate change is to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s efforts to establish more clean-air standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants.
The president has begun the conversation for climate change but needs to take action to put a stop to it. He has started the Carbon Pollution Standard for new power plants, and it needs to be finished. President Obama plans to meet with experts about climate change and to commit time and resources to find ways of eliminating it. Now is the best time for the president to take action. If Congress doesn’t cooperate, he should be prepared to do anything within his power to achieve positive and lasting results on climate change. He has been able to set strong fuel efficiency and clean-car standards that are historically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If he can do the same with standards for carbon pollution, we will severely cut down the amount of climate-altering pollution the country causes every day. Once that is finished he needs to begin limiting pollution from existing power plants, which is one of the biggest steps he could take to curb pollution that causes climate change. I sincerely hope our Senate and House of Representatives give President Obama a fair chance to address the largest issue facing our planet today.