President Barack Obama made an historic speech on the need to battle climate change on Tuesday. Contrary to what some are saying, words do matter and a good speech was needed to kick start U.S. leadership on global warming. Here are 10 of the more memorable lines and thoughts from that speech.
It begins with a silly one and ends with a “crypto-radical” statement that Obama did not fully explain, but probably refers to the issue of divesting from fossil fuel companies.
Highlights from the Speech. (You can also read the full text here.)
* “It’s not that sexy,” Obama said after removing his suit jacket on that sweltering afternoon at Georgetown University in Washington.
* The 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15 years. Last year, temperatures in some areas of the ocean reached record highs, and ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record — faster than most models had predicted it would.
* Here at home, 2012 was the warmest year in our history. Midwest farms were parched by the worst drought since the Dust Bowl, and then drenched by the wettest spring on record. Western wildfires scorched an area larger than the state of Maryland. Just last week, a heat wave in Alaska shot temperatures into the 90s.
* So the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late.
* I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing.
* But this is a challenge that does not pause for partisan gridlock. It demands our attention now.
* Today, about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants. But here’s the thing: Right now, there are no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution that those plants can pump into our air. None. Zero.
* So today, for the sake of our children, and the health and safety of all Americans, I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.
* See, the problem with all these tired excuses for inaction is that it suggests a fundamental lack of faith in American business and American ingenuity.
* We don’t have time for a meeting of the flat earth society.
* Invest, Divest.