What President Barack Obama described as the greatest threat to future generations was neither terrorism nor ISIS. It wasn’t nuclear weapons in rogue states either.
“No challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change,” said Obama in his State of the Union speech Tuesday.
His statement was met with scattered, muted applause…
“The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe,” Obama said. “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”
Wrapping up his visit to the Philippines this week, Pope Francis stirred up controversy by taking an unequivocal stance on climate change and calling on the international community to step up during United Nations climate talks in November.
“I don’t know if it is all (man’s fault) but the majority is, for the most part, it is man who continuously slaps nature in the face,” he told reporters. “We have in a sense taken over nature.” Scripted remarks that the Pope did not read out go on to say, “As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.”
Al Gore and Pharrell Williams took to the stage at the Davos Economic Forum on Wednesday to announce the second iteration of Live Earth, a series of worldwide concerts to raise awareness of climate change…
“Instead of just having people perform, we literally are going to have humanity harmonize all at once,” Williams said. “I’m very happy to be a part of this, this moment for our species, we’re a very precious species, and if we’ve learned anything from what Davos showed us earlier, it’s that it takes the perfect conditions, and I think that we have to continue to give to that idea, of it being a perfect condition in this world.”
“Clearly we’ve had changes in our climate. I’ll let the scientists debate the sources, in their opinion, of that change,” the House speaker [John Boehner] said at the GOP retreat in Hershey, Pa. “But I think the real question is that every proposal we see out of this administration with regard to climate change, means killing American jobs.”
Is Mitt Romney becoming a climate change crusader?
During his 2012 presidential bid, Romney was dismissive about Democratic efforts to combat the effects of climate change, and he pushed for an expanded commitment to fossil fuels. But in a speech in California on Monday, Romney, who is considering a third run for president in 2016, signaled a shift on the issue. According to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, the former Massachusetts governor “said that while he hopes the skeptics about global climate change are right, he believes it’s real and a major problem,” and he lamented that Washington had done “almost nothing” to stop it.
For Romney, this is his second about-face on climate change.
Republicans appear to have edited out part of Barack Obama’s comments on climate change from the party’s official State of the Union webcast. In his speech, Obama mocks climate change denial. ‘I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act. Well, I’m not a scientist, either,’ Obama said on Tuesday, ‘But you know what – I know a lot of really good scientists, at Nasa, and Noaa, and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate.’
The Senate on Wednesday passed a measure stating that “climate change is real and is not a hoax” by a margin of 98-1…
The amendment was expected to fail, but Republicans parsed the words of the amendment, arguing they could vote for it but at the same time believe that climate change was not man-made…
Inhofe voted for the measure, arguing that the true “hoax” is that climate change is the result of human activity.
“Climate is changing, and climate has always changed, and always will, there’s archeological evidence of that, there’s biblical evidence of that, there’s historic evidence of that, it will always change,” he said on the Senate floor. “The hoax is that there are some people that are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.”
The more important vote came soon after, when the Senate considered language from Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii). His amendment says climate change is happening, and that it is “extremely likely that global increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations and global temperatures are caused by human activities.”
“It is the sense of Congress that 1) climate change is real, and 2) human activity significantly contributes to climate change,” the Schatz amendment concluded. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska.) noted the difference, and called on senators to vote against it.
“There is a distinct difference between this amendment and what we just previously considered,” she said. Republicans easily noticed the difference, and the Schatz amendment failed in a 50-49 vote — under an agreement reached between the two parties, 60 “yes” votes were needed for passage.
These 15 Senate Republicans voted YES Hoeven amendment stating "human activity contributes to climate change": pic.twitter.com/mncX7z9lSQ
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 21, 2015
5 Senate Republicans voted on the Schatz amend stating "human activity significantly contributes to climate change": pic.twitter.com/0tvOqVliYp
— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) January 21, 2015