During the 2012 presidential debates, one issue, the elephant-in-the-room, Climate Change, sat ignored in the corner, even though it weighs heavy on the mind of many of the voting populace.
Obama’s recent presidential win gives him a second term in the White House, another four years, to work on policy to improve the economy and unemployment, as well as the so-far-unpopular Obamacare program.
Still, though Obama’s spoken on climate change in the past, it was strangely absent from the campaign trail, which leaves everyone wondering what he’s going to do about it. Will his second term as President make him more likely to act on climate change, now that he’s gotten Obamacare out of the way? He certainly can’t ignore recent trends in weather, which have become more extreme in recent years, and even interrupted voters on the east coast from getting to the polls for this very election.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg recognized Obama’s willingness to counteract climate change, citing this as a major reason to endorse him for a second term, but unless Obama is persuaded, climate change might stay out of the conversation for another four years. At the moment, Obama is still not on the ball with renewable energies, such as his plans to approve Keystone XL and opening public lands for fossil fuel extraction.
During his acceptance speech, Obama recognized that the US is “threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet,” but does that mean he’s going to act on it? Keystone is just one of a number of policies that are in direct contradiction to his statement on climate change.
Environmental policy groups are going to have to push hard to get Obama to recognize the seriousness of his policy decisions regarding non-renewable energy. Additionally, the usual partisan politics are going to play a big part in making sure that everything stalls, which will require even more effort on the part of the President and climate change policy supporters.