President Obama Includes Climate Change in Inaugural Speech

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Explore:  Climate Change

In his second inaugural speech yesterday, President Obama mentioned climate change and promised a response. He also voiced his support for a transition to "sustainable energy sources" but did not provide any additional details about how he will address climate change in his second term as President. Here is the relevant portion of his speech:

"We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. (Applause.) Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.

"The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That's how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared."

Meanwhile, a new poll by CNN indicates that the percentage of Americans who agree that climate change is real and manmade has dropped seven points since 2007 and is now just below 50%. Of the remaining poll respondents, approximately one half (24% of total) believe climate change is real but not manmade and the rest do not believe in climate change at all.

Here is an interesting blog by the progressive Media Matters non-profit, arguing that CNN itself is at least partially to blame for the public's confusion about climate change.