Obama Warns Congress to Act on Climate Change, or He Will: Scientific American

If Congress fails to act soon, Obama threatened to use his executive authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions

Permanent Address: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=obama-warns-congress-to-act-on-climate-change-or-he-will

By Evan Lehmann , Nathanael Massey and ClimateWire | Wednesday, February 13, 2013 | 10

EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY: President Obama will regulate carbon dioxide emissions from industrial facilities unless Congress acts soon to do so. Image: Flickr/whatatravisty

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President Obama warned Congress that it must tackle “dangerous carbon pollution” in a pointed State of the Union address describing Superstorm Sandy and other natural disasters as no “freak coincidence.”

The speech establishes a clear turning point for a president who treated climate change tentatively during a re-election campaign that featured a rare autumn hurricane with record storm surges and a blistering drought — all coming during the nation’s warmest year. It also accelerates the momentum on the issue that Obama began three weeks ago in his inaugural address, according to observers.

“But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change,” Obama said last night. “It’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is, the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods — all are now more frequent and intense.

“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence,” he added. “Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science.          …(more)

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