Friday, February 01, 2013

Obama picks up the "it's not a coincidence" theme

From the Union's State:
Now, 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 more 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. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science and act before it’s too late.
I continue to think the fact that science has a story that provides closure, while science denial relies on "it's all just coincidences, one after another!", is a key advantage in pulling the fence-sitters to our side, and one we need to push a lot harder.  The most scientifically-convincing evidence is about the non-coincidence between warmth and greenhouse gases, but the public can think about the climate weirding throughout the world as additional non-coincidences.

Something else that's more of a tea-reading exercise - here's more of his speech a few paragraphs later:
Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year. Let’s drive down costs even further. As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.

Now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that. That’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits.
Sadly, I think I agree with Eli that Keystone pipeline to take out oil sands will get built, despite my hopes last year (maybe John Kerry demanded freedom on this issue, but I doubt it).  There is another hand though - I'll bet the administration, if it okays the pipeline, will balance its destructive action with something that helps humanity.  They'll marry the two issues just like Obama did in his speech, although they might not frame them the same way as I do.

UPDATE -  the substance of Senator Rubio's response to Obama on climate:
When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather – he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.
Truth hurts sometimes.  More on Rubio soon.

UPDATE 2:  Just listened to David Sirota, who independently made the same prediction that Obama will balance Keystone approval with climate action.