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One year after his election, Obama on verge of audaciously fulfilling his promise as the green FDR

By Joe Romm on November 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm

"One year after his election, Obama on verge of audaciously fulfilling his promise as the green FDR"

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Arianna Huffington posted “Obama One Year Later: The Audacity of Winning vs. The Timidity of Governing.  HuffPost asked for replies.  Mine is here and below.  I welcome your thoughts.  My bottom line:  On climate and clean energy policy, he has been anything but timid!

Future historians will inevitably judge all 21st-century presidents on just two issues:  global warming and the clean energy transition. If the world doesn’t stop catastrophic climate change “” Hell and High Water “” then all Presidents, indeed, all of us, will be seen as failures and rightfully so.

In that sense, what team Obama has accomplished in the year since he was elected is nothing less than an unprecedented reversal of decades of unsustainable national policy forced down the throat of the American public by conservatives.  Three game-changing accomplishments stand out:

  1. Green StimulusProgressives, Obama keep promise to jumpstart clean energy, economy “” conservatives keep promise to jumpstop the future. The stimulus represents the single biggest increase in clean energy investment in U.S. history — $100 billion public investment aimed at driving, which is pulling in another $100 billion in public investment.  Huge investments in energy efficiency, renewables, transmission and smart grid, and mass transit and train travel are already having a big impact, for instance, helping the wind industry survive and thrive in the great Bush-Cheney recession.
  2. Regulatory Breakthroughs: Obama will raise new car fuel efficiency standards to 35.5 mpg by 2015, which is the biggest step the U.S. government has ever taken to cut CO2.  And the Obama EPA declared carbon pollution a serious danger to Americans’ health and welfare requiring regulation.  The EPA has begun the process of developing regulations, and while that is a very imperfect way to address global warming, it ensure that the country will take some action in the event Congress can’t.
  3. First-ever climate bill advances:  In June, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a landmark bipartisan climate bill, 219 – 212. It would complete America’s transition to a clean energy low-carbon economy, begun in the stimulus, ultimately driving $100 billion a year in total U.S. investments in clean energy technologies and industries.

You can see more details on these here — “Sure Obama ended the Bush depression, cut taxes for 98% of working families, and jumpstarted the shift to a clean energy economy with a $100 billion in stimulus funds “” but what has the green FDR done lately?

All that remains for Obama to claim the title as the green FDR is getting 60 votes or more for Senate passage of a climate and clean energy bill.  That now appears likely thanks to the breakthrough Senate climate partnership between Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John Kerry (D-MA).  Indeed, E&E News‘s latest analysis shows, “At least 67 senators are in play” on climate bill.  And Graham and Kerry are set to meet “with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, as well as with Obama’s top climate adviser, Carol M. Browner, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to discuss a possible compromise.”  If these White House negotiations succeed, then I also think an international climate deal is likely, with the framework be laid out in the Copenhagen meeting this December, and details finalized next year after Obama signs a domestic bill.

All this together won’t guarantee that we preserve a livable climate, but it will give future Presidents — working in concert with other countries — a fighting chance to do so.

That said, conservative denial and obstructionism remains strong, and a climate bill could still fail if team Obama does not remain vigilant.  Obama is fulfilling his promise in the climate and clean energy arena, but much hard work remains.

One final point — to those (including me!) who wished that Obama would have taken a more aggressive and public role in shaping and lobbying for a climate and clean energy bill, I have only three words:  health care reform. If you think a significantly stronger climate bill could be had in this political atmosphere, I’d just ask you to review the final House vote (and the state of play of the Senate bill). Remember, on the most transparently dire issue in the past few years — the need for an economic stimulus on the brink of the Bush-Cheney depression — Obama got ZERO House GOP votes and 3 Senate GOP votes (one of whom is now a Democrat), votes that in fact required Obama to water down the stimulus.

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33 Responses to One year after his election, Obama on verge of audaciously fulfilling his promise as the green FDR

  1. Jeff Huggins says:

    I think President Obama has done a lot, but much more is needed. I agree that his job isn’t an easy one, but I do wish he would be more vocal and even more present (on TV, etc.) than he already is. This sort of issue requires persistence, and repetition, and “hand-holding”, and so forth, each step of the way.

    He could do more — much more — in terms of direct appeals to us, the American people.

    Yet — it’s also true that we could, and should, be doing much more to help him and to help forward the cause.

    I’d also like to make a comment about one of Joe’s points in the opening post:

    “If the world doesn’t stop catastrophic climate change — Hell and High Water — then all Presidents, indeed, all of us, will be seen as failures and rightfully so.”

    That is a correct point, no doubt, and I’ve made this point before as it relates to the media and journalism. The media and journalism will be seen as failures, and rightfully so, if they don’t convey a genuine and full understanding of the matter — and by that I mean an understanding that is not only genuine and correct, but that also brings about the motivation that should accompany any genuine understanding of this issue. After all, it can’t really be said that a human “genuinely understands” that the food he is about to feed his family has poison in it IF he goes ahead, after being warned, and serves it to them anyway. In such a case, his “understanding” was missing some very important component or gravity.

    So again, the media should get their act together, quick.

    Jeff

  2. Mark Shapiro says:

    If you think Obama hasn’t done enough on climate,

    CALL YOUR CONGRESSMAN,

    then

    CALL YOUR SENATORS.

    Thank you.

  3. Well, since the issue is how future historians will see Obama’s record I might as well jump in here. First, yes indeed Obama probably will end up as one of the most important presidents of our time because of his work confronting climate change. What is also interesting is that the other shoe has not yet dropped on the historical reputation of George W. Bush. Sure people are angry over his policies toward Iraq etc. but as we move deeper into the century and the challenge of global warming becomes even more critical Bush will soon be seen as possibly the worst leader in modern world History. Certainly quite a charge to make but given the global implications of the climate crisis and Bush’s almost eight year effort to stop the world from confronting this civilization busting problem it probably fits.

    Steven A. Leibo
    Professor of Modern International History & Politics
    The Sage Colleges

  4. fred g says:

    Obama has done a great service. Given that he is rapidly becoming seen as an out of touch fool, any cause he promotes comes under suspicion. Under Obama, support for global warming legislation is falling like a rock. Bravo Obama! Keep up the good work!

  5. Gail says:

    Dear Dr. Leibo,

    I disagree even though, I loathe Bush. But we sowed the seeds of our destruction decades ago. Just think about the acidification of the oceans…and the albedo effect.

    It will be Ronald Reagan and the Ayn Randians who will be the ultimate culprits when history, if it persists as a discipline, lingers long enough to look back to judge. The greenhouse effects of burning fuels were known then – and rejected, by ideologues.

    The entire exploitative – give me more, government is the problem, not the solution, phony and hypocritical anti-welfare mom, military industrial complex beneficiaries – batch of greedy and short-sighted exploitative morons, will not fare well in hindsight.

    We are destroying our one and only home, with breathtaking speed.

    Obama is on the right track – I hope but I doubt he can rescue us.

  6. Chris Dudely says:

    Shouldn’t that be third Bush recession rather than depression? Looked like it was headed that way but maybe it won’t get that bad? Anyway, both he and his dad seemed like they were pretty bad for business.

  7. Rick says:

    Is Obama is really that good? I don’t know. I just see a politician maximizing his own profile and doing an amazing job of it.

    Maybe things are changing for the better but so far I doubt it.

  8. I am impressed and agree essentially with all previous commentators and with Joe’s points too. Good points!
    Obama has done very little in my opinion because his key POLITICAL advisers do not yet grasp the gravity of the situation. He is not willing to risk his popularity on an issue he may not grasp. They believe they are smarter than us and a delay on GW is an acceptable risk. His own reelection and the election of members of Congress are important, but they determine the political strategy that keeps Obama essentially mute on GW. It is clear that the economy has to be stabilized first; without a solid economy we can not invest in the tools needed to fight GW effectively. And that will take a lot of money. It would not be the price of a postage stamp and it will cause suffering for the people whose income depends on fossil fuels. That is a given, change of this immense nature will cause winners and losers. However, we can not continue on the old pathway. We do not have an alternative to starting a tremendous global change
    .
    I do believe that Secretary Chu and Dr. Holdren are not allowed to say what they do what to do, scream about the urgency. Just look at their faces during interviews and read the small amount they are allowed to write.
    The GW problem is even more serious than normally described even in most predictions. according to most scientific articles I have read. We have almost no time left to slow down the accelerating deterioration of our climate. I just heard the head of the IPCC Dr. Pachuri commenting on the dire situation in his country, India, with the rapid melting of the Himalayas glaciers supplying water to hundreds of millions of people in India. What will happen to them? They will be facing death. You can not relocate so many people. And the same thirst is facing China.

    Almost all other advanced countries are willing to participate in the fight against GW, their leaders grasp it. We in the US have the mentality of: “me first the rest of the world second”. Do not expect a change of heart among us. We are inherently very selfish. We have caused, our economic system have caused a global economic misery that created a $2.7 Trillions in markdowns of global assents that caused the economic collapse. More than a million Americans participated willingly in this game. Wall Street used illegal and semi illegal means to increase its profit. It is nor just a few managers on the top. It is wide spread. And Wall Street is expected to give $20 billions in bonuses this year its employees!

    How can you expect to change the Business As Usual attitude of many in the nation and especially in Congress? Their reelection is the key to their lives. I have talked to some of them, and they were good ones.

    I think the comments by Mark Shapiro above are important, we must pressure our Congress members. All the talks, all these discussions on the media and the web are insignificant if they do not move people to pressure Congress. That is the only tool we have and we rarely use it. I have spent nine full years directing staff in several states on both coasts organizing liberal people to pressure Congress. It was flowing like molasses since liberals just feel good by having the “correct attitude” about an issue. For them it is enough “action.” They are not motivated by anger, like the Right – so they do not act. They do not trust Congresspersons, so they do not move to write a letter or make a phone call. “Why bother” is their motto.

    Information does not lead to action, especially with the mild manners, good people that liberals usually are.
    WE WHO WRITE, WE WHO UNDERSTAND AND CARE, MUST MOTIVATE THEM TO PRESSURE CONGRESS AGAIN AND AGAIN. OTHERWISE ALL OUR WORDS ARE FOR NAUGHT. IT IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

    You may read more on this issue at ginosaronglobalwarming.org

  9. paulm says:

    Bush will soon be seen as possibly the worst leader in modern world History. Painful things tend to be forgotten.

    Will there even be a history. Will there be any civil society around to review the past.

    Gota stay positive here. In the end only the outstanding leaders tend to be remembered whether they were good or evil.

  10. Obama has done a great job. Our congressional system though, is designed to make sure nothing much changes. Developed at a time in history when nobody could for-tell any disaster like on this worldwide scale bearing down on us, it works as it was designed to – to be a drag on drastic fixes for problems.

    BTW Joe, I wondered if you noticed that The Heartland Institute (of “500 climate scientists who denied climate change” fame) is up to a new twist on their same old concoction – posing as our side to spread disinformation:

    http://greenlivingideas.com/topics/alternative-energy/solar-energy-photovoltaics/fossilfunded-group-spreading-lies-solar-water-desert

  11. Roger says:

    We were clearly on the road to hell and high water under President G. W. Bush. We should never again elect a president who does not ‘get’ science–an area that is essential to our progress, and to our survival.

    President Obama may just be able to save us–but I believe he can and should do more, and–sorry–I don’t accept health care and Afganistan as adequate excuses. Obama has the strength to deal with three issues, especially when the third issue has to do with preserving our climate.

    Further to what Joe and Jeff say above, it’s time for Obama to be in American faces about climate change. Yes, the recent speech at MIT was a step in the right direction, but we need him to go on prime-time TV to clear up the confusion that most Americans have as a result of the decades of intentional, self-serving, profit-preserving, come-hell-or-high-water-minded, hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars-valued campaign of misinformation that has been fueled by fossil fuel interests.

    True, it’s tough for a few presidental speeches to undo all of the harm done by decades of misleading fossil-friendly ads, but at least SOME red-blooded Americans could be urged by their president to do some more research on the subject, draw their own conclusions, then call their senators to ask them to support a strong climate bill.

    For those who will not respond to a presidential plea, it’s time to employ what sadly seems to have become the stronger voice in our society: the voice of Madison Avenue–whether on TV or on Google.
    It’s time for our government to do what others, such as the UK have done. It’s time to fight fire with fire. Our future is at stake.

    If the fossil fuel industry can use a part of its profits to confuse Americans about climate change using deceptive advertising, then the US government should use a part of its tax revenues from fossil fuels to pay for ads that clarify climate change for Americans–or force the industry to run the ads, as we do with the cigarette industry (the industry that ‘wrote the book’ on how to buy time by obfuscating the issues).

    We’ve done the climate change research, to the tune of nearly $20 billion tax dollars worth over the past several decades. And the results are clear–even when some of the work was done under (and hidden by)the last administration: climate change is happening, it’s caused by man, the results of climate change will mostly be bad, etc. It’s all written in great detail at http://www.globalchange.gov. Go see!

    So, since Americans are confused and uncertain about a subject that their tax dollars have researched, and since the senate bill is being held back by the fact that most senators’ constituents don’t ‘get it,’
    why don’t we break the logjam of blocked information, connect the people with the research results, and get on with saving our hides?

    IMHO, this could be quite simply the smartest investment in advertising ever conceived by a species that is on the verge of wiping itself out.

    To summarize: Obama’s doing great, but he should set aside a few hours this month to get the above-mentioned ad program underway, then (a) have a block of prime-time TV space reserved for him to be able to present an all-important “State of the Climate” speech, (b) have his speech writers work with Joe, Dr. Chu, Dr. Holdren and others to get just the right blend of hope and fear written into the speech, (c) deliver the speech at a time that will assure that a strong US climate bill will be far enough along to give the US a leadership role in Copenhagen. (If we blow it in Copenhagen, tipping points could rule!)

  12. Roger says:

    Oh my, Dr. Ginosar (above) and I have never crossed paths before, yet we were writing similar comments, mentioning Chu and Holdren, etc.–to note just one coincidence–at nearly the same moment. (I had just pushed ‘Submit Comment,’ then looked above to see his comment!)

    I agree totally with Dr. Ginosar. He helps to nicely flesh out some other aspects of the problem–relating to what is politically savvy–but, unfortunately, none of this will, by comparison, matter a whit if we let this ‘Mother of all Problems’ (to quote another great scientific mind, Harvard’s E.O Wilson) get out of hand!

    It’s erie, but perhaps meaningful, to see two strangers thinking so much alike, at the same moment, on such an important topic to our collective futures. In like fashion, IMHO, it’s time for people who are active in the ‘climate movement’ to really ‘sit down’ and figure out a way to work more closely together in order to multiply our collective strength. If we can speak with ONE loud voice we will be heard!

    As most readers of this blog know, author and activist Bill McKibben and his 350.org crew just pulled off the greatest coup the climate movement has ever seen by orchestrating more than 5000 events in 181 countries as part of Global Climate Action Day on October 24th.

    If a handful of smart and dedicated activists (with one person to a continent) could achieve what 350.org achieved, just picture what Earth’s climate-aware and concerned citizens could achieve if every climate-friendly group on the planet decided to ALL COOPERATE ON ONE very simple, low-cost, easy-to-carry-out ACTION! It would be simply unbelievable!

    In fact, the last time Bill McKibben and his friend, the author, poet and farmer, Wendell Berry, suggested that climate groups cooperate, it was to encourage the US Congress to stop using coal to fuel its power plant in Washington, DC. As a result, more than 100 climate groups got thousands of their supporters to come to Washington to engage in the now-famous March 2, 2009 Capitol Climate Action, leading Congress to direct that coal be phased out at the power plant.

    So, what could be a logical next step for possible climate movement cooperation? What would a very simple, low-cost, easy-to-carry-out action? Hmm. Too many choices would lead to more debate and dilution of effort, so allow me to suggest one or two that might have the greatest impact. One would be for everyone to call, fax, email or write to President Obama, urging top priority for climate change work.

    Another suggestion that Jeff (in another part of Joe’s blog) and others have made, and where we can perhaps demonstrate the mighty powers of cooperation, the market, and the dollar all at once, would be as follows:

    Climate movement leaders would identify a large, global corporation that has had a poor track record in terms of providing funding to individuals and groups that have been spreading misinformation about climate change. Next, a timeframe would be identified, say during the climate talks in Copenhagen. Third, worldwide word would go out to every group that has some interest in preserving a livable climate, to urge all of its contacts, members, and etc., to urge all of their family and friends and etc., to try to avoid buying products and services from the target corporation during the specified time period.

    Since alternatives are generally available, the participants in this social experiment to save our climate need not suffer, but the errant corporation (and others who will take note) should get the message.

    The above are just two suggestions–the really critical thing is that all concerned citizens find a way to work together on a simple goal!

  13. alexy says:

    Don’t know if you saw this in today’s edition of the online version of MIT’s Technology Review.

    http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/energy/24350/?nlid=2485

    Very disappointing and consistent with other material he has written.

  14. Jeff Huggins says:

    More Needed

    After watching the results last night, and trying to understand it all and learn, one thing (of several) seems clear to me: President Obama, Democrats, and all of us need to make MUCH more progress on the central matters, e.g., climate and energy, the economy, health care, and the central war-and-peace matters.

    Many people are still “hopeful” but are also increasingly anxious and (to some degree) getting understandably impatient. More progress was promised than is currently happening.

    Also, another crystal clear message from last night, and from all angles, is that the vast majority of people are “fed up” at this point with some excesses in (for example) Wall Street and, also, with the government seeming to enable all that and treat it with kid gloves. If Obama, the administration, and the Democrats don’t solidly face and boldly address those sorts of things — wisely, clearly, and effectively — they will lose a great deal of support they enjoyed when they promised to do so.

    Finally, I agree with the sorts of suggestions Roger mentions in his comments 11 and 12, above.

    We really do need to build some momentum.

    Be Well,

    Jeff

  15. Leif says:

    As an activist from the 60′s, I like the direction of the above comments. This site is indeed a breath of fresh air to me but I feel that for the most part we are “preaching to the choir.” I like the e-mail bomb to the White-house or something similar. Joe, you have the stature, reach, as well as smarts to mobilize a large audience. It might be fun to instigate some kind action. I, for one, could get at least twenty others to sign a petition. I know, the tactic is used by every group out there but hay, look at the response to your book title.

  16. Leif says:

    I fondly recall our attempt to levitate the Pentagon in the 60′s to apparent failure, (although perhaps not as the Pentagon is now on the side of sustainable solutions), just maybe we can levitate President Obama to stand and speak. He is much lighter and just perhaps… we don’t even have to get him off the floor, just off his ass!

  17. Leif says:

    NATIONAL LEVITATE THE PRESIDENT DAY?

    Sounds like fun to me.

  18. Jeff Huggins says:

    I understand and like ‘levitate’, but if there is to be such a day (and it should be a week, or every day), perhaps each person should pick the word or words that suit(s) her/his view best.

    A bit like Joe’s contest regarding the book title . . .

    So then you have . . .

    National _____ the President Day! (with only positive, well-intended, civil, and ethical suggestions allowed)

    Some words that I would use at this point, in combination with each other . . .

    Encourage
    PINCH!
    Support
    Motivate
    Move
    Wake up
    Energize

    And so forth.

    I like the idea, Leif.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  19. Jeff Huggins says:

    (On second thought, I don’t like the idea of leaving the _______ (blank), as there are, unfortunately, too many people who might get weird or ill-motivated with the words. Sorry.)

  20. Leif says:

    Thank you for the support Jeff.
    Joe obviously has a list of words that shunt comments off to be moderated before posting so perhaps it is possible to keep it civil. I am sure that some creative individuals will be able to circumvent any filter, however every click will be a call to action by definition. The tin-hats can start their own trash site if they want.
    I tend to agree that every day should be a call to action however daily tends to be diluted into background noise. Look how much the 350 day got ignored by the media. Whatever it is , I think it should be focused and delivered to the top directly. However I am very malleable at this time. Perhaps it could even be a world axcess as opposed to just national since it would be on the internet.

  21. Peter Bellin says:

    I think that President Obama has done a great deal to advance the cause of environmental and occupational health, reversing many of the degradations brought on by President Bush. The Republican Party is focused on foiling President Obama, for their short-term goal of regaining as much power as they can.

    I think we should occasionaly focus on the positive actions: changes in OSHA administration, support for occupational health and safety, a wide range of capable and well-qualified experts in key positions throughout government, the several advances mentioned by Joe in his essay.

    President Obama must make advances in the current political environment. We, who believe strongly in the need for climate change must continue to speak out in public, write letters to the editor of local papers, and write to our local and national representatives. We should support the various electronic campaigns that inundate our mailboxes, write hard-copy letters periodically, and be visible and vocal in support of effective action on climate change.

    We should offer financial support for our representatives who are taking action. I and my fellow Californians should support Barbara Boxers reelection campaign, making sure she and her staff realize this support is triggered by leadership in advocating for climate action.

    A strong, loud and diverse voice advocating action will get results. Speak out, take action, reward the good behavior and condemn the bad behavior. President Obama needs support, and encouragement that his positive actions are recognized and appreciated. I do not support the President in all his actions (most notably Afghanistan) but I do believe that he is an advocate and is acting effectively in the area of environmental and occupational health.

  22. Roger says:

    Yes! We need to ALL agree to cooperate (once in a while) on ONE simple action. “International Motivate the President to ACT on Climate Day” (also to be known as “IMPACT Day”) sounds very good to me.

    Thanks, for the ideas, Jeff, Leif and others. I agree with Susan’s #10 point about our system design being out of date too–as has been suggested by Jim Hansen, and others. The founding fathers can’t be blamed for not having the forsight to have predicted a global, tragedy- of-the-commons-type problem such as the one we face with climate change. The same comment, by the way, could be applied to many of the systems that have worked reasonable well for the past few centuries: they simply were not designed to deal with a problem of this nature.

    In any case, gettting back to IMPACT Day, we probably need a few weeks to get the word out, so how about targeting mid November–possibly as late as the Friday after Thanksgiving?

    Who can lead this campaign? Who can help get the word out? We need someone to orchestrate the effort. It should be relatively simple. What, other than a livable future, do we have to lose?

    What about Laurie David, with her list of 1.3 million virtual marchers at Stop Global Warming who have signed up to stop global warming, but never been asked to do anything (as far as I know); what about Al Gore, with his similarly growing list? Boone Pickens has a list; so do many other national and international groups: consider our various heroes and leaders at 350.org, Power Shift, 1Sky, Greenpeace, Avaaz, MoveOn, plus all these groups’ friends and allies! (All the groups that cooperated on the March 2nd Capitol Climate Action, plus more, could unite!)

    Yes, Thanksgiving could be good timing–a week before Copenhagen. Indeed, what could we all be more thankful for than a president with the courage to tell Americans, and the world, the truth about climate change, as it is known to Drs. Chu, Holdren, Hansen and others. Don’t citizens have a right to know that their “vote” is needed NOW, through their senators, in order to preserve a livable climate for their kids and grandchildren?

    Believe me, no one is going to want to hear from our government, or anyone else, once the tipping points are past, anything like the folowing excuse: “Oh, umm, well, all the information was out there. You could have seen it for yourself if you’d just taken the time to go to http://www.globalchange.gov. Umm, we didn’t think you’d really want to pay anything extra to preserve a livable climate for the future…I mean, every politician has learned that “taxes are toxic,” and so, we, ah, didn’t want to bring up the fact that you might need to eat into your entertainment budget, um, in order to prevent hell AND high water for the next 50 generations. And, by the way, we’re REALLY SORRY about that!”

    Not to end on a negative note, representing the “stick,” but also to include the necessary “carrot,” climate change also represents the opportunity of the century. It represents an opportunity for the United States, or any other country, to lead the world, economically, and in other ways.

    To paraphrase, and extend, what President Obama has already said or implied, we need to make the clean energy the profitable energy. The country with superior clean energy technology in the 21st century will be the country with superior jobs, superior prosperity, and superior security!

    So, yes, let’s all work together, on just one thing, once in a while.

  23. Leif says:

    First a note to Peter Bellin, # 21. I did not intend to belittle President Obama and his accomplishments as you might of implied and fully agree with all your statements.
    That said, perhaps it is my isolation out here in a small but beautiful town in the North West that makes me yearn for collective action. The impracticality of getting a large physical crowd together these days compels me to think of other alternatives. The internet appears to be an obvious choice. My pacifist nature lead me to think of nonviolent actions levitation fit the bill.
    Roger, #22 had a bunch of great ideas and anxiosness as well as futility appears to be rampant. Thanksgiving day is a great suggestion. Who could not sit for a couple of minuets and drop an e-mail to the White-house. I have heard that the Whitehouse computer system is not the best and could easily be over loaded. With for-warning perhaps arrangements could be made to prevent that outcome. After all the past administration was reading ALL our e-mails. Perhaps GOOGLE could be persuaded to sit on them for a bit and dribble them in in digestible blocks. The imagination runs amuck.
    Earth to Leif… I have to stop and cook supper, my wife is do home from work shortly.

  24. Leif says:

    Wife working late. Hospital, sometimes hard to get away.
    Another tought. Prehaps we can get President to ware a wire and at the conclusion of, hopefully, talk he could levitate up into the air and off stage. Well perhaps thats a bit hooky but better than the staged proformances of the shrub.
    Also would like to give a shout out for Roger’s suggestion of “IMPACT DAY.” I like it as well.

  25. Jeff Huggins says:

    IMPACT Day on Thanksgiving — a Great Idea from Roger

    I think it’s a great idea.

    Also, it can/could be aimed at the action, the “Motivate the President to Act”, but over a slightly broader period, to allow and encourage more people to participate: For example, people could send a message or call and/or DO something (visible) any time over the Thanksgiving Holidays.

    The connecting theme could be to do something to motivate and show your support for the President, and the administration, to take more action — to show support — without being too narrow about exactly what or when. In other words, do it any time over Thanksgiving Holiday. And, choose from whatever option works best . . . you can send an e-mail to (e-mail address), make a call to (phone number), send a Fed Ex or UPS letter to (address), send flowers (via such-and-so service), or etc. etc. etc.

    In any case, however it’s done, I think it is a great idea, and we (the public) do need to motivate and “push” the administration, and support it, to GET GOING.

    Cheers,

    Jeff

  26. Leif says:

    Good morning all. There is a site out there that perhaps could be used all ready. Organizing for America. I signed up for more information last night. I watched a blurb by the President on same and it appears to be made to order.
    I suppose that we should check with Joe to see if he has rules against organizing on his site. This has been spontaneous and I am sure that if the idea has legs we will flee at any-rate. That is unless Joe wants the rains. My feeling is that Joe is quite busy with his good work and I would hate to see the site’s quality diminish.

  27. Roger says:

    Thanks for the seconding the idea of having IMPACT Day (#22)over the Thanksgiving holidays, Jeff and Leif! Jeff has fleshed the day’s potential actions out well, and Leif has added a bit of levity(;>).

    OK, let’s try to get the word out through our networks! Perhaps Joe will feel some activist blood stiring in his veins and help us promote the idea. Now if we can only get one of the big groups to adopt it!

    Just think of the potential progress we could make if we would all focus for one day on motivating the president to ACT on climate, especially by giving a prime-time TV “State of the Climate” speech!

  28. Leif says:

    I am moving, what the hell.. It should be fun. To see President Obama exit the stage Mary Poppins like with an umbrella in his with the audence a-gasp hand would be priceless.
    Tally- ho to IMPACT DAY… Here we come!

  29. Leif says:

    Sorry, sloppy editing. … with an umbrella in his hand with the audience a-gasp would be priceless.

  30. Leif says:

    Sent out my first batch of invitations on Organize for America. Some what cryptic as I had no where to send them to except to link to this site which had to be cryptic as it would not let me put an active link in.
    More traffic for you Joe. If we do not get something together? Not my expertise.
    IMPACT DAY- limping to a computer near you, maybe.

  31. Leif says:

    Jeff &Roger. I signed up for a twitter account at Joe Romm’s urging. I am not the sharpest tack in the box and am just learning. The twitter tutorial is informative and this may be the location to operate from…My user name is: spot56 Let’s here it for IMPACT DAY still limping toward a computer near you.

  32. Roger says:

    Leif,
    Thanks for what you’re doing re IMPACT Day; I’m also nursing it along… This could take some time–going from concept to implementation, but we’ll keep at it!

  33. Leif says:

    Roger: Well Turkey Day was just picked out of the hat, there would not appear to be too much disruption on picking another day at this point. Perhaps the day that the President is in transit to Stockholm. If we thought we would not get caught with too much egg on our face, we could have a counter in Times Square.
    A side note that I think should get more attention: Tonight on John Stewart’s TV show he pointed out that the “Fair and Balanced Fox News” covered a recent Washington tin hat rally and spliced coverage from a summer rally with bigger crowds. We should be singing that one from the roof tops.