After being left out in the cold all year, global warming is making a reappearance on the campaign trail. President Obama, who campaigned aggressively in 2008 on the promise of fighting climate change, has barely mentioned the subject during this campaign, despite a summer of record heat and drought and news reports linking such extreme weather events to increases in greenhouse gases. [National Journal]
But on Thursday night, under the spotlight at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, just two months from the general election, Obama made his most high-profile mention of the controversial issue this year.
“And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet—because climate change is not a hoax,” Obama said. “More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And in this election, you can do something about it,” he said, to a sustained ovation.
Until now, Obama’s advisers calculated that in a campaign centered on the economy, a pledge to save the environment by cutting carbon pollution would fall flat—and create a target for Republican attacks. But Thursday’s remarks could signal a new willingness to address a crucial public-policy issue which both campaigns have until now avoided.
President Barack Obama’s effort to develop renewable power sources and persuade Congress to adopt a long-term energy policy will be priorities should he win a second term, his top climate and energy aide said. [Businessweek]
Scientists in the Arctic are warning that this summer’s record-breaking melt is part of an accelerating trend with profound implications. [BBC]
Preliminary lab results show two oil samples taken on the Louisiana coast are from BP’s 2010 Gulf spill, state officials said Thursday. [CNN]
Despite locally drenching rains from the remnants of Hurricane Isaac, the worst drought in more than 50 years is still firmly entrenched across much of the U.S. [Climate Central]
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says drought is fueling an outbreak of a fatal deer disease in southern and central Illinois and surrounding states. [Sacramento Bee]
Meteorological and ecological shifts driven by climate change are creating a slow and often unpredictable bloom of novel public health challenges across the United States. [New York Times]