Obama Knows It is ‘Global Climate Disruption’ And Without Mitigation And Adaptation, All You Get Is ‘Misery’
I attended the Environmental and Clean Energy Inaugural Ball in DC Monday night. That is the smaller, wonkier ball, the one without Will.i.am.
A number of White House and Cabinet officials made clear that Obama meant it when he emphasized action on climate and clean energy in his second inaugural. For instance, Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, told the crowd, “Energy and climate policy are going to be a top priority” in Obama’s second term.
Zichal asserted “We are going to achieve the President’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020.” There are really only two plausible ways that can be done with certainty — a carbon tax or aggressive use of EPA authority to control emissions from existing power plants and industrial facilities. And the carbon tax (presumably as part of some overall deficit or tax reform deal) would need Congressional approval, which makes it far harder.
Zichal did not spell out the details. She told The Hill:
I am not going to get in front of my boss on this one. I think you will, in due time, see a really aggressive agenda on the energy and climate initiative in line with what the president talked about today.
Interestingly, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar promised “more detail about what [Obama] wants to do in the State of the Union” address.
Obama science adviser John Holdren said that “President Obama knows that global warming is a misnomer. It is global climate disruption,” a term he and other scientists have been using for over 15 years.
Holdren repeated his statement that humanity has three choices in the face of global climate disruption — “mitigation, adaptation and suffering” — noting “the more mitigation and adaptation, the less suffering there will be.”
If we keep listening to the disinformers and delayers, we will keep doing little mitigation and adaptation, leaving us with maximum misery. This is just another way of saying what his boss said Monday, “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.