The media just keeps missing — or messing up — the story of the century.
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.
How else could future generations judge us if the U.S. and the world stay anywhere near our current emissions path, warm most of the inland United States 10 to 15°F by century’s end, with sea levels 3 to 7 feet higher, rising perhaps an inch or two a year, with the Southwest from Kansas to California a permanent dust bowl, and much of the ocean a hot, acidic dead zone — impacts that could be irreversible for 1,000 years if we don’t reverse emissions soon and sharply. This will require an unbroken — and indeed escalating — response by our political leadership throughout this century. The same is true for the very important, but still secondary, issue of avoiding the worst impacts of peak oil.
In that sense, what team Obama has accomplished in its first 100 days is nothing less than an unprecedented reversal of decades of unsustainable national policy forced down the throat of the American public by conservatives. While I will present a longer list below — and welcome your additions — three game-changing accomplishments stand out:
- Green Stimulus: Progressives, Obama keep promise to jumpstart clean energy, economy “” conservatives keep promise to jumpstop the future
- Sustainable Budget: The first sustainable budget in U.S. history.
- Regulatory breakthrough: EPA finds carbon pollution a serious danger to Americans’ health and welfare requiring regulation
Obama has clearly demonstrated he has a serious chance to be the first President since FDR to remake the country through his positive vision. Indeed, if Obama is a two-term president, if he achieves even half of what he has set out to, he will likely be remembered as “the green FDR.”