"White House back to talking about climate change"
Science advisor says the message was always there, asserts “The science of climate change is really very clear in its essentials.”
The climate is changing… Human activity, particularly fossil fuel burning, is overwhelmingly likely to be the primary cause of the changes were experiencing. We’re already experiencing damages from these changes in climate. We will experience more unless and until we reduce our emissions. These points are clear in the science.
John Holdren, who heads the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, gave an extended interview Sunday on Platts Energy Week. He made clear that the White House understands climate science and is still committed to talking about it and addressing it.
I and others have been critical of the President’s apparent soft-pedaling of the problem in the State of the Union (see “Obama calls for massive boost in low-carbon energy, but doesn’t mention carbon, climate or warming” and Brulle: “By failing to even rhetorically address climate change, Obama is mortgaging our future and further delaying the necessary work to build a political consensus for real action”).
The anti-science crowd and their fellow confusionists gleefully took the speech to mean that Obama was backpedaling on climate, but I mostly saw it as just typically horrendous messaging by the White House, along with evidence that the President personally doesn’t get the truly dire nature of the problem.
I know Dr. Holdren gets it, though, and while Axelrod and White House communications shop have been muzzling him for two years now, he certainly wasn’t shy about spelling out the basics of climate science in his interview.
Indeed, Holdren actually makes the case the President was talking about climate when he said in the SOTU that “clean energy technology” is an investment that will … protect our planet.” Here’s the video:
The video is here — for some reason the code only runs the Gasland piece, so you have to click on the “John Holdren interview” beneath the main video:
We need better energy technology both to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, to improve the environment, including reducing our contribution to climate change, and to create the jobs in clean energy, the new products, the new businesses that will stay in America, while meeting our growing energy needs….
The president realizes that we need all the new energy sources we can get. We need energy sources that reduce our contribution to production of greenhouse gases that are altering the climate, we need those new energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and we need them to stay competitive in a global market.
I’m still not persuaded that the president gets it, but any notion that the White House was simply going to stop talking about climate change entirely was certainly unwarranted.
H/t The Hill — But if you read their comments section, put on a head vise first.