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]
African farmers are finding new ways to cope with droughts, erosion and other ravages of climate change but need to develop even more techniques to thrive in an increasingly uncertain environment, scientists said on Friday. [Reuters]
The United Nations said progress was made at the latest climate talks in Bangkok. Major topics covered in the Bangkok meeting included extending and amending the 1997 greenhouse-gas limiting Kyoto Protocol and delivering a road map for a new legally binding climate treaty, which is to be agreed upon by 2015 and go into effect by 2020. [UPI]