To the editor:
In Obama’s inaugural speech he gave what many have long been waiting for: a clear call to action on climate change. In what is arguably Obama’s most definitive statement on climate change, Obama pushed forward the climate change agenda and declared his commitment to tackling climate change “knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.”
That, however, is not reason for complacency, but is rather a call for action, for Obama is faced with a stubborn Congress that can likely only be coaxed into action in the face of a groundswell of support. It is apt that Obama’s speech should coincide with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, for just as the civil rights movement had to work from the ground up to overcome the narrow interests of an obstinate elite, similarly the challenge of climate change calls for a groundswell of action and support to overcome the interests of a fossil fuel elite who are intent on locking us into a future detrimental to almost everything except for their short-term financial bottom line.
Together we can respond to Obama’s call, and, although as a climate activist and a scholar, I am aware that there is no silver bullet to solve climate change, one of the most elegant, simple, effective, just and economy-boosting solutions we can push for comes in the form of a carbon fee and dividend such as that proposed by groups like the Citizens Climate Lobby.