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play golf in sun with Tiger Woods?  That's right, the President got plenty of media coverage yesterday on his short vacation.  But, some staunch supporters of the President are left scratching their heads and asking "What's wrong with this picture?"

On a day that tens of thousands of Americans travelled to Washington and rallied in cities all over the United States to support the President in his call to action on climate change, it seemed like an opportunity for leadership and commitment was missed.  

The rally also called for the rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline project which would allow the release of dirty tar sands oil.  The project is so hotly contested that the President's own Environmental Protection Agency head , Lisa Jackson, resigned last month.  She stepped down in protest to Obama's apparent plans to approve the project "because she doesn't want to be at the helm of the agency when the White House rubber-stamps the controversial project."

Americans were encouraged by President Obama's vows to the nation during his inaugural address:

We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries - we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure - our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That's what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
and again, in his State of Union address this week, just over a month into his second term:
If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.

Indeed, President Obama's actions to arrest global warming may well define his legacy in history.

Other world leaders have and continue to step up to the plate, regardless of politics, given the threat climate change poses to global financial, water and food security.  In a speech to the G20 in Moscow on Saturday, President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, "warned the finance chiefs of the world's leading economic powers that global warming is a real risk to the planet and already affecting the world economy in unprecedented ways."  Kim asked  the G20 to "face climate change, which is a very real and present danger."

HRH Prince Charles has been outspoken for years on the issue.   At the UN Conference of Sustainable Development  last June in Rio de Janeiro, he warned of the "catastrophic" consequences of inaction on global warming.

Three months ago, the Prince of Wales went further, warning  that mankind is on the brink of "committing suicide on a grand scale" unless urgent progress is made in:

1)  CO2 emissions;
2)  large scale agricultural production; and,
3)  resource depletion (water and soil).  

The Prince of Wales has also suggested that Americans need to cut down on beef.  We consume twice as much as British on average.  But, His Royal Highness was not raising the issue because of diet, but rather as a warning related to global warming, that water needs to be conserved:

"For every pound of beef produced in the industrial system, it takes two thousand gallons of water."  "That is a lot of water and there is plenty of evidence that the Earth cannot keep up with the demand."

His comments were made at a sustainability conference in Georgetown in recognition of the impact of the industrial livestock production system on water, soil, biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.  

Last week, Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced legislation in the form of two bills, the Sustainable Energy Act  and the Climate Protection Act.  These pieces of legislation will demonstrate to other nations of the world that the US recognizes that current efforts have not been adequate, we continue to move dangerously toward the tipping point* and, as such, are taking action to arrest the problem.

Today, we celebrate our Presidents, past and our current President, Barak Obama.

We re-elected him  because we know that when he is deeply committed to something, he will prioritize it and make it happen.  Also, we trust his character and judgment in the knowledge that some things are too important to leave to chance.  The recent film about Lincoln calls us to remember that what set him apart as a great leader from others was his capacity to surround himself with team  of leaders of differing opinions, even rivals, and at a certain point, act decisively when providence/history/God/Mother Earth/the Laws of Nature/conscience demand a specific outcome, effectively ending any further debate from the team.

I trust that this President, our President, has heard the call and was simply preparing to champion the cause.  

* "Tipping point" is recognized as 450 ppm.  As of January 2013, we are at about 395 ppm, with 2.07 ppm annual increase that has been rising steadilyevery year for several decades.

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Comment Preferences

  •  your concern is noted - and, btw, it is barack, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnetteK, sewaneepat, mwm341

    not "barak".

    sheesh!  you waste a perfectly good topic to get pissy over the president taking a few days off on a friggin' holiday?  

    sorry.  doesn't cut it.

    EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

    by edrie on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:18:48 AM PST

    •  I agree. (4+ / 0-)

      I would have probably tipped this diary if the first two paragraphs had been left off.

      The man actually takes very few vacations and he deserves every day off he gets.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:51:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  A poignantly timed holiday, (0+ / 0-)

      This event was scheduled last September.

      This was hardly the President's only golf outing since...

      The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

      by Words In Action on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:40:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  yep. not like he's george w. bush - who spent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnieR

        more time "vacationing" than he did working, or so it seemed.

        i really don't understand those who begrudge this president anything.  other presidents take brief respites from the job - some take LONG vacations - but, god forbid, obama take a few days and then the "concern" comes out full on.

        EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

        by edrie on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:47:15 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ignored the comment. (0+ / 0-)

          The point is whether he deserves time off. It's all just a matter of timing and priority. A globally important issue such as Climate Change on a day of public expression set way in advance, or just another day of golf? Again, it's not like he doesn't get and take other opportunities for golf.

          The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

          by Words In Action on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:33:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't begrudge him a day off; he's earned it (0+ / 0-)

          The point, which I did not make well, I guess, was that those people who went all the way to Washington and stood out in the freezing cold all day got no recognition from anyone at the WH and very little from the news.  Seems like they got snubbed a bit.  

          This was my second diary.  I just wanted to support the rally in some way.  

          Also, I apologize for spelling BO's first name wrong.  I had such a hard time getting everything formatted and such.  I missed that.  As you can see, it was VERY late and I was tired.

          •  i know the 'late and tired" full well. (0+ / 0-)

            my point to you was that your diary contained good information that was lost by taking a potshot at obama.

            it wasn't necessary and was distracting to the topic you addressed - a very important one.

            instead of attacking the president, the one who has tried to move an obstructive republican party against tremendous resistance, why not write your diary and ask why THEY are not putting legislation on the table?

            obama made it clear that if they do not, he will take executive action.  the real issue here is that if he issues executive orders, they can be undone by the next president who disagrees (think of reagan and bush - removal of solar panels from white house, pandering to big oil, etc., by removing regulations, etc).

            it is only through laws that long term effect can be guaranteed, not executive orders.

            and, as for him being in d.c. for the "planned protest" - when was the last time a president went out into a crowd to discuss the topic they were protesting.  it seems that the protest was directed at getting the media to discuss the issue.  why make it about obama and lose that momentum?

            just some thoughts for you - your second diary would have had a much better impact without the personal attack on one politician.  if you are serious about the issue (and, from your diary, i assume you are), i look forward to reading future writings - i just hope you can bring the issue to the foreground without alienating a large portion of your intended audience.

            EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

            by edrie on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 02:04:23 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  All good points (0+ / 0-)

              UR right.  Thanks for the great advice.

              I am disturbed that none of the talk about reducing greenhouse gases addresses another huge polluter, which is the industrialized production of livestock, which as I am sure you know, includes GMO crop farming.  So, that should be an integral part of the discussion, given that we all have control over what we eat.  

              I suspect that the reason you don't see this on any EPA, USDA, government websites is because a lot of huge companies are getting rich and want you to keep buying more and more of their CAFO meat.  80% of antibiotics sold in the US are used on animals, not people.

              We don't need any laws from congress to eat less red meat, although, they should be working harder to clean up the inherent flaws in that model.  Factory farming production of red meats and fracking both use huge amounts of water and output toxic, polluted water.  Given that we know water will be scarce here in the US if global warming isn't arrested, we need to conserve it.

              This is happening so that we can consume on average almost 6 pounds of meat per week, over three of it from larger animals (which are the biggest part of the problem environmentally).  That's .82 pounds per day of meat ... more than three quarter pound hamburgers!  

              If we simply limited ourselves to 1.5 pounds of red meat (beef and pork) per person/week, we could make a big difference in our country's carbon footprint.  China, India and America need to address this issue as we are causing a problem.

              By the way, you don't need to cut out meat if you want it ... just move to buying local, sustainably raised meats through a CSA, Whole Foods or go to Chipotle.  

  •  Yes. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Any other golfer would have been better than that moral zero Woods.

    Boehner Just Wants Wife To Listen, Not Come Up With Alternative Debt-Reduction Ideas

    by dov12348 on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 05:36:49 AM PST

  •  It would have been super cool of Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mwm341, Words In Action, julesrules39

    to cancel his golf plans in order to stay in DC and recognize the concerns of the 40,000 citizens speaking out against climate change, many of whom took great pains to get there.

    It seems like a lot of Presidents disappear during these large protests and I don't understand why they think it's a good idea.

    Also I'm not sure about why Lisa Jackson quit. I think it's still speculation at this point to say she quit over the pipeline.

  •  Correction: President Obama's actions to arrest (0+ / 0-)

    global warming -- or lack thereof -- may well will define his legacy in history.

    emphasis = words added

    After all, history will show that global warming was the greatest test of civilization up to this point in time. As the de facto leader of civilization, President Obama's response and leadership -- or lack thereof -- during this singular challenge, will be the measure of his administration.

    The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

    by Words In Action on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:38:42 AM PST

    •  just removed the rec on your last comment. (0+ / 0-)

      i thought you were balanced in your earlier response, but gauging by this one, my mistake!

      EdriesShop Is it kind? is it true? is it necessary?

      by edrie on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 06:48:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  balanced? (0+ / 0-)

        Does that mean that it is imbalanced to suggest that climate change is the challenge of our species upon which we all and especially Obama, as our elected representative leader, will be judged?

        The Class, Terror and Climate Wars are indivisible and the short-term outcome will affect the planet for centuries. -WiA "When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill..." - PhilJD

        by Words In Action on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 07:30:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Right wingers everywhere (0+ / 0-)

    are rushing out to stockpile hamburger as a childish "fuck you" to environmentalists.....

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Mon Feb 18, 2013 at 10:16:38 AM PST

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