What DID Obama Say?
More than 2,000 Care2 members voted in the poll “What Should Obama Tell the UN”, sponsored by our friends at the Better World Campaign. We gave you five options: Security, Climate Change, Millennium Development Goals, Ratifying Treaties and Multilateralism.
The results were pretty dramatic: 59 percent of Care2 members thought Climate Change was the message President Obama should bring to the world when he addressed the UN General Assembly today. Next up was the Millennium Development Goals with 16 percent, Multilateralism with 12 percent, Security with 7 percent and Ratifying Treaties with 4 percent.
So Care2 members will be pleased to know that climate change was a major theme in the president’s speech:
The danger posed by climate change cannot be denied. Our responsibility to meet it must not be deferred. If we continue down our current course, every member of this Assembly will see irreversible changes within their borders. Our efforts to end conflicts will be eclipsed by wars over refugees and resources. Development will be devastated by drought and famine. Land that human beings have lived on for millennia will disappear. Future generations will look back and wonder why we refused to act; why we failed to pass on — why we failed to pass on an environment that was worthy of our inheritance.
And that is why the days when America dragged its feet on this issue are over. We will move forward with investments to transform our energy economy, while providing incentives to make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. We will press ahead with deep cuts in emissions to reach the goals that we set for 2020, and eventually 2050. We will continue to promote renewable energy and efficiency, and share new technologies with countries around the world. And we will seize every opportunity for progress to address this threat in a cooperative effort with the entire world.
And those wealthy nations that did so much damage to the environment in the 20th century must accept our obligation to lead. But responsibility does not end there. While we must acknowledge the need for differentiated responses, any effort to curb carbon emissions must include the fast-growing carbon emitters who can do more to reduce their air pollution without inhibiting growth. And any effort that fails to help the poorest nations both adapt to the problems that climate change have already wrought and help them travel a path of clean development simply will not work.
It’s hard to change something as fundamental as how we use energy. I know that. It’s even harder to do so in the midst of a global recession. Certainly, it will be tempting to sit back and wait for others to move first. But we cannot make this journey unless we all move forward together. As we head into Copenhagen, let us resolve to focus on what each of us can do for the sake of our common future.
If you’re moved by President Obama’s speech, join me in demanding that your senators support strong climate and energy legislation now — so we can bring something concrete to Copenhagen.
If you’re one of the Care2 members who voted for Security, the Millennium Development Goals, Ratifying Treaties or Multilateralism — don’t be too upset; the president mentioned all of them in his speech.