(WASHINGTON) — President Obama’s inauguration speech was broad, as such addresses tend to be, but he got specific when it came to climate change.
In his second inaugural address, the president mentioned the recent wave of severe weather that some have linked to global warming.
From his address, as prepared for delivery:
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.
Talking about climate change as a pressing issue is new for a presidential inaugural address. Obama made passing mention of it four years ago, during his first inaugural address in 2009, and Bill Clinton mentioned the environment.
“With old friends and former foes, we’ll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet,” Obama said four years ago. But Monday’s mention seems to be the most extended case for action on climate change in any inaugural address in recent history.
Climate change was a large part of Obama’s presidential agenda, until it got derailed midway through his first term.
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