There’s good news today from the US: recently re-elected President Barack Obama says that he will take personal charge of getting some action on climate change. He plans to speak with scientists, engineers, and elected officials, which is very encouraging, as often the science is neglected in favour of the politics.
This will undoubtedly have flow-on effects in countries such as Australia, since our governments tend to follow the US lead in many ways, while positive action on climate change by the US will make it much harder for other countries’ governments to drag their feet.
The bad news is that he wants to do this in a way that garners bipartisan support. Given that the Republican party planned as early as January 2009 to block any and all Democratic moves in order to make Obama a one-term President, and that they have removed any support for action on climate change from their platform, any attempt to garner support on climate change will be difficult.
But it’s possible that Hurricane Sandy has changed some minds about climate change: the devastation caused by this storm will make it harder to deny that climate change is real, and that it is exacerbating catastrophic weather events. So perhaps science, real-world evidence, and definite action by a President who believes in both, will mean that governments across the world will start to take action. We’ll keep you updated on what results from this intention.