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News & Perspective from the Center for Environmental Journalism
This item was posted on January 20, 2009, and it was categorized as Climate, Climate Change, Climate change policy, Energy, Global Warming, President Obama, blogging.
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So many words stood out for me in President Obama’s acceptance speech, but three phrases in particular caught my attention.

First: “We will restore science to its rightful place.”

Then: “We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.”

And finally: “With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet.” 

These were not oblique references, inserted inconspicuously into a speech about traditional inauguration themes. Fighting global warming will be just as important as lessening the nuclear threat, not to mention confronting terrorism. 

I also noted that in his invocation, the Rev. Rick Warren touched on the same theme, saying that we need to care for creation.

Now, I’m watching the luncheon, and I noted that before everyone took their seats, Al Gore was right up front with Obama’s family. Not the Clintons. Not Jimmy Carter. Al Gore. 

I think we’re getting a message here that climate change will be a major focus of this administration. But of course, signaling is one thing, accomplishing is another. And we must remember that removing carbon from our energy system can’t possibly be accomplished in one presidential term, or even four presidential terms. This is 50-year project, at a minimum. But now it seems clear that we have a president who is determined to start.

And by the way, we also now have a White House blog. The first post: “Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov”


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One Comment

  1. Posted January 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    An interesting corollary to Obama’s statement “We will restore science to its rightful place,” is the Rightful Place Project, at Seed Magazine and ScienceBlogs.

    The project is simple: they want scientists (and hopefully science journalists) to respond with their answer to the questions, “What is science’s rightful place?”

    Various responses have already been popping up on blogs and elsewhere. Perhaps this is a good question to ask at CEJournal, as well.

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