Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gore Slams Obama On Climate Change

The Obama Administration is taking yet another hit from a prominent progressive, with Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore indicating that the public's general ignorance on climate change is partly due to inaction on the part of the President.

After listing some of the successes of the presidency, Gore goes on to say (from Rolling Stone):

"But in spite of these and other achievements, President Obama has thus far failed to use the bully pulpit to make the case for bold action on climate change. After successfully passing his green stimulus package, he did nothing to defend it when Congress decimated its funding. After the House passed cap and trade, he did little to make passage in the Senate a priority. Senate advocates — including one Republican — felt abandoned when the president made concessions to oil and coal companies without asking for anything in return. He has also called for a massive expansion of oil drilling in the United States, apparently in an effort to defuse criticism from those who argue speciously that "drill, baby, drill" is the answer to our growing dependence on foreign oil.

"The failure to pass legislation to limit global-warming pollution ensured that the much-anticipated Copenhagen summit on a global treaty in 2009 would also end in failure. The president showed courage in attending the summit and securing a rhetorical agreement to prevent a complete collapse of the international process, but that's all it was — a rhetorical agreement. During the final years of the Bush-Cheney administration, the rest of the world was waiting for a new president who would aggressively tackle the climate crisis — and when it became clear that there would be no real change from the Bush era, the agenda at Copenhagen changed from 'How do we complete this historic breakthrough?' to 'How can we paper over this embarrassing disappointment?'"

After the near disastrous PR generated by Netroots Nation for the President, more and more Obama appears to need to make tougher stances on issues important to the people that vote for him.  While bipartisanship is important, can we continue to sacrifice our progressive ideals in the quest for moderate politics?

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