President Obama, often shy of turning climate change into a marquee campaign
issue, last night made a full-throated endorsement
of climate action, calling out
Governor Romney and the Republicans as disbelievers of reality,
and jokesters about a real threat. He also explicitly linked this summer's extreme weather to global warming.
"And yes," he said to some of the longest applause of the night, "my plan will
continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet –
because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and
wildfires are not a joke. They're a threat to our children's future. And
in this election, you can do something about it."
In a clear reference to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, President Obama said, "I
will not let oil companies write this country's energy plan, or endanger
our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from
"We're offering a better path –
a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal;
where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and
trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste
less energy; where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas
that's right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our
oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in
natural gas alone."
President Obama's statements—and the applause in Charlotte last night—had a lot to do with Governor Romney's remarks last week in Tampa. Romney openly mocked climate change in his speech to the Republican National Convention, allowing Democrats, including John Kerry
, to chide and take higher ground. Listen to the 30-plus second cheer for climate inaction: