There’s nothing unusual about politicians and Electeds saying one thing and doing another. It’s a bipartisan thing. We the Electorate are so accustomed to it that it’s a shock when actions actually follow the words spoken. Regarding Mr. Obama’s strong inaugural speech section related to climate change, we’ll soon have one indication of how closely the actions he takes relate to the words he used.
From Jon Queally at Common Dreams (emphasis added):
For real evidence that there’s serious intent behind (Obama’s) words, groups say people need look no further than his upcoming decision to approve or deny permission for the Keystone XL oil pipeline. …
In his speech on Monday, Obama said:
‘We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations… .’
It was widely seen, Queally writes, as Obama’s “most forceful language yet on the subject,” but given the “urgency” related to global warming, it was also noted that words aren’t actions.
‘Obama sounded good on climate,’ tweeted 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben immediately following the speech, but added caustically, ‘We’ll see.’
At 350.org McKibben wrote:
… we know that even if the President is sincere in every syllable, he’s going to need lots of backup to help him get his point across in a city dominated by fossil fuel interests. And, given the record of the last four years, we know that too often rhetoric has yielded little in the way of results.
Queally also reports that Greenpeace spoke out regarding Obama’s speech, (emphasis added
… saying they believed the president wants to ‘do the right thing and move this country forward’ and that they would help in very specific ways to help him achieve the goals … . In fact, they put out a five part plan for the task, which included:
1) Put a final period on the end of ‘No Keystone Pipeline.’
We’re sick of hearing ‘for now’ at the end of this statement.
On February 17, 350.org, The Sierra Club and the Hip-Hop Caucus are organizing the #ForwardOnClimate Rally, in DC, at noon, on the National Mall (emphasis added):
The first step to putting our country on the path to addressing the climate crisis is for President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. …
According to a June 2012 report by the Congressional Research Service, building Keystone XL would be the equivalent of adding at least 4 million new cars to the road. Keystone XL would expand dirty tar sands mining practices and lure the U.S. into a long-term commitment to an energy infrastructure that relies on extra-dirty oil.
Joining the #ForwardOnClimate Rally will be the Sierra Club, as they announced in Sierra Club to Engage in Civil Disobedience for First Time in Organization’s History to Stop Tar Sands (emphasis added).
Last year, record heat and drought across the nation wiped out half of our corn crop and 60 percent of our pasturelands. Wildfires in Colorado, Texas, and elsewhere burned nearly nine million acres. And superstorm Sandy brought devastation beyond anyone’s imagining to the Eastern Seaboard. …
At this point, we can’t afford to lose a single major battle. That’s why the Sierra Club’s board of directors has for the first time endorsed an act of peaceful civil disobedience.
In doing so, we’re issuing a challenge to President Obama, who spoke stirringly in his inaugural address about how America must lead the world on the transition to clean energy. Welcome as those words were, we need the president to match them with strong action and use the first 100 days of his second term to begin building a bold and lasting legacy of clean energy and climate stability.
The advocacy work, including civil disobedience, of Tar Sand Blockade continues in East Texas, with related actions taking place around the nation, and in Canada. For example, Tar Sands Free Northeast Actions against the Trailbreaker Project.
Enbridge Inc. … announced the revival of a previous plan to transport tar sands oil through the Northeast, a pipeline called Trailbreaker which would pass through ‘some of the most important natural and cultural landscapes in eastern Canada and Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.’
Tar Sand Free Northeast is organizing a series of demonstrations across the Northeast, culminating with a demonstration in Portland, Maine, on January 26.
Cheer for the encouraging words, push for the follow-through.
(Tar Sand Forward On Climate Change logo via 350.org)