Saint Obama: The Green Messiah of Climate Change

‘Saint Obama’. A painting by San Francisco based artist, Feroza Unvala

Environmentalists, politicians and eco-minded individuals everywhere have begun to view President Obama as a new Green Messiah. In just a few weeks the President has elevated the fight against global warming to higher levels of seriousness. And now the rest of the world is joining his cause.

Steven Biel, the Global Warming Campaign Director responded to the release of the President’s budget as follows:

“By including revenue from a cap-and-auction legislation in his budget, President Obama has sent a bold, make-no-mistake sign that he intends to fulfill his campaign pledge to enact comprehensive global warming legislation. The good news is that we can achieve these goals while growing the economy, creating jobs and completely phasing out coal and other dirty energy sources. In fact, solving the economic crisis and solving global warming go hand-in-hand.

Recession or no recession, thanks to his backing, climate change has become a top issue not just for the U.S. but for entire the world and it is integrally tied to bringing the global economy out of recession.

The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 was a narrow accord among several nations about the emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gasses linked to global warming. The United States will spearhead a the negotiation of a new treaty to be signed in Copenhagen in December, to address how emission reductions can be achieved in a way that takes account of their effects on energy supplies and economies — especially at a time of global recession. (NY TImes)

“This is not just about emissions but about creating a massive investment in a new global energy economy” that includes forests, oceans and the transfer of technology, said Angela Anderson, director of the Pew Environment Group’s Global Warming Campaign.

Economies around the world are rallying to get involved with the US’s green agenda

The good news is that as the US takes a leadership role, everybody else wants to get involved.

Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of England has said that he will forge a new global partnership with President Obama that will boost economies and impact green policies stretching “from the villages of Africa to  the financial institutions of London and New York”. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made climate a central focus of her recent visit to China and proposed a partnership between the United States and China. Teams from Britain and Denmark have already visited the White House to discuss climate issues.The United Nations is already preparing for the December meetings. (New York Times)

What about China and India?

But what about about developing countries like China and India which have emerged as the biggest carbon dioxide emitters in the past few years? Neither did they ratify the Kyoto Protocol nor were they subject to mandatory levels of reductions. The truth is that climate change is a global issue that affects the planet as a whole.  So, for the new treaty to be effective, every nation including China and India will have to accept emissions limits.

“If one part of the world acts and the other does not, that doesn’t really generate a climate benefit,”

said Mr. the United Nation’s top climate official, Yvo de Boer, who is responsible for organizing the December meetings.

What are your thoughts on the new Copenhagen treaty and the way in which the new administration is tackling the issue of climate change? Do you you view President Obama as a new Green Messiah?  Write in and let us know.

Image credit: Feroza Unvala