President Obama: The Economy versus Climate Change

While President Obama makes strides towards dealing with the issue of climate change, many prefer that he focus on fixing the recession first. Republicans like Rush Limbaugh have been quite vocal about it but other political figures like Tony Blair say that climate change must not fall victim to the recession.

Can President Obama realistically fix both the recession and climate change?

On one hand, addressing climate change will not necessarily hurt the economy any further; in fact the right investments coming out of the stimulus can ostensibly help both goals. Everyone from Al Gore to Thomas Friedman to Van Jones have been calling for investment in clean energy sectors to produce green jobs right from the time of the Presidential campaign last year.

President Obama has clearly outlined his dedication to tackling global climate change. Over the course of 2009, U.S. policymakers will debate U.S. climate policy at the local, state, and national level. This debate will generate the principles for climate legislation alongside policies on the economy and energy security. The U.S. will also spearhead a United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.

But the US economy is in dire trouble, more than it has been in decades. Taking urgent action on climate change in the face of the economic crisis is hardly an easy task. Even though recent decades of economic growth has hurt the climate, many are saying that fixing the economy should be the President’s first priority right now. In fact restoring some economic growth can potentially help undo past damage to the climate.

The Daily Beast reports that Tony Blair believes that the U.S. must create a radical plan that India, China and the rest of the world will follow:

“I would argue that the current economic woes provide us not with an excuse for inaction but a reason for acting,” says Tony Blair.

What do you think? The Economy or climate change? Send us your opinion.

Image Credit: The Daily Beast (Bob Child/AP Photo)