“Hot War” on Global Warming

President Obama has released a climate action plan. It’s about time that happened. I wonder what took him so long. There is a speech at Georgetown university, a document describing the new plan, and a series of slides.

I have studied all of those and still could not find an announcement of putting some solar panels on the White House.  Someone at Dailykos asserts that this is in the plan somewhere, but I could not find it. Anyway, Obama should have got this done long ago, and certainly before presenting a climate action plan. It is very easy to do. Or, as I wrote in March:

Why THE FUCK are there still no solar panels on the White House?

The climate strategy announcement also leaves the door wide open for approving the Keystone pipeline. All Obama did was clarify some conditions. He can always say those were met later on. Maybe that’s when the solar panels will actually get on the White House roof, as a symbolic gesture to the climate hawks.

Obama seems to think that 3 GW of capacity for the American military until 2025 is something worth mentioning. I think this is an excellent symbol for the overall lameness of the plan. I recall that Germany installed around 3 GW of solar in the Month of December 2011. The American military machine can’t do better than that? Really?

What America should do is declare war on global warming, and call it the “Hot War” (in contrast to the historical Cold War). Global warming is the most severe security threat for that particular country, as well as for everyone else. It needs an adequate level of response. “3 GW until 2025” is not quite adequate yet.

That said, it is some progress to see Obama come out as a climate hawk. That’s especially true since in the United States fossil fuel interests have bought one of the big parties and are blocking any legislation dealing with the issue. There are a lot of things the President can do without asking Congress for permission, and he seems to be doing quite a lot of interesting and useful things.

He might also help getting the climate deal scheduled for 2015 actually done. That would be a welcome change to the Kyoto protocol, where the United States didn’t show up for the early action.

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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