On Monday, President Obama started a historic tour to Alaska with the goal of raising awareness about the dangers an uncontrolled global warming may pose to the region and its inhabitants.
Among potential risks, the president mentioned sunken countries, abandoned cities and floods like we never seen before. Plus, a brand new category of refugees may emerge after floods destroyed their homes and took away their possessions.
Obama delivered the speech on climate change during a climate summit in Anchorage, but his message was designed to reach other nations as well so they can take swift action on the issue as negotiations for a treaty on tackling climate change are almost closed.
The speech would be followed by three days of more speeches and meetings with local officials. During that time, President Obama hopes to discuss about the state’s melting glaciers and submerging villages with officials and find a viable solution.
Obama cautioned that in global warming we could speak about being too late if urgent action is not taken in due time. He also said that the moment of “being too late” is nearly upon us.
During these three days, the chief executive plans to hike a glacier, have a talk with local fishermen, and take part in a reality show produced by survivalist Bear Grylls. Through these moves, the White House wants to bring in limelight thorny issues related to climate change and how the phenomenon damaged Alaska. Each stop would be accompanies by a series of powerful photos depicting the grim situation in the region.
Obama wants to raise awareness about climate change and its risks among Alaskans and the rest of the U.S. populations. But convincing Alaskans that their economy may fuel the global trend of rising temperatures may be tougher than expected since Alaska’s economic growth now heavily relies on oil revenues. Obama also eyes a climate treaty that would seal his environmental legacy.
Yet, critics are puzzled by President Obama’s recent intentions. They cite the moves taken by the White House to promote unclean energy although the environment had to suffer. For instance, a few months ago, Obama administration expanded drilling off the state’s northwest shore.
Even the state’s natives urged Washington to allow their state to drill more for gas and oil although they are aware that that may wreak havoc on their home. Without drilling, Alaska would need to find alternative sources that can cover the $3.5 billion deficit created by slipping oil prices.
Obama believes that “strong economic goals” should not be at odds with a “sound environment.” But he thinks that an uncontrolled climate change would result in a planet that is barely habitable for next generations. He also said about climate change deniers that they were “increasingly alone, on their own shrinking island.”
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