Juliet Eilperin, writing in the Washington Post, has an interesting round-up of reactions to President Obama’s remarks on climate change in Monday’s Inaugural Address.
My favorite is this behind-the-scenes exchange between the president and Representative Henry Waxman (CA-D):
Obama made a point of highlighting how much emphasis he gave the issue after [Waxman] thanked him afterwards for mentioning climate change.
“I didn’t just mention it, I talked about it,” Obama parried, according to Waxman.
Eilperin’s article has an interesting angle. She looks at Obama’s framing of the issue as a moral one — as opposed to the more familiar narratives of jobs, security and economics. The president, Eilperin points out, stressed the immorality of leaving future generations a damaged earth.
What interests me about the heavy injection of morality, is how absent this aspect normally is in the debate about climate change.
But then, I’ve never understood how so-called “values voters” can ignore the inherent immorality of environmental desecration from all aspects of a society based on fossil fuel, from mountaintop removal mining to groundwater pollution (Keystone XL) to illness and the premature death of thousands from soot in the air.