Friday, 21 November 2008

Obama Raises the States on Climate Change: Video

We don't know what he'll do yet, we don't know how much is rhetoric and how much reality, but it's clear that the US president elect, Barack Obama, is not afraid to do what most UK politicians cannot yet do: Acknowledge the reality of Climate Change and spell out the scale of the challenge we face. He's even able to make the links between addressing climate change and oil dependency and economic prosperity as well as national security. No Sugar Sherlock.....

The challenge is set to all Political parties across the world: Keep pretending a business as usual approach with a few tweaks will make a difference, or acknowledge reality and start playing a new game. Given the sickeningly warm welcome Obama has been given across the political board, largely welcoming his energy and representation of 'change' - maybe it's time those so keen to welcome his election stopped and thought about why the American public bought into his campaign. Could it be that Obama's appeal derives principally from his command of a fundamental facet of leadership: The ability to acknowledge reality and responsibility, however awkward that might be.

It's not that Obama is saying anything radical in this clip, far from it - he's reflecting mainstream science and a common sense response to that evidence base. But it's the tone, the language, the sense of urgency and the comfort with the subject matter that excites the most. Obama hasn't just been briefed on how to insert a few key words into a business as usual outlook - he quite clearly gets it, feels it and knows he doesn't need to be ashamed of saying it.

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