As this meme was developing, Michael Grunwald - author of The New New Deal - wrote this:
...while it’s absolutely fair to complain that Obama doesn’t talk about climate change anymore, except at rallies when he’s firing up his liberal base, it’s also worth noting that he’s probably done more to prevent climate change than anyone else on the planet. His stringent new fuel efficiency rules for cars and light trucks are expected to reduce emissions by 6 billion metric tons by 2025, the equivalent of wiping out an entire year of emissions. As I’ve written here, and in The New New Deal, Obama’s stimulus bill also launched a quiet clean-energy revolution, with unprecedented investments in wind, solar, geothermal and other renewables; energy efficiency in every possible form; blue-sky research into low-carbon technologies; the smart grid; electric vehicles; advanced biofuels; and the factories to build all that green stuff in the U.S. It almost goes without saying that Republicans opposed all of these shifts towards a greener economy, as well as a cap-and-trade plan that had been part of McCain’s agenda. They’ve blocked Obama’s efforts to kill tax loopholes that benefit the oil industry, and extend tax credits that benefit the wind industry. But U.S. emissions are still falling even though the economy is growing.That's a pretty bold statement up there...that President Obama has "done more to prevent climate change than anyone else on the planet." But as he says (and has literally written the book about), "Obama's stimulus bill launched a quiet clean-energy revolution." It is only quiet now to people who haven't read what Grunwald wrote.
The point here is not to excuse Obama’s climate silence. He’s got a big megaphone, and what the president says and doesn’t say matters. It would be nice to hear him talk about clean energy as a planetary imperative as well as a source of green jobs, and hear him call out Romney for backing away from climate science to pander to Tea Party activists. But if his words have been unsatisfying, his deeds have been impressive. Which matters more?
What he hasn't written about is the part of this quiet clean-energy revolution that has interested me...the fact that the Department of Defense is going green. As I quoted there, Pike Research had the following to say about the military's efforts to develop renewable energy.
The various composite branches of the DOD, as an organization, combine to form the single largest consumer of energy in the world – more than any other public or private entity and greater than more than 100 other nations. Energy consumption is the lifeblood of the U.S. military – and the supporting governmental infrastructure that facilitates and controls it.So you take the fact that the largest single consumer of energy in the world going green along with the quiet clean-energy revolution underway as part of the stimulus bill and its hard to argue with the fact that President Obama has done more to prevent climate change than anyone else on the planet.
Military investment in renewable energy and related technologies, in many cases, holds the potential to bridge the “valley of death” that lies between research & development and full commercialization of these technologies. As such, the myriad of DOD initiatives focused on fostering cleantech is anticipated to have a substantial impact on the development and growth of the industry as a whole.
What these climate silence propagators are looking for is a spokesperson for their cause. There is a time and a place for that (Al Gore anyone?) But what's even more important is to roll up your sleeves and get something done about it. That's where President Obama has excelled.