Jan. 26, 2009 | The greatest task of the Obama administration — and the next 10 presidents — is to avoid catastrophic global warming. The latest science warns that the unstable West Antarctic ice sheet has been warming significantly since the 1950s, the rate of Greenland summer ice loss tripled last year, and the planet as a whole lost 2 trillion tons of ice in the last five years. The best mid-range estimate for sea level rise by the year 2100 is 5 feet, much higher than U.N. scientists projected just two years ago.
Fortunately, Obama clearly gets it. He devoted more of his inaugural address to clean energy and global warming than even the strongest advocate could have imagined, asserting, “We will work tirelessly to … roll back the specter of a warming planet.” More important, he has assembled a team with unmatched knowledge and commitment to solve the climate problem.
But the path toward a carbon-reduced future will not be an easy one….