In a speech today on energy policy at the University of Miami, President Barack Obama went off his prepared remarks to note that young people — including his daughters — seem to care more than his generation does about the fate of the planet:
Anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they’re talking about or just isn’t telling you the truth. Young people especially understand this, because, you know, it’s interesting. When I talk to Malia and Sasha — you guys are so much more aware of conserving our resources and thinking about the planet.
The president’s speech forcefully rejected the Republican idea that the solution to all of the world’s ills — including rising gas prices — is to drill, baby, drill. However, not once did Obama directly recognize the reality of climate change. The past burning of hundreds of billions of tons of fossil fuels is already degrading the safety of our planet for human civilization. To keep Obama’s own promise of limiting total warming to no more than 2°C, about 80 percent of proved fossil-fuel reserves will have to remain in the ground.