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Will President Obama finally make a move to push Climate change regulation in the USA

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President Obama failed to push climate change legislation in his first term, though there were a lot of expectations that some sort of carbon tax or emissions policy would be put in place. Some top senators worked on a climate change policy which actually passed the Congress. However a lack of support from the Senate and the focus on the financial crisis put the policy on the backburner. Obama spent the rest of his time on the healthcare policy and climate change suffered. The world is suffering from extreme weather since the last few years, with some of the hottest years on record being faced in the last decade. Massive floods and hurricanes have been seen around the world in the last couple of years, which have caused billions of dollars in damage. An enlightened policy would have put those dollars to some good use like research on energy efficiency or helping clean technologies. But world leaders are too busy to take care of their own narrow short term agendas.

Now President Obama might make some cosmetic changes to US climate change policies by passing tougher emission norms for polluting power plants. Despite being the richest economy in the world, the US still relies on dirty coal power for meeting a large percentage of its needs. The EPA has put in some rule whereby the coal plants have put better emission equipment, but a lot more needs to be done. I don’t think Obama will do enough to make a material change. The Shale Gas Revolution has made USA even more fossil fuel friendly, than before. The Democrat administration remains as corporate and oil friendly as the Republican one. Some of the major coal dependent utilities like Southern Power, Duke Energy might suffer from this, however global warming will continue at a rapid pace.

The poor countries in Africa and Asia will suffer from the worst effects of the extreme weather as they do not have enough resources to adjust to the climate change. The richer countries need to do much more to fight global warming. However the right wing capitalists such as Koch brothers will fight climate change regulations tooth and nail. The citizens of the Earth might face untold tales of suffering due to drastic disasters caused by floods, droughts, increased sea levels etc.

Climate Changed Already

The weather conditions have become extreme in many parts of Asia and Europe. While the global temperatures this year are said to be the highest since records were kept, devastating climate conditions have affected different parts of the world. It reads straight out of an Global Warming Disaster 101. Global Wheat and Rice Prices have increased dramatically as a Record Drought Affects Russia. China and Pakistan are seeing devastating floods which have displaced millions besides endangering the fragile Pakistani Economy. While  the anti Climate Changers will say that it has nothing to do with human induced carbon emissions, there is still nothing to prove that it is not so. Doomsday scenarios projected by the end of the century if global temperatures increase by more than 2 Degrees Centigrade are playing out right now.

1. Pakistan’s Economy in Peril, Food Fears for Survivors of Worst Flood in last 80 Years

IMF said that the already weak Pakistani Economy would be devastated by the Floods which are said to be the worst in the last 80 years. These floods have affected almost 4 million people and killed 1500. 80% of the food reserves have been destroyed raising dangers of a famine like situation for the beleaguered survivors. Government Relief Efforts have been ineffectual with President Zardari facing criticism over touring UK during this crisis.

2. Russia faces Record Droughts and Forest Fires

Russia banned the exports of Wheat as a Record Drought is expected to curtail sharply the Wheat Production in the country. This has led to a 100% increase in Wheat Prices over couple of months in 2010-2011. Meanwhile Moscow residents ran away form the city as smoke from the Forest Fires makes living dangerous. The death rate has doubled in the city as Moscow sees unheard of temperatures of 35 C plus. This is in keeping with what the climate scientists have  predicted that Food Prices will rise and Climate Refugees increase manifold due to Global Warming.

3. China sees more than 1000 deaths from Floods and LandslidesChina has seen hundreds of deaths from landslides and floods. This has sent the prices of rice soaring and made pork expensive. The floods have affected large parts of Asia with a Flash Flood in Leh, India leading to around 140 deaths. These conditions have not been attributed to climate change but the extreme weather conditions do point to a strong possibility that Global Warming is already happening.

4. Ice island four times the size of Manhattan breaks off from one of Greenland

A Massive Chunk of Ice has broken off Greenland’s 2 glaciers which is the biggest such piece in the last 50 years. The chunk measures 260 sq km in area and has the height of half the size of Empire State Building. Arctic Ice breaking off due to Global Warming has been sufficiently researched into but Greenland’s record has only been kept since 2003. Again this will make the anti climate change camp say that it may be just a coincidence.


President Obama is preparing regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, senior officials said Wednesday. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step he could take and one likely to provoke legal challenges from Republicans and some industries.Electric power plants are the largest single source of global warming pollution in the country, responsible for nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. With sweeping climate legislation effectively dead in Congress, the decision on existing power plants — which a 2007 Supreme Court decision gave to the executive branch — has been among the most closely watched of Mr. Obama’s second term.The administration has already begun steps to restrict climate-altering emissions from any newly built power plants, but imposing carbon standards on the existing utility fleet would be vastly more costly and contentious.

“The grim alternative affects all nations — more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise,” Mr. Obama said. “This is the global threat of our time.”Last year, the E.P.A. proposed greenhouse gas regulations for new power plants that would essentially ban the construction of any additional coal-fired plants.The administration has been quietly stitching together a suite of global warming policy measures for the president to unveil this summer to make good on promises in his election night acceptance speech, his second Inaugural address and his State of the Union address.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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