Obama on Climate Change: The Trends Are ‘Terrifying’

In an exclusive interview with The New York Times, President Barack Obama speaks to his legacy on climate change while visiting Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama flew to Midway Atoll to draw a nation and a world’s attention to the fight to curb growing climate change. Obama has seen the charts and graphs of a warming planet, 

“What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” he said. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

Hirschfeld, Landler, and Davenport write, “Climate change, Mr. Obama often says, is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. More than health care, more than righting a sinking economic ship, more than the historic first of an African-American president, he believes that his efforts to slow the warming of the planet will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency.

During his seven and a half years in office, Mr. Obama said, a majority of Americans have come to believe “that climate change is real, that it’s important and we should do something about it.” He enacted rules to cut planet-heating emissions across much of the United States economy, from cars to coal plants. He was a central broker of the Paris climate agreement, the first accord committing nearly every country to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

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