This was an interesting week for the climate change movement. The Maldives government announced a plan to go under the sea before the sea goes over them, responsible American businesses kept pushing the Obama administration to act, and the president came out with how the federal government will do its part. The week certainly ended with a bang as President Obama was announced as the 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate. For that see our earlier post, for the rest keep on reading.
"No Impact Man" Colin Beavan ended up making a huge impact last night on The Colbert Report. Stephen is a tough interviewer and tried his best to nail Colin, but he more than held his own and got across his message of sustainable living and the need to confront the climate crisis effectivel. Not to mention that he looked pretty sharp wearing his 1Sky t-shirt!
At 5 a.m. eastern standard time Friday morning, the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded President Obama the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee's chairman, Thorbjoern Jagland was quoted in this morning's Washington Post with their reasoning:
Jagland specifically cited Obama's speech about Islam in Cairo last spring, as well as efforts to address nuclear proliferation and climate change and use established international bodies such as the United Nations to pursue his goals. The committee -- made up of luminaries selected by the Norwegian government -- noted a profound shift in U.S. policy and said Obama had "created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play." (emphasis added)
Accepting the award earlier today, the President referred to it as "a call to action" and specifically singled out climate change as one of the challenges that all nations must meet in the 21st century:
We cannot accept the growing threat posed by climate change, which could forever damage the world that we pass on to our children -- sowing conflict and famine; destroying coastlines and emptying cities. And that's why all nations must now accept their share of responsibility for transforming the way that we use energy.
While some have expressed surprise about this award less than a year into Obama's first term, the Nobel Prize was clearly awarded partly on the promise of his work on major international issues as well as his demonstrated commitment to good-faith international partnerships. It is essential that President Obama fulfills that promise by working to pass strong climate change legislation in the Senate and personally going to December's UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Let's send the President a message urging him to fulfill that promise.