Tom Friedman: Obama Interview on Climate and National Security

June 9, 2014

As Friedman mentions, this is the President’s first full-length interview on climate, wherein he “renames Green”, from “girly-man, unpatriotic, and vaguely French”, to “geostrategic, geo-economic, innovative, and patriotic”.

My frustration is that this will air in entirety only on Showtime for now.

According to Huffington Post, Friedman asked whether Obama ever wants to “go off” on climate change deniers in Congress:

“Yeah, absolutely,” the president said with a laugh. “Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us. … We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling. … The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces. The good news is that the public may get out ahead of some of their politicians” — as people start to see the cost of cleaning up for hurricanes like Sandy or the drought in California — and when “those start multiplying, then people start thinking, ‘You know what? We’re going to reward politicians who talk to us honestly and seriously about this problem.’”

The president added: “The person who I consider to be the greatest president of all time, Abraham Lincoln, was pretty consistent in saying, ‘With public opinion there’s nothing I cannot do, and without public opinion there’s nothing I can get done,’ and so part of my job over these next two and a half years and beyond is trying to shift public opinion. And the way to shift public opinion is to really focus in on the fact that if we do nothing our kids are going to be worse off.”


2 Responses to “Tom Friedman: Obama Interview on Climate and National Security”

  1. jimbills Says:

    Mmm. We’re really lucky to have a leader willing to do his first full-length interview on climate change well into his second term on a subscription cable channel. It’s also good to know that until now, Greens have been vaguely French girly men – but with this interview, that has all changed.

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