Sunday, February 6, 2011

Obama's Environmental Concerns

Perhaps one of the most terrifying issues facing the world right now is environmental sustainability. This is an issue that can not be resolved unless the entire WORLD is working together. One country's pollution and over consumtion effects the rest of the world.President Obama's determination to bring the U.S back into the international, environmental fold has been inspiring to say the least. His willingness to tackle such a daunting and complex crisis is a testament to his extreme amount of motivation and leadership qualities. During his campaign, Obama talked about ways to create new "green" jobs intended to revamp the country's energy economy and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. Using his ability to persuade and influence followers, along with his capacity to structure social interaction systems to support the goal at hand, Obama signed into action many new environmental acts and policies.  One of which being...

The "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" included "$80 billion dollars in the generation of renewable energy sources, expanded the capacity for manufacturing "green" technology, advanced vehicle and fueling technologies, and started the creation of a bigger, better electrical grid." All of these measures are steps in the right direction to further our efforts of saving this "planet in peril", as the president mentioned in his speech on election night.

Another great example of Obama's exemplary leadership is when he signed an executive order on federal sustainability. Leading by example, Obama committed the Federal government to "reduce its carbon emissions by 28% by 2020, increase energy efficiency, and reduce fleet petroleum consumption." By holding his "organization", the Federal Government, along with himself responsible for his environmental agenda, he showed the American people that this is a group effort. Furthermore, by showing the rest of the world that the U.S is taking the issues of environmental sustainability and climate change seriously, now we can all start working together to help solve this global crisis. 

Do you think the American government has done enough to show the extreme gravity of this environmental crisis?

Does America do enough to keep up with other "green" countries like Switzerland or Sweden? Why or Why not? link to Newsweek's 'World Greenest Countries" list. 

Jarett Diederich


  1. I think Obama is on the right track, but he still has a long way to go. Harvard Professor John Kotter argues that creating a sense of urgency is the first step towards leading change, and I would argue that the American public does not have any urgency on the topic of environmental sustainability at the moment. When people are not in crisis mode, they tend to be complacent and rather change-averse, and that is where the American public stands right now on this topic. President Obama should find a very public way to emphasize the importance of environmental sustainability and strive to implant that vision in the public's hearts and minds.

    -Jonathan Lucento

  2. Jonathan I agree 100% with your comment about how American people are currently complacent which therefore leads to being change-averse. We as a country continue to sit by and make minimal changes while other countries (China, Russia, and others) have been open minded to unconventional ideas and have tried to push the limits in terms of sustainability. Unfortunately, it seems as if the only way the American public or our government will take any action will be if we experience some major energy crisis. While an energy crisis seems inevitable with our dependency on oil and our out of control usage, no one seems to know when this crisis will actually happen. This is a time when our government needs to acknowledge the facts and lead the way in sustainability instead of waiting for something to happen that will cause the public to put enough preasure on them. Instead of having to create a sense of urgency, our government officials should act like the leaders we elected them to be.

    Dan Salsinger