‘You can lecture about climate change but he’s just trying to get to work…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Former President Barack Obama criticized President Donald Trump’s energy policies on Jan. 23, arguing that they make climate change an “almost impossible” problem to solve.
Speaking to the Economic Club of Canada and the Global Institute for Conscious Economics at the Metro Convention Centre in Toronto, Obama highlighted how the Trump administration has overturned much of his legacy, CTV News reported.
“I instituted higher fuel-efficiency standards on cars, and the subsequent administration has now tried to actively reverse them,” he said. “If we can’t even do that, where we’re going to say, ‘We’re not going to drive gas guzzlers’ when other countries don’t even have cars, then it’s going to be almost impossible to solve the problem.”
Obama praised the initiative of young people in advocating for government-mandated solutions to climate change, while stating that a “surge of energy” will be necessary to prevent further carbon dioxide emissions.
“Which is why you have somebody like a Greta Thunberg who gets so much traction,” he said. “Because she speaks for a generation that is going to have to deal with this mess in a way that somebody like me, who’s 58, is not going to have to deal with it.”
Obama said environmentalists should listen to the concerns of average citizens when discussing the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, Newsweek reported.
He told a hypothetical story about the problems with addressing climate change.
“The reason it’s hard is because there’s a guy somewhere in Canada just like there is in the United States who is a good man, who has to drive 50 miles every day to his job to support his family,” Obama said. “And he’s got an old pickup truck, and he can’t afford a Prius. There’s no mass transit to his job. And gas prices matter to him because it might make the difference between whether or not he can save for his kid’s college education.”
“You can lecture about climate change but he’s just trying to get to work,” he continued. “And if you are dismissive of his legitimate specific concerns about supporting his family, then he is going to tune you out, regardless of the science of climate change.”
Obama said that developed countries such as the United States will have to assist developing countries so that they can “leapfrog our development models.”
If developing countries can bypass their own industrial eras, then they will have to burn fewer fossil fuels.
“We have to figure out how do we give them the opportunity to enjoy a reasonable standard of living while still preserving the environment,” he said.
He cited China as a developing nation that is environmentally conscious, but the Communist nation is increasing its coal usage.
“The Chinese government, even though it’s not a democracy, became sensitive enough to the potential political instability of this environmental crisis that they said, ‘It makes sense for us to sign up,'” he said, in opposition to the facts.