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Obama: To deny climate change ‘betrays spirit of this country’ – UN deal ‘has the promise to save this planet’

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President Obama touted his climate change policies during his farewell address Tuesday, and said we must keep the momentum going.

“In just eight years, we’ve halved our dependency on foreign oil, doubled our renewable energy, and led the world to an agreement that has the promise to save this planet,” Obama said, referring to the Paris Agreement. “Without bolder action, our children won’t have time to debate the existence of climate change; they’ll be busy dealing with its effects — more environmental disasters, more economic disruptions, waves of climate refugees seeking sanctuary.” While it’s important to “argue about the best approach to solve this problem,” Obama said that to “simply deny the problem not only betrays future generations, it betrays the essential spirit of this country, the essential spirit of innovation and practical problem solving that guided our founders.”

The president believes that American tenacity is what will help us solve climate change and other major issues, “that spirit born of the Enlightenment that made us an economic powerhouse. The spirit that took flight at Kitty Hawk and Cape Canaveral, the spirit that cures disease and put a computer in every pocket. It’s that spirit, a faith in reason and enterprise and the primacy of right over might that allowed us to resist the lure of fascism and tyranny during the Great Depression.” This is the spirit that “allowed us to build a post-World War II order with other democracies,” Obama continued, “an order based not on just military power or national affiliations, but built on principles of the rule of law, human rights, freedom of religion and speech and assembly, and an independent press.” Catherine Garcia

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