By Jack Karsten, PISA Staff Assistant
“No challenge poses a greater threat”
In his seventh State of the Union address, President Obama framed his discussion of climate change in terms of challenges and opportunities. In particular, he emphasized the long-term threats presented by climate change and the steps that the United States had already taken to mitigate these threats. This is a source of tension between Democratic and Republican lawmakers, making it more difficult to enact new policies nationwide. The major point of conflict is the impact of human activity. The president referenced findings by scientists at NASA, NOAA, and major universities that link rising global temperatures to human activity. Days after the speech, the Senate voted for the first time to recognize that climate change is real, a sign that lawmakers from both parties have found some common ground on the issue. In spite of political disagreements, developments since the State of Union show opportunities for advancing climate policy.