Yale Environment 360, 20 JAN 2009:
President Barack Obama mentioned environmental issues prominently in his inaugural address, promising to play a leading international role in fighting global warming, to develop renewable energy and wean the U.S. from foreign oil, and to encourage Americans to end profligate consumption of natural resources. While the speech did not set forth specific proposals, it signaled a 180-degree turn from the environmental and energy policies of the Bush administration. "With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to... roll back the specter of a warming planet," the 44th president said. Indicating that the move to renewable energy will be a centerpiece of his economic program, Obama warned that "each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet," adding, "We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We will restore science to its rightful place... We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories." The new president repeatedly called on Americans to sacrifice and act responsibly, including more wisely using natural resources. "And to those nations like ours that enjoy relative plenty," Obama said, "we say we can no longer afford indifference to suffering outside our borders; nor can we consume the world's resources without regard to effect. "