Jack Tame: Heat's on over climate change

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They love wars, those Republicans. Wars on Freedom. Wars on Jobs. Wars on Wars: everything's a war.

"New Email from Barack Obama"

No biggy. He emails me a few times a fortnight. I can assure you it has everything to do with my being his trusted and worldly confidante and nothing to do with my signing up to his website register last year.

"Jack," this email pleaded.

"Say you will."

"I need to know you'll fight alongside me."

The President explained he needed my help in what the Republicans had about half an hour earlier labelled the newfound "War on Coal".

They love wars, those Republicans. Wars on Freedom. Wars on Jobs. Wars on Wars: everything's a war.

Indeed though, this one kind of is: The War for Planet Earth. It's just that instead of Will Smith or Brad Pitt and guns and zombies, Captain Planet's the guy in the White House.

I was initially a bit miffed, of course, the President hadn't emailed me earlier.

Like, four years earlier. You know, when he first promised to champion reversing climate change. Instead, since assuming office, he has mentioned the topic only occasionally, dropping it into speeches like drips of sugar water to a desperate starving lab rat, while at the same time offering only pin-step improvements.

But at Georgetown University, as he read his climate change plan to the nation, I could see President Barack Obama was genuinely feeling the heat.

He smeared a glaze of sweat from his forehead. You just knew his back was drenched. I looked at his clinging shirt, the sweat gathering on his brows, and imagined a United States of America warmer by 3 or 5 degrees.

"Better late than never," I wanted to email him back.

"These regulations on coal power plants would be a positive start, and some of your other proposals will cut emissions as well. But if you really need me to fight alongside you, Mr President, you need to re-earn some trust.

"Trust, for me is even more than coal regulations, more than a 27-point plan. It's stopping a proposed pipeline that would stretch from Alberta to Nebraska, carrying Canada's tar sands to America's refineries. And in the next couple of months, Captain Planet, you have the power to make sure it never exists."

Building the Keystone XL would create thousands of jobs but symbolise a nation resigned to a fossil fuel future. To deny it would be a decent punch; the best of any US President in the climate change fight.

But hey! This is war.

"New Email from Jack Tame"

Get 'em in the guts, Bammy.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- Herald on Sunday

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