Mr. President: 5 Ways to Salvage Your Environmental Legacy (and Our Future)
Few things distract our nation like the selection of its leader. But while we were obsessing over polls, swing states and Paul Ryan's workout photos, the calculus that determines the future of life on Earth only got grimmer.
The climate crisis is deepening, rare plants and animals are vanishing at an accelerating clip, and politicians -- well supported by the polluter class -- are freshly emboldened to chip away at laws that protect our water, air, environment and wildlife.
To be blunt, when it came to tackling the most important environmental issues of our age, President Obama's first term was a disappointment. He has a chance to salvage his legacy (and ours) in his second term. Here are the five places to start:
1. Address climate change and ocean acidification. There's no crisis bigger than the one that's rapidly transforming the world's climate and oceans. We need to fix this, and fast. 2012 is on track to become the warmest year on record; some 40,000 temperature records have been shattered in the United States this year, while Arctic sea ice has melted to a record low.