By Peter H. Gleick
As President Obama begins his second term, there is a growing realization of the need, both in the United States and globally, to shift our energy system from a reliance on fossil fuels toward renewable sources of energy. This transition has been a long time coming, and it will take a long time to complete, but it is both inevitable and necessary if we are to have any chance of reducing the likelihood of disastrous global climate change.
The president clearly acknowledged the problem in his inaugural speech, when he said,
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We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy