Fueling the Future

Clean Energy, Climate Security, and Sustainable Development. Remarks to the Harvard University Center for the Environment

Earlier this month, John D. Podesta, President and CEO of the Center of American Progress, delivered remarks to the Harvard University Center for the Environment. His speech focused on fuels as a growing factor in our climate, security, and development policy. Podesta traced the history of energy consumption and outlined progressive alternatives to fossil fuels, such as biofuels. The point was clear: fuel sources for our industrial economies are not only the greatest threat to our environment but also one of the greatest threats to the welfare of the poorest people on earth. Podesta’s speech tackled that problem.

Here is an excerpt:

Soon, science suggests we will be powerless to do anything about it. Because when it comes to climate change, we are quickly approaching what is known as “a tipping point”— where our continued pollution will render catastrophic climate change inevitable and its impact on the poor irreversible.

In sum: climate change is real; it is occurring; and it is caused mainly by the developed world’s burning of antiquated fuel sources—the same sources that are inaccessible, unaffordable and producing poverty in developing nations.

And the situation is only worsened by our President’s denial. For the past five years, President Bush has governed in what appears to be a fact free zone—refusing to cut emiss and choosing to formulate policy around special interests rather than scientific evidence.

Read the full text of John Podesta’s remarks (PDF)