Global Politics

Mobilizing to combat climate change

Obama, FDR�two names that are often linked, because both took office at a time of economic crisis. But that analogy has another dimension: an industrial challenge. Roosevelt rapidly overdid U.S. industry to win World War II, Obama wants to change American industry to battle global warming. This analyst says it's important to remember that FDR wasn't effective at mobilizing for the war until outside forces came into play. It was a catastrophic event that finally got the U.S. to enter WWII. So can Obama mobilize the U.S. to launch a full scale assault on global warming or will it take a climate disaster to affect public opinion? This analyst hopes it doesn't come to that. But what about a smaller disaster like a severe drought, or another bad year for hurricanes? This analyst says the cause and effect are harder to attach with smaller disasters though, so this analyst says the U.S. can't wait for a big event to affect change. But where is the tipping point for climate change? Despite report after report, environmentalists say the world has yet to wake up to the environmental crisis we face, and the economic crisis hasn't helped. This analyst says when short term problems occur, it makes it less likely for people to focus on longer term problems. That brings us back to FDR: he mobilized the industrial base to fight the war which also helped the recession. But he also had an advantage: he articulated a clear goal. So the problem remains: when does one claim victory over climate change?

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