Earlier this week, President Obama invited several meteorologists to the White House for exclusive interviews on the climate change report that the administration released earlier in the week. The president summed up the importance of the situation with one simple phrase: "it's hard to put a genie back in the bottle."
This particular interview was conducted by meteorologist Jeff Renner of Seattle's KING-TV. Renner asked Obama how his being a parent affects his perspective on climate change.
"I want to make sure that my children and my grandchildren are able to enjoy a beautiful day like today; that they're not living in a more dangerous world. [...] This is one of those things that is very difficule to recover from. Once we hit a certain tipping point, we don't know exactly how certain weather patterns could end up resulting in catastrophe. It's hard to put a genie back in the bottle."
Obama went on to say that the report emphasizes that the problems posed by climate change are not issues of the future — the changes are presenting themselves now.
- An increase in the average global temperature each decade since the 1950s.
- An increase in the number of heavy precipitation events in the United States.
- Observed sea level rises of one to two feet along the northeastern United States.
- The hottest days are getting hotter.
The list of impacts goes on, and it's getting harder for climate change deniers to deny it. Time will tell if the report will nudge policymakers into action.