On Monday, President Obama took the oath of office and delivered his second inaugural address. Many expected an optimistic, bipartisan appeal, similar to his speech in 2008. Instead, he came out of his corner swinging, directly addressing a number of progressive goals. He became the first president to mention gay Americans in an inaugural address, he defended the social safety net, and, to the surprise of many (including me) he devoted seven whole sentences to climate change.
"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 sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God."