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Trees Are Our Climate Saviors - so Stop Logging on Public Land

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page.

"Climate change is a fact," President Obama said in his State of the Union address on January 28, 2014, "and when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say, 'Yes, we did.'" In the speech, he also talked about using his authority "to protect more of our pristine federal lands for future generations."

The President has taken helpful actions to address the climate crisis, including tightening standards on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and vehicle fuel efficiency. His environmental record is checkered, however. Only two years ago, he said, "... I've directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We're opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We've quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We've added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some."

Author and environmentalist Bill McKibben, reflecting on the President's remarks, said, "He will be remembered, at the moment, as the president who produced more carbon than anybody thought possible, unless he begins to act now with real power."

At this point, it is questionable whether President Obama could honestly tell his grandchildren he did all he could to fix the climate crisis. But, from this point forward, he could start doing all he can: by simultaneously curtailing combustion-based energy, promoting clean energy, increasing energy conservation and efficiency, and preserving forests.

He could combine his aspirations for climate protection and land protection by stopping commercial logging on federal lands so forests can capture more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. He could challenge state and local governments to follow suit.   
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