Ah, Earth Day. The perfect time to throw some jam-band vinyl on the record player, get out those old hemp necklaces, and pay a visit to the local farmers' market. And if you're in South Florida, to spend a few moments pondering how mankind's wanton destruction of its planet will swamp us all in rising sea levels in just a few short decades.
To help with that merry occasion, President Barack Obama is jetting to Miami this week. He'll visit the Everglades on Earth Day (which is Wednesday, in case you haven't marked it in green on your calendar) to highlight the risks of climate change.
Obama announced the trip Saturday during his weekly address. "On Earth Day, I'm going to visit the Florida Everglades to talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy," Obama said. "[It] can no longer be denied — or ignored. The world is looking to the United States, to us, to lead."
OK, talking about sea-level rise in Miami isn't the most uplifting way to come down off your 4/20 high. But Obama plans to highlight the success his administration has had in slicing into carbon production.
"We've committed to doubling the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China has committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions," he said.
Besides, if you really want an Earth Day downer, just take a look at the GOP presidential field, in which every potential candidate (barring New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie) refuses to admit climate change is accepted science.
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Though Jeb Bush took some steps toward mending fences with environmentalists this weekend by at least pledging to continue working on carbon reduction, his fellow Miami contender, Marco Rubio, is a flat-out flat-earther when it comes to manmade global warming and sea-level rise.
Rubio reiterated on CBS News yesterday that he doesn't believe in climate change, telling Bob Schieffer: "I believe the climate is changing because there's never been a moment where the climate is not changing." He also said he doesn't believe scientists know what policies like carbon reduction would do for the climate.
So instead of despairing on Earth Day, Miamians, let's be thankful that — for at least one more year — there's a guy in the White House who at least believes in science.