So, the 44th president of the United States has spoken. And what he said will please many supporters of science. Likewise, without explicitly mentioning the environment, president Barack Obama made it clear in his inaugural address today that the US needs to tackle global warming and switch to renewable sources of energy.
The speech will also please internationalists who feel that the US has lost touch with the rest of the world. Significantly for a US president, but less surprising given his African heritage, Obama called on Americans to reach out to and help the world’s poorest citizens, clearly referring to the humanitarian and agricultural crises in parts of Africa.
But the nod to open science will be most welcome, given the political and ideological interference of his predecessor, who obstructed stem cell research and only grudgingly accepted that humans are driving climate change.
“We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology’s wonders to raise health care’s quality and lower its cost,” said Obama.
In his next sentence, he committed Americans to break their love affair with oil. “We will harness the Sun and the winds and soil to fuel our cars and run our factories,” he said.