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December 14th, 2009
12:00 PM ET

Explorer weighs in on climate debate from Antarctica

Editor’s note: Arctic explorer Eric Larsen is trying to make it to the North and South Poles and the summit of Mount Everest in 365 days as part of an effort to raise awareness about climate change. Larsen joined us on American Morning before he set out on his Save the Poles expedition. Below is an excerpt from his online journal.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Larsen’s crew skiing across Antarctica. Courtesy: Eric Larsen, Save the Poles.."]

By Eric Larsen

On Tuesday, the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute released a report demonstrating that President Obama has clear legal authority to commit the United States to reducing greenhouse gas pollution.

The report, titled “Yes, He Can: President Obama's Power to Make an International Climate Commitment Without Waiting for Congress”, concludes that the President need not wait for Congress to act before taking strong action to reduce U.S. emissions.

The report was released at an event hosted by Greenpeace at the conference site. The take away: President Obama's hands are not tied by Congress's lack of action or the grossly inadequate cap-and-trade bills currently under debate. President Obama can lead, rather than follow, by using his power under the Clean Air Act and other laws to achieve deep and rapid greenhouse emissions reductions from major polluters. The Constitution and existing domestic environmental laws give President Obama all the power he needs to join with other nations in making a real commitment to solve the climate crisis.

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Filed under: Environment • Eric Larsen
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. A. Smith, Oregon

    There is certainly a crisis on the way the Global Climate previously was, the question now before us is where the Global Climate is headed now?

    Where is the new equatorial belt going to be?

    How far will the earths poles and tilt to the sun, shift when the massive polar ice packs melt?

    Florida is a mere 30 foot above sea level, most of New York city's power and water lines are below sea level. Neither can presently withstand large increases in Ocean sea levels.

    When the earths core reaches thermal saturation, Volcano's will begin venting magma to release the excess energy and blasting ton's of rock dust into the earth's stratosphere resulting in a significant cooling period. Everyone living in the volcanic ring of fire would certainly be effected in some fashion.

    America has a super volcano near ole' faithful, perhaps the nay sayers should buy up land within 500 miles of that location.

    December 15, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  2. ronvan

    Once again a subject of great importance to ALL of us! If all of this is true, personally I do think we are damaging our planet, why is it that we cannot get ALL of these experts together, pro & con, to argue out, prove or disprove, and then move on? If this is not a fact then no worries! If this is true then waiting until the last minute could end life as we know it!
    Time to "GET IT ON" and shut up the ones spouting lies!

    December 15, 2009 at 9:24 am |
  3. Ric Hartung

    I do believe to some degree that man made pollution is causing a climate change though I think it is much smaller than most think. I'm a scientist and I believe most data that I have seen would point to change. However, I don't think we have thought out what we can or need to do about it. First of all we need to ask if the process is reversible i.e. is reducing the amount of co2 going to help reduce any trend? Is the amount of c02 reductions going to reduce any increase in temperature? Are there any methods to reduce the effects of the co2 in the atmosphere or even if we stopped today would temperatures continue to increase if they truly are? If not, we need to ask why? If there are methods what are they and can we put our efforts into pursuing these instead assuming that we will continue to emit co2 even if we did a 50% reduction.
    We need to look at the whole picture and develop a plan based on all the truth not just the convenient or political ones! Let’s pursue common sense and not Al Gore’s approach of stupidity!

    December 15, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  4. jim vicalvi

    If you think obama's approval ratings are going down fast now, just have him implement the things that this biased, one-sided group of misfits want him to.

    December 15, 2009 at 7:10 am |
  5. Dan Tantalo

    OK...listen up. There is no climate crisis. The Climate is supposed to change. Think about it. It was warmer 900 years ago when the Vikings farmed in Greenland and the Chinese sailed around the North Pole. Look at how much the artic ice has expanded the last two years. Just listen to Al Gore and tell me he is not nuts. He burns more fossil fuels, eats more red meat, and lives in a house the size of a small motel...but he has the moral authority to tell me how to live????

    These people have taken a great "environmental" movement which is concerned with clean air, water, and protecting the land and turned it into a progressive machine bent on taking away individual God given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

    This is Global Warming Religion is not about protecting the environment, it is about a world government which takes the place of God (which ever God you believe in) in the order of divine power. God gives us human rights, we grant limited rights to government to protect us and provide fairness. It is not up to our president, or a world body, or a group of snake oil salesmen to dictate to us what we can eat, which car we drive, or how many children we choose have or not have. It's called Freedom!!!!!

    Time to wake up and recognize what is going on here. Speak up while you are still allowed to exhale CO2 🙂

    December 14, 2009 at 7:32 pm |