December 15th, 2008
01:32 PM ET

Global warming: What priority for Pres.-elect Obama?

Apparently, the world is rapidly running out of time to curb global warming. There is a sense among many in the scientific community that global warming is accelerating and becoming a crisis much earlier than expected.

After a meeting with former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore last week, President-elect Barack Obama said, "the time for delay is over, the time for denial is over." He went on to say that global warming is a matter of urgency and national security.

Arctic ice is melting so fast that some scientists predict the Arctic waters won't have any ice left during the summer of 2013. Some species are becoming extinct, carbon dioxide levels are already exceeding safe limits, according to some scientists, and the list goes on. What was predicted to be years and years away is now apparently just around the corner.

But in the midst of an economic crisis there may be limitations to Obama's urgent actions. And he has to get Congress to sign on too.

Here’s my question to you: Where does global warming stand on President-elect Obama’s priority list?

soundoff (129 Responses)
  1. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Rather high on his list. The use of Global Warming as a catalist for Alternative Energy and Green Tech will be a spring board to accomplish the goals the President Elect wants to achieve. More and more new jobs right in the US from Green Tech jobs and Alternative Energy.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:38 pm |
  2. don in naples, florida

    I don't think so. There is still a wealth of oil to pump from the earth, so until that runs out i think it will be business as usual.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:41 pm |
  3. Precious Coker

    Top 10 !!!

    December 15, 2008 at 1:42 pm |
  4. John in Arizona

    Fortunately, Obama doesn't look for simple solutions to complex problems. The new President will be proposing a comprehensive package of programs and initiatives that address the environment, energy issues, health care reform, the economy and 21st-century improvements to our infrastructure because they are all interconnected.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  5. Dee in Florida

    I hope it is fairly high on his list of things to address.

    And, I am confident that he is smart enough to see that global warming does NOT mean that summers will be hotter immediately, or that very cold winters mean it is not happening. I think he is smart enough to realize that global warming is an overall increase in the temperature of the earth, and not just one hot day in July.

    I also think he is smart enough to realize that ALL future generations may depend on what we do today to address this problem.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  6. Cori from Colorado

    Jack, this is a global problem, not just one Obama has to resolve. We all understand that this issue is very important for the whole world, but with our multitude of current problems on hand, I can't see how this would be at the top of his list.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:51 pm |
  7. erico mb 33139

    From the way it looks, with our economy in shambles, global warming will have a low priority in Obama's to do list.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:53 pm |
  8. Neatha from Kansas City

    While is needs to be a top priority, I don't see how you can get that much stuff done in a short amount of time. I think he will put a great team in place and then allow them to deal with the issue.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:56 pm |
  9. Billy G in Las Vegas

    considering the current economic crisis, I think that global warming will probably become a "back burner" issue early in Obama's presidency although he may use it as a reason for building a wind and solar electric power infrastructure as part of his proposed "21st Century New Deal" projects.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:57 pm |
  10. Jason, Koloa, HI

    Global warming is issue number one in combination with the economy. By creating millinos of green collar jobs, Obama can begin to heal the economy while taking on global warming simultaneously. Obama can use his mandate to shift the wealth and power away from fossil fuel industries to greener ways of producing energy. This is not hard at all, we just needed to get the oil-puppet Republicans out of the way. All they ever represented was the interests of big oil, not the citizens of this country.

    December 15, 2008 at 1:58 pm |
  11. Tom, Avon, Me, The Heart of Democracy

    If it wasn't, he wouldn't be seeking the counsel of Al Gore. There is Global unanimity about the urgency of the problem. Obama isn't stupid and he isn't a person who wastes time. The whole reason he is risking his life to provide America leadership is crisis issues like Climate Change.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm |
  12. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I would imagine global warming would be a top priority as it is a critical matter. Although ignored by some there is proof of the serious damage it is doing to our invironment and immediate steps must be taken to help resolve this.
    The first thing he will have to do is reverse Bush's executive orders eliminating the needed restrictions. As with everything else, this will not happen overnight, but we at least will have a president who cares.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:02 pm |
  13. Kel in Auburn, AL

    I think President-Elect Obama has a lot of priorities.. Although global warming has been eclipsed by the survival of the American economy, I think once we are economically stable and beginning to flourish once again, he'll start placing heavy emphasis on global warming, renewable energy, and alternative fuels.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:03 pm |
  14. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I think it is important to him, but Bush has made such a mess of the economy that everything else will be shifted to the back burner until we see some progress on that front.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:06 pm |
  15. Nuria

    I think it needs to stand at the top of his list of things to do. He has 8 years of the current administration's neglect and downright war against nature to make up for.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  16. Terry from North Carolina

    What isnt a priority for this poor guy taking over a government thats in chaos. Global warming is a priority only after the economy, if we cant feed ourselves what difference does it make.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm |
  17. John in Rohnert Park

    I think it is extremely important to HIM. However, sadly right now "MONEY" (or the lack of same) is the priority for too many in this country and they are going to force him to deal with this before we worry about little things like having a planet left to live on. It says something very sad but revealing about us. It says our money is more important to us than anything God gave us.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  18. Roger from Espanola, New Mexico

    I'm sure that many will say global warming is not a priority, and others might say that the we'll never change it! However, someone needs to make this issue a priority and help to get the world wake up to the fact that if together, we don't do something to stop man made global warming, we won't have much of a future to worry about!

    December 15, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  19. Ray in Nashville


    It will be high up there because it is the one area where he can focus on that will pacify the liberals in his party. Of course, nothing tops the economy on the priority list, but a larger focus on global warming and energy will feed the democratic base.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  20. Suzanne Jupiter, FL

    It will be a top priority in the Obama administration. After eight years of a "do nothing" and ignore the climate crisis, I predict this president will make huge inroads to dealing with the climate crisis.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:24 pm |
  21. Robby

    He needs to work on the task of getting American a decent paying job if the Republicans are willing to pay a decent wage to us and then while creating these jobs he can fix our energy problems.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  22. Paulette,Dallas,PA

    I'm certain it is on his list but after: the economy;two wars;homeland security;health care; and education.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  23. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    From what Obama said during the campaign,I think it is in the top five.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  24. Susi Learn-Tucson, Az

    global warming-the whole ecology issue, should be our nation's number one priority.

    the issues of taxes, jobs, healthcare, abortion, etc., won't mean a thing if we don't have a place to live.


    December 15, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  25. Daniel Ambrose

    It's up there, but he has so much on his plate, that he is going to need a platter. I figure in my opinion that Global Warming ranks in the top 10 of his agenda.

    Daniel Ambrose,
    Atlanta, GA

    December 15, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  26. dave from Orlando

    I would think it ranks right in there with the economy.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  27. John, Fort Collins, CO

    I feel certain that in the course of thawing out the economy, global warming will be a top priority for Barack Obama. He has already proposed creating jobs to produce alternative, clean energy.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  28. Carol Fairview, Texas

    We don't know how Obama stands on anything yet. So far we have heard a lot of things that got him elected. Words mean very little. Action speaks volumes. Lets wait and see before we hypothecate on what we think he may do. I will get back to you in another 4 years.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  29. Mari Fernandez, Salt Lake City, Utah

    I believe that President-elect Obama will take Global Warming seriously, unlike the Bushies. They had their head in the sand.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  30. ST

    To be honest, I don't think it SHOULD be high on the list. Our economy is in shambles. We need to get that on track before we can worry about other things.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  31. dennis north carolina

    Top five subjects.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  32. Sherrol in Canada

    It had better be up there especially since he wants the big 3 bailed out and the emphasis he and everyone else is putting on 'GREEN' vehicles.

    December 15, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  33. Annie, Atlanta

    At the present rate of ice melt, it needs to be at or near the top. We also need to be concerned with the damage Bush can still do in the 36 days he has left. He’s the antithesis of “do no harm.”

    December 15, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  34. Richard B.C. Canada

    Patented technologies previously suppressed by corporate unwillingness to retool and new environmentally friendly innovations should be encouraged by the Obama Administration through conditional bailouts, tax incentives and special subsidies which create and keep manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

    Presidential support for a greener economy will lead the world to develop new energy conserving products and a more peaceful public image that should be a cornerstone for the Obama Administration.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  35. shobana in florida

    Global Warming will be the next highest agenda for President Elect Obama next only to the economic crisis. He needs to impetus a worldwide reaching program to stop Earth from the Ominous signs of the reduction of the Earth's Ozone layer because of global warming, its effects on the weather around the world. he should try and put an end to it asap.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  36. Jackie in Dallas

    It should be rather high, because it plays right into providing jobs in the energy industry, as well as actually possibly getting us into the Kyoto Accord. We don't have much more time to start setting things right before we start losing lots of things: valuable and vulnerable wildlife, highly populated land that will go underwater or face constant flooding from the rise in sea level due to polar melting, and the respect of a lot of other nations who see the danger and are trying to do something about it.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  37. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Global Warming may well be the best ruse Obama can use to inspire innovation in American technology and industry. With this innovation America can rebuild its manufacturing base.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  38. Roy - Chicago

    This priority goes hand in hand with the auto industry bailout as an opportunity to change that industry has presented itself. Green technology also creates jobs and will provide windfalls to those who perfect the technology first.
    However, Obama's biggest challenge may be convincing the people who have been following Bush's last 8 years (including Sarah Palin) that there really IS a global warming issue!!

    December 15, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  39. Richard of Enoch, Utah

    I believe it is pretty high on his list. He wants the country to move in a green direction. I am sure that there are alot of people that are thinking, the gas prices are going down, why move to alternatives. These gas prices are not going to last and if we don't start moving green now, it will just make things harder later on. I have confidence in our President Elect.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  40. John in Santa Barbara, CA

    This is an earth problem. This will take every country on earth to help resolve. Obama needs to focus on getting that coalition together.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  41. Janis, Lafayette, IN

    It is one of his top 10 priorities. One can tell that by the comprehensive, green-based energy package he has been talking about for the last 2 years. His selection of Chu is evidence of his commitment to his energy and environmental policies.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  42. Ray Kinserlow

    Considering the disastrous consequences of failing to deal with global warming, I rather much hope it is of great importance to the Obama administration. Anyone who fails to believe in global warming is either a blind fool or a right wing politician or both.

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    December 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  43. odessa

    i think that obama has alot of main priorities for this country especially the economy..having a green economy would generate alot of business as well awarness when it to restoring our country..as long he takes cares of the main priorities, the rest will follow in the same path..obama isn't stuipd;we was stuck for having bush for eight years with no new ideas at all..obama is cool and smart young man..

    December 15, 2008 at 3:19 pm |
  44. wally Ruehmann las vegas nv

    i hope he gets it in gear because that global warming stuff isn't working down here in Vegas, it's freeze out there..

    December 15, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  45. Tom Tx

    I hope high priority.I just wish Al Gore would accept Interior Sec.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:22 pm |
  46. Kyle- DuPont, WA

    During the Cold War we used to call the U.S. President the "leader of the free-world". Now, as the leader of the nation that is the largest consumer of fossil fuels on the planet, he needs see himself as the leader of the "Green World" and accept the role as steward of the global ecology.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  47. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: Last I heard, President Elect Obama transferred that off of his list to the Oscar winning, nobel laurate and internet inventor Al Gore's list.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  48. Tripp Mechanicsburg, PA

    Obama can multi-task, unlike other administrations. Better yet, he can delegate. He selected an awesome staff to work full-time on global warming and energy. With the cooperation of Congress, the U.S. can finally set an example for the rest of the world to follow. Developing and sharing green technology with other nations, especially India and China, should take on greater emphasis than landing on the moon did.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  49. Beverley, Fredricksburg Va


    This is actually a 3 for 1 – get all the domestic vehicles off of oil and #1 Environment Improves #2 National Security improves and #3 Economy rebounds from all the new green jobs and taxes

    Am I the only one who sees it this way?

    December 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  50. Brian, Buffalo, NY

    Global warming has to be one of his top priorities. It is linked with his aim for eco-friendly power sources, the right direction for renewing the infrastructure and, following the latest report of acid rain effects in New England, the need for better emissions control. All of these are linked with the economy as well as getting people back to work, so he is unlikely to ignore Global warming.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:39 pm |
  51. Terry in Hanover County

    It's a high priority and one that he can use as a reason for creating new "green" jobs.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  52. Jay in Texas

    Global warming is probably higher on Obama's agenda than it deserves to be. It is below freezing right now here in central Texas and the weather is frigid while our last few summers have been much more moderate than anytime in my recent memory so, just like the fictional "oil shortage", I think global warming is a trumped up theory.
    Brownwood, Texas

    December 15, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  53. Doug (Ottawa)

    His priority should be to look at both sides of the man-made global warming issue.
    Since more and more accredited scientists are speaking out against it he needs to make sure that he is not just appeasing the Al Gores of this world.
    Mr. Obama is a smart man and he needs to appoint a blue ribbon panel of scientists from both camps to study this.
    Getting it wrong will make this economic crisis pale in comparison.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  54. Michael Odegard

    Its probably more important to him than it is to most of the people in Congress and the Nation.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  55. Jeff in Connecticut

    Disappointingly, since our corrupt & ineffective Congress allowed the treasonous, dishonest, lying, theiving, murderous, self-serving Bush administration to stay in power for as long as they did and so badly foul our economy & international standing, that issue will have to sit on the back burner for a while.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  56. NANCY M.- Colorado

    I'm so glad that we will have a president who will look at the big picture and be able to put all of the pieces together to make everything begin to work as it should. This, of course, will take a lot of re-structuring, rethinking, and redoing of all of the intertwined facets of our country. I think we have been blessed with the person who can actually do these things. Some things will have to go back to square one and start over properly.

    December 15, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  57. Judy, Exeter, Calif,

    Obama will give it a high priority. The truth is out. The scientists and environmental champions he has appointed will advise him accordingly

    December 15, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  58. justme

    His announced plicies and goals clearly reflect global warming is a top priority!!

    December 15, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  59. Will from San Jose

    Right now is a chance to use this countries uniquely entrepreneurial spirit to turn a our current security, economic, and environmental problems into a new opportunity.

    By investing in the construction of new green technologies we can create jobs while reducing our dependence on foreign oil and reducing our destruction of the environment.

    This country is always at it's best when we are finding innovative solutions to our problems.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  60. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    For Obama, and even more so for each of us, global warming must be the first priority. The greatest economy in the world, world peace, and all other issues mean nothing if we do not have a Planet.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:06 pm |
  61. I. B., Rocky Mount, North Carolina

    I hope environmental problems caused by global warming will be placed at the top of President-elect Obama's to-do list. However, it was Albert Schweitzer who said, "Man has lost the capacity to foresee and to forestall. He will end by destroying the earth." It is not just global warming that man has lost the capacity to foresee and forestall.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  62. David, Tampa, Fl

    Global warming is linked with energy and thus the economy. For us to reduce our carbon foot print we need to address our reliance on fossil fuels to generate power and and for transportation. We need to be doing something to develope technologies like wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and even nuclear, and that last one comes from a life member of the Sierra Club, that we have largely failed to do over the last 50 years. Many things we can do to reduce global warming will create new, better paying jobs and restore the vanishing middle class.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  63. tj TAMPA

    All he talks about is a green economy or green jobs.. Lets wait and see if congress gives him the green to make his vision a reality.. But, its at the top of his list along with job creation..

    December 15, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  64. Linda in Florida

    I believe that global warming is of the utmost important to Barack. However, in light of everything going on with the economy, it might have to take a back seat for a while, which is understandable. Everything he is inheriting from our current President is in such a shambles, his head must be spinning. I am glad the staff he has appointed so far is very experienced; they are going to need it and he is going to need them!

    December 15, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  65. Nicholas

    High on his list if he wishes to create new jobs

    December 15, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  66. Diane, Barneveld, NY

    Doesn't matter where it stands on Obama's list. If it isn't at the top of anyone else's list, especially Congress, it will go no where, no how, no way.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  67. Dan, Chantilly VA

    I think at this point, we can pretty much declare everything Obama faces as "high" priority. There isn't much that seems to be moving in the right direction.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  68. Darren

    If we don't change our behaviours in regards to Global Warming the North Pole will be melted in about 25 years and we'll see famine world-wide that'll take care of the overpopulation problem. President-elect Obama seems a lot smarter than his predecessor and he did promise change ... we'll see.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Jeff from Minnesota

    While it should be nearer the top, given our economic crisis there's not enough money to go around AND deal with global warming. There will still be steps taken, but I'm sure the tree hugger crowd will not be happy that more is not done. Unfortunately, feeding, clothing and sheltering our families is going to be more important than saving the planet.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  70. Ken in NC

    I hope it is high on his agenda but I suspect it is not as high now as it was in June.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:16 pm |
  71. Alan, Buxton Maine

    If global warming is a fact, and it seems to be, we may not survive the century as a species. I rather believe that it should be of utmost importance to correct the causes and institute a rational energy policy
    before it is too late to correct the situation.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  72. L.M.,Arizona

    Well let's see getting out of Iraq,disengaging from Afganistan,getting our economy reenergized,stopping our oil addiction,and taking care of our neglected roads,bridges,and etc. will probably take priorities and who knows in what order. So it is defintely on the short list but with the mess we are in who knows when things will get back to normal.


    December 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  73. Rachel Maldonado - Austin TX

    I dont believe the the topic "global warming" is top on most american's list of priorities. But I do believe that most American's want jobs. And if making America greener and more energy independant is what is going to give them jobs, that is what they care about.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:21 pm |
  74. Gigi in Alabama

    Hopefully it will be right up there with the economy, education and health care. If something is not done quickly, a hurricane like Katrina (or worse) will become commonplace. Those of us that live in the southeast can ill afford that type of weather year in and year out.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  75. Frann Altman in Los Angeles, CA

    Global green-ness is a world wide priority but he's got more on his plate than any President-elect in many many years. It's not about numbering issues, it's now about multi-tasking. Many things need attention at the same time. We saw the type of campaign he made possible through technology.

    One word: Multi-task.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:24 pm |
  76. Nancy, Tennessee

    "Killing two birds with one stone" is why global warming is at the top of the President-elects agenda. We get jobs and a more friendly environment from the creation of green jobs. He could use some more dual solutions for the long list of challenges he faces as President. He should be able to see daylight after a few years of digging out of the pile of rubble the Republican administration is leaving behind.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  77. Jennifer, Iron Mountain Michigan

    It is up there. This guy gets it. Hopefully the rest of America will jump on the bandwagon. My philosophy on global warming is this: If Global Warming is proven to be true, and the people of this good earth clean up their act, we will save our earth. If Global Warming is not caused by mankind and we cleaned up our earth... well, how is that a bad thing? Its like running around cleaning up the house because you think you are having company and they don't come, but now you have this wonderfully clean house all to yourself. Its all good.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  78. Tim

    It is priority one, two and three. The solution to global warming is a three-fer. Investing government funds into clean energy technology and the infrastructure for that technology will create jobs and stimulate the economy. It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and thereby be beneficial to National Security. And, we get a cleaner, greener, cooler planet.
    Tim in Texas

    December 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  79. Chuck

    It should be pretty high. I hope he doesn't wait for us to be hit with multiple category 5 hurricanes before he moves forward with taking steps to try to reverse global warming. He seems pretty intelligent and I think he will keep is word. I don't anticipate him having shoes thrown at him by the end of his second term...lol.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  80. Pat from Greensboro

    Economy first. National Security second. Global warming third.
    Then on the 7th day he can relax.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  81. Daniel, Indiana

    It should be mixed on the priority list with the economy. This should be viewed as part of the economic problems that we face and should be dealt with head on, no holds barred. This is of major importance to all citizens of the world and needs to be brought under as much control as we can manage.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  82. Chris from Buffalo, N.Y.

    Obama has to walk a tight line here. Any action he takes on global warming will surely stunt economic growth and the promise of economic growth is what put Obama in the White House. Also, the last thing our struggling automobile industry needs right now is added environmental regulations. They're having a hard enough time dealing with the ones already in place.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  83. Christopher in PA

    In my opinion there is no such thing as "global warming." I belive that the earth justs goes through a cycle and this is part of it. "Global warming" should be low on Obamas priority list.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  84. Michael watching from Canada


    What is more important than (1) creating jobs that produce non-carbon-based, non-ozone-generating fuels whilst developing alternative energy vehicles with zero emissions, (2) restoring the environment, and (3) becoming completely independent of oil controlling nations that support or are linked to militant radicalism and global terrorism?

    December 15, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  85. Jane (Minnesota)

    I would think it's a high priority. It has to be a global solution though – the US can't work on this alone. It should result in new technologies that create some badly needed jobs too.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  86. CJ in Atlanta, GA

    Ending our country's dependence on foreign oil can only be accomplished by reducing fossil fuel technologies and investing in "green" technologies. Not only will this help our national security and economy, it will help our environment and global warming. It's a win-win situation for our country!

    December 15, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  87. Jake, Oregon

    It's probably a bit further down the list since Bush has messed up so many other things. I suspect however he will try to reverse the most recent Bush Bungling with EPA regs, as soon as possible.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  88. Paul in Nevada

    We have to be realistic about this. In the next 4 or 8 years, Obama and his administration will not bring about a total green revolution. What WILL happen is that we will begin truly making the responsible first steps in the right direction regarding our planet, our lives and our livelihoods. Obama cannot do this alone. Americans and American business need to be responsible partners to bring this about.

    But it will be nice to have an administration that trusts science for a change.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  89. Dave in Saint Louis

    I hope not high! Number one priority is Economy and that is it.!

    December 15, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  90. Ben

    High priority. Fortunately he has the intelligence not to modify the science to suit his political views and he recognizes that this will not go away by ignoring it.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  91. Tom in Desoto, TX

    Very High. By appointing a scientist instead of a politician it demonstrates he is very serious.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  92. Diane Dagenais Turbide


    part of the spirit of the day came back and it is about a shoe afterall ...or should I say it came back with the news of Mr. CHU...!:) finally, science and innovation will be used >wisely> and will have an impact on changing all our own habits in many sectors of society.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  93. john ........ marlton nj

    Obama is fast becoming a combination between robin hood and the tooth fairy, prioritizing anything that presents an opportutnity to dole out money.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  94. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    First term but not first year.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  95. Paula (Indiana)

    It has to be a top priority and may just be a way to kill two birds with one stone. It he addresses global warming by creating new "green" jobs he will help the ecomony and the environment. If we don't address the problem... the legacy to our children will be extremely dismal.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  96. Frank from Peterborough

    It will be high on Obama's list but the destructive forces within the Republican Party will try and prevent as much progress in this area as is humanly possible.

    Remember most of these GOP morons still think or pretend to think the earth is only 6 thousand years old and possibly some still think it is flat.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  97. d

    Hopefully NOT as high as he would like. There are thousands of scientists who strongly disagree with Gore's version of Global Warming. I would hate to see we average people going broke paying in taxes for something that is a somewhat cyclical and natural occurance.

    December 15, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  98. Joe, Las Vegas (the dealer, not the plumber)

    Given the FACTS, a pretty big one. Not just for the environment, but for our health, our economy, and our national security.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  99. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Implementing the type of changes needed will cost the US economy trillions. I don't see any spare change laying around. Economic reality will stop any real effort.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  100. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    It may very well be at the top of his priorities, but with a Congress that is dedicated to partisan bickering and self survival we may never see any progress in our lifetime.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  101. Hylan Givot, Chicago, IL

    Well if all we are hearing about our planet being in peril is true and accurate then really he has no choice but to make global warming priority # 1

    December 15, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  102. g.eglesiaspennsylvania

    I think our economy should be number one on the priority list.. Bush and his wealthy wall street pals left our country bancrupt.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  103. Ralph Nelson

    Great News! The two go together, restoring the economy means green energy and green energy means jobs, jobs, jobs, and a reduction in global warming. This is the future, dudes. Happy days are here again. Oh, it 's Job 1 and priority 1. Ralph, Yakima, Wa.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  104. Pat (NC)

    I gassed up today for $1.51 a gallon. When will America wake up?
    The energy policy is clear. If Obama does the right thing and create a new economy FDR GREEN INITATIVE we will cimb our way back to leader of the world. If he vasilates and et's cheap gas and the minipulators of Oil win we will lose. I think it is essential to our survival economically as well as environmentally.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  105. Karl from Scottsdale

    Way toward the bottom; right after taxing cattle for "breaking wind", which is the more significant cause of global warming than people.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  106. Steve in Chaska

    As long as it creates jobs in OUR country for OUR citizens, then it should be high on list. Like top 5.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  107. Chris from Atlanta

    I'll put it to you this way, if global warming doesn't become one of the top 3 priorities, nothing else will matter. We will have killed ourselves off. People forget that the Earth is the only planet we have to inhabit. Folks had better look at the BIG PICTURE.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  108. David

    From New York, NY

    Towards the bottom. The fight against global warming is a wonderful battle cry during an election, but putting green into practice won't be his top priority.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  109. Jesse - AF in Germany

    A lot of people keep missing the connection between the environment, energy, and the economy. If the United States invests in new energy sources that happen to be eco-friendly (wind power, solar), then the environment begins to improve, the U.S. becomes energy independent, and many jobs are created to build a new energy infrastructure that will boost the economy.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm |
  110. Erin

    Jack, I think if nothing else, we need to set the standard. It's not bad enough that we fall behind in education in the sciences, but I believe the country has lost faith in the scientific community itself, no thanks to Bush. Thousands of scientists from all branches are confirming that climate change is having an effect in almost every aspect of our planet. It's time that convenience took a back seat to environmental consciousness. Even if the models are wrong, there's nothing wrong with taking care of where you live.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  111. Paul S. Bartholomew

    Global warming should be a priority, but unfortunately much like the economy our politicians won't move until it's an emergency. Usually that's after the damage is done.

    Perhaps expensive oil is a blessing in disguise.

    Levittown, PA

    December 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  112. Sam H.

    It should be in his top 5 for priorities. Helping to stop Global Warming can creates millions of Green Jobs and save our planet!

    December 15, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  113. Karen - Missouri

    It's high priority but I think dealing with our energy and jobs crises will also tackle some global warming problems at the same time. I don't think any of the problems (environment, national security, economy, energy) exists independently...they are all interrelated and solutions will address many at one time.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:49 pm |
  114. Tom

    Excuse me, but it has been getting colder since 1998. Wake up people – this is all about religion, politics and cold hard cash. Science left this discussion long ago. I can, without working up a sweat, construct a model, using United Nations temperature data that will show us all under 3 feet of ice by next July. My point being that it is all absurd.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  115. Steven Leibo Ph.D.

    The question of priorities misses the mark. It is quite clear that President-Elect Obama understands that dealing with climate change, our dependence on foreign oil and the current economic downtown while different in their origins are deeply linked in their solutions.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  116. Nathan in Chicago

    Brrrr...record cold days in the midwest really has middle America concerned about Global Warming!

    December 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  117. Cole

    Global warming is a top priority, along with every other issue we're currently facing right now. The fact is that they're actually all interconnected and incredibly complex. If and when Obama lays out his plan for global warming, I expect it to be so complex that it naturally includes job growth, reduction on foreign oil which means leaving the middle east, tax implications, etc... To say that these are all mutually exclusive is foolish.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  118. Janusz Karcz

    It should be top 3, not only because we need to do something about global warming; but going green, developing the technology, and leading the environmental movement will show the rest of the world that we care, and help remake our tattered world image.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:51 pm |
  119. Ron, Columbus, OH

    I think that it is high on his priority list. I hope that part of his infrastructure plan includes a rail system. We are one of the few developed countries in the world without decent passenger rail transport. The systems in Europe are excellent, convenient, much greener and more efficient than personal vehicles.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:52 pm |
  120. Derek

    "Some animals are becoming extinct..."

    Over 99% of all species to have ever existed on this planet have gone extinct, and believe it or not, humans weren't refining oil during a good number of those extinctions. Carbon dioxide has been proven to have risen in the past AFTER global temperatures rose, not before.

    "The list goes on" should read, "The list of unfounded conjecture and scaremongering goes on," coincidentally to the extreme financial benefit of - among many others - the Nobel Peace prize winner you referenced here.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  121. Sam from arizona

    Barack Obama has made it clear that the economie is his first priority. though he will have to take global warming in to consideration when dealing with the energy crisis.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:56 pm |
  122. Michael Shores

    I suspect that it is #3 behind the economy and the middle east, but ahead of health care.

    I really wish it was #1. What good would success on the higher priorities do if climate change trumps all the successes?

    December 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  123. Max, in St. Louis, MO

    As the next Ice age sets in how are we going to feed all the people of the World let alone all the refugees from Russia, Canada and the Northern United States We are less than 1,000 years from the next Glaciation according to Al Gores charts. Hopefully the higher CO2 will reduce the severity of the next Ice Age which should last only 50,000 to 100,000 years.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:57 pm |
  124. Sean

    The only way we're going to get off of oil is if the people in Washington stop regulating the energy and transportation markets, and allow competition.

    Every regulation that's in place has been sold to us as a way to protect us, the consumer but in reality they're real purpose is to remove competition and protect the politically connected energy and car market.

    A small group of people in Washington aren't smart enough to know where to spend our money and they're not going to be able to tax us to get us off coal and oil.

    We need the free market to work and get the people in Washington out of the way.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:58 pm |
  125. Daniel, San Diego, CA

    It seems to me that global-warming is of great concern to the president-elect. However, as is clearly appearent, the president can only do so much. The crisis is a problem that must be solved collectively, and the decree of a single man can only do so much. Conversely, change begins one person at a time, and we must all do our part to save the planet. Though our future looks dim, there is still a chance that we can turn humanity's moment of great peril, to humanity's finest hour.
    We are treading on thin ice, and that ice is only melting faster. The time to act is now.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  126. mbrom

    Number One.

    Simply put – if you don't have an environment then everything else is moot.

    Sure the economy is important, but how will you grow crops in a drought. Sure the auto industry is important but won't more jobs be lost if sea levels rise just a few feet and Manhattan is underwater?

    This is not really a debate. We have the power to destroy our current environment and make our situation much worse. That part is easy! It will make all our current problems, be them housing, economy or cars.

    This should sit at the top of every issue. Think about cars and consider the environment, think about energy and consider the environment, think about the economy and consider the environment.

    It is not a separate issue. It is a major consideration of everything else. We should start thinking about it that way, part of every issue. It is the only way.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  127. Chris, Perrysburg, OH

    Global Warming should be nowhere on Barack Obama's priority list. The federal government exists only to protect the liberty of its citizens, nothing more, nothing less. Global warming has nothing to do with freedom.

    December 15, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  128. Henry, Honolulu

    High on the list.
    The question is if adequate steps can be implemented in time (say 5-10 years?) to neutralize global warming.
    Global cooling measures can be examined to slow the approach of the cyclical high temperature bell curve, to buy time while green measures are implemented.

    December 15, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  129. Dave Thompson, Minneapolis, MN

    Obama has already shown that he thinks global warming is a high-priority issue. His nominee for Energy Secretary is Steven Chu, who has chosen the fight against global warming as his new career. I expect Chu to play a leadership role in moving the country away from oil and gas consumption as quickly as possible.

    December 15, 2008 at 6:02 pm |