mark hertsgaard

Independent Journalist & Author

mark


Italy’s climate lesson for Obama

Barack Obama, take note: your Italian counterpart is not afraid to speak plainly about how climate change is damaging his country right now. Maybe you could do likewise?

When the spectacularly beautiful Italian Riviera was hit by torrential rains this week, unleashing flooding that has killed at least six people and devastated infrastructure, president Giorgio Napolitano went on Italian TV and blamed climate change, adding, “This is the very painful price we are unfortunately paying.” (See this coverage in the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/27/world/europe/mudslides-and-flooding-ravage-areas-of-scenic-beauty-in-italy.html?_r=1&src=rechp/.)

In the US, the record drought and heat wave afflicting Texas is but the most vivid example of “the very painful price” we too are paying for ignoring scientists’ warnings about climate change. President Obama has an opportunity to reverse this at the next round of climate talks in South Africa in December, but US negotiators are continuing to drag their feet, thus helping to condemn the young people of Generation Hot to an even more challenging future. Shame on you, Mr. Obama–both as a president and as a father.

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About Mark

Independent journalist Mark Hertsgaard is the author of seven books that have been translated into sixteen languages, including Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden; HOT: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth; and A Day in the Life: The Music and Artistry of the Beatles. He has reported from twenty-five countries about politics, culture and the environment for leading outlets, including The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Time, Mother Jones, NPR, the BBC and The Nation, where is the environment correspondent. He lives in San Francisco.

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