Inauguration Speech on Climate Change, STEM Education, Research Labs, Sustainable Energy and Jobs

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Publication date: 
22 January 2013

During yesterday’s Inaugural Address, President Barack Obama spoke of several areas of direct interest to the physics community. In his speech of approximately eighteen minutes, the President touched briefly on math and science teachers, research laboratories, the development of sustainable energy sources and new jobs and industry. He discussed at somewhat greater length climate change and “the overwhelming judgment of science.”

The President will travel back to Capitol Hill three weeks from today to deliver his State of the Union, when he may amplify on the below remarks that he made yesterday.

STEM Education, Research Laboratories:

“But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. . . . No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.”

Climate Change:

“We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.”

Sustainable Energy, Technology, and New Industries:

“The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition, we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries, we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure -- our forests and waterways, our crop lands and snow-capped peaks. . . . ”