Barack Obama's personal battle against climate change

This seems to be getting personal. On Wednesday, in a little noticed passage of his defiant State of the Union address, President Obama threw down the gauntlet to the new, Republican-dominated, Congress over climate change. And now, as part of his trip to India, he is seeking to reach agreement on the issue with its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in the wake of a dramatic deal with China's President Xi two months ago. It is looking more and more like a crusade.

In his address he baldly told his overwhelmingly climate sceptic opponents that “no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change”, adding that he would not let them “endanger the health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts” And he mocked a current fashion among Republican politicians to prefix declarations of disbelief in climate change by announcing that they are, of course, not scientists.

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