President Obama talks climate change and environmental stewardship – LIVE BLOG

By Christie Wilcox | August 31, 2016 10:57 pm

LIVE coverage of President Obama’s address to the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders

5:50 PM: Aloha Discover readers! I’m here in the press pool at the University of Hawaii’s East West Center, ready to hear President Obama remark on the expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Stay tuned for live coverage of the event!


6:00 PM: Want to watch while the president speaks? Check out the live YouTube feed!

6:30 PM: It’s a full house! image

6:38 PM:


6:45 PM: Obama is talking about the importance of the monument and protecting its rich biodiversity. “I’m very proud of these achievements.”

Obama stressing the importance of big carbon emitters “like my country” working with nations around the world to take on climate change.

6:46 PM: “If you want to row a canoe, every oar has to be rowing in unison.”

6:47 PM: “There’s a dire possibility of us getting off course, and we can’t allow that to happen.”

6:50 PM: “We have to unite to move forward. We have to row as one. And if we do, we might just save the one planet we’ve got.”

6:55 PM: That’s it folks! President Obama greeted the dignitaries and VIPs as he left.



Reflections: It was a short but sweet speech, and Mr. Obama did not pull punches when it came to describing the dire situation many of the Pacific Island nations are facing due to climate change. It is so refreshing to hear a world leader speak so frankly and pointedly about this issue.



CATEGORIZED UNDER: More Science, select, Uncategorized
  • Uncle Al

    Is Papahānaumokuākea the local patois for “Northern Pacific Garbage Path”? One presumes the acronym is longer. Spain took out South America with the Four Horsemen – War, Famine, Pestilence, Death – killing about 20 million locals. Dole did Hawai’i with a canning plant and a time clock.

  • OWilson

    Meanwhile Trump is advocating “stewardship” of the “dire situation” of Obama’s inner city ghettos.

    It is so refreshing to hear a world leader speak so frankly and pointedly about this issue.

    • Uncle Al

      Barack Obama, tear down this pall!

  • CB

    I’m glad President Obama is tackling this issue! I’m not sure it will be possible to save all these islands, but perhaps their extinction will be a wakeup call to the rest of the world. Every continent has shores…

    • John C

      8 inches in 140 years. That’s what he thinks is a pressing priority, unlike a dozen other issues that come immediately to mind.

      • CB

        “8 inches in 140 years.”

        That doesn’t quite adequately describe the situation.

        The increase in sea level isn’t static. It’s going faster… and faster… every single year.

        “Sea level is rising—and at an accelerating rate”

        • John C

          Not according to the chart, it’s linear not geometric. At the current rate or sea level rise since 1930, which is slightly higher than 1870 – 1930, Miami (elevation 5.9 ft.) will be under water in 1,100 years.

    • Uncle Al

      Water Australia. A 20-inch continental rainfall year removes 938 cubic miles (3.91×10^18 cm^3) of water from the oceans. The latent enthalpy of vaporization of water at 30 °C/86 °F is 583.74 cal/gram. Watering Australia would lower surface sea temperature by 2.28×10^21 calories.

      Ocean area is 5.1×10^14 square meters. Going 10 meters deep is 1,223,555 mi^3 or 1.863×10^15 calories/mi^3. A mi^3 being 4.168×10^15 cm^3, worldwide sea temps would average drop 0.45 degrees, solving that problem, too.

      “I’m glad President Obama is tackling this issue!” Yeah, a hip dysplasic hamster on reds blocking Bubba Smith on speed. Youtube v=Bt_kR7u6mM4

      • CB

        “A 20-inch continental rainfall year removes 938 cubic miles (3.91×10^18 cm^3) of water from the oceans.”

        Uh huh.

        What if that were true?

        “If the Greenland Ice Sheet melted, scientists estimate that sea level would rise about 6 meters (20 feet). If the Antarctic Ice Sheet melted, sea level would rise by about 60 meters (200 feet).”

  • socalpa

    What !

    Sea levels still rising ?

    Didn’t he promise his election was the moment when the seas stopped rising ?

    Oh well …

    I wonder if he read the report by the UN sponsored 4 year,40 country study on sea level rise due to ice melt ?

    Projects as little as a 3.5cm (1.4 inch) rise in a business as usual emissions scenario by 2100 !

    “The ice2sea projections based on simulations of physical processes suggest lower overall contributions from melting ice to sea-level rise than many studies published since AR4.

    They suggest a contribution from continental ice of 3.5-36.8cm to global mean sea-level rise to the year 2100 for a “business as usual” mid-range emissions scenario.”
    The likely rise is 18cm , 7 inches, ,same as rise since 1880,

    Hardly a tsunami !

    And, that was before NASA showed Antarctica was increasing in mass REDUCING sea levels !


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About Christie Wilcox

Dr. Christie Wilcox is a science writer based in the greater Seattle area. Her bylines include National Geographic, Popular Science, and Quanta. Her debut book, Venomous, released August 2016 (Scientific American/FSG Books). To learn more about her life and work, check out her webpage or follow her on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.


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