Photo credit: Paul Morse, Clinton Global Initiative/Flickr
"It is technically difficult to figure out how we're going to deal with climate change," President Barack Obama said in a keynote address at this year's Clinton Global Initiative. "Not impossible, but difficult."
Obama used most of his 15-minute talk to tout his new jobs plan, telling the international audience that "When America's growing the world is more likely to grow." But he took some time to hit on topics like scientific innovation and energy efficiency as well. "I was talking to the CEO of Southwest Airlines," Obama said. The executive told him that adding GPS systems to his airlines could cut 15% in fuel costs. "Maybe they could start giving out peanuts again," Obama quipped, drawing heavy applause from the crowd.
He also touted the Better Buildings Initiative, his plan to grant tax breaks and incentives for building energy efficient buildings or retrofitting those already standing to save energy. Obama pointed to the program as an example of an initiative that creates jobs, produces real savings, and is good for the environment as well.
The president didn't tackle climate change head-on in the speech, though Bill Clinton introduced him as "someone who actually believes in climate change" -- to which Obama grinned and gave a thumbs up. And he did note that he considers it a "solvable" problem.
Problems like water shortages and climate change are tough, he said.
"But they're solvable, if everybody's attitude is: 'we're working together'."