Five Reasons for Obama to Sell Climate Change as a Health Issue
In a speech to outline a new strategy for action on climate change, Obama will underscore the health impacts and other "social costs" of global warming.
The strategy may have legs. Despite the growing consensus among scientists of how humans are impacting the atmosphere, how to confront climate change—or in some cases, whether it even exists—has deadlocked along party lines. "Framing issues around some of the near-term impacts on families is probably a more effective way to make people understand the benefits of these changes," says Paul Billings, a vice president for the American Lung Association, who was invited by the White House to attend Tuesday's speech. (See related story: "California Tackles Climate Change, But Will Others Follow?")
The administration has directed several government agencies to work together on a wide-ranging effort to try to quantify the "social costs" of climate change, including health effects.