ESSIC / AOSC Professor, Raghu Murtugudde, was a featured guest on FOX 5 Morning News today, in the aftermath of President Obama’s much anticipated address on climate change. The President unveiled his plan in a speech delivered from the campus of the Georgetown University, on June 25, 2013.
Murtugudde, an expert in earth system science, was asked to provide analysis and commentary on the president’s proposed climate action.
“I think this is an excellent first step,” Murtugudde said, regarding Obama’s planned climate strategies.
Though climate change was a large part of President Obama’s first term campaign platform, no significant plan or legislation was introduced until his address yesterday. While some believe these actions come too late, Murtugudde is optimistic that the president’s recent focus on climate change is beneficial.
“I am hopeful. It’s building on things that have already started, like fuel efficiency standards, energy usage in military installations and other defense corporations, [and the] EPA mandate on trying to regulate carbon dioxide. So it is building on something that already started,” said Murtugudde.
Many are unaware or skeptical of the effects of climate change, whether occurring locally or in other parts the world. Murtugudde noted that severe weather conditions already being experienced are directly attributable to a changing climate.
“We are already seeing the effects of it,” said Murtugudde. “Last year we had severe droughts; we had Sandy come up all the way north and behave unusually. This year we are having floods in the mid-west. So the farmers are getting hit hard, people are getting hit hard. We had tornados up here in Maryland; this has become a regular occurrence. These are all effects of climate change; the so called extreme events.”
When asked how the average person can involve themselves in divesting from fossil fuels, Murtugudde suggested several ways in which individuals can take action.
“Other than reducing your energy use and water use, of course we could be driving less, or could be driving hybrids. [We could] be careful about what kind of cars we buy, how much air conditioning we run in our houses, and generally be energy efficient,” said Murtugudde.
Large scale changes are going to take time, Murtugudde said, when asked about reversing damage already done. Yet, Murtugudde is hopeful that in the next five to ten years we can start to see some positive results if the president’s proposed actions are successfully implemented. See interview in its entirety below.