For all you climatespotters: the number is 3.
— David Roberts (@drgrist) February 13, 2013
That is, the president said the words “climate change” three times during the address, and made a mention of “dangerous carbon pollution” to boot. That’s compared to just one mention of “climate” in his 2012 SOTU, and zilch in 2011, for those of you keeping score at home.
This year’s climate callouts weren’t a surprise — Obama paved the way with his inaugural address last month, and in recent days his advisers had been hinting strongly that climate change would get a substantial nod in the speech.
Even though he also lauded increased oil and gas drilling, the section on energy and climate was substantial enough to encourage some greens:
The President's call to put a price on carbon pollution and solve the climate crisis was bold and meaningful. We must act now. #sotu
— Al Gore (@algore) February 13, 2013
"[F]or the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change," Obama said. He noted that "the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods — all are now more frequent and intense."