Today we kick off a regular feature in which Grist’s editorial team celebrates — and carps about! — notable climate-related steps taken by businesses, politicians, and individuals. Think we patted the wrong back or slapped down the wrong pol? Jump in the comments section to let us know.

climate kudos

This week’s grades:

A big green thumbs-up to Barack Obama! Predictable? Sure. But we’d be lying if we said our cynical hearts weren’t touched by the explicit references to climate change and renewable energy in his inaugural address. Results and action matter, Mr. President. We won’t be shy about blasting your administration if climate change slips off your list of priorities.

climate finger

Grist also awards an angry polar bear to you, the American public. Two new surveys suggest you don’t give a rat’s ass about the environment. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans think global warming ranks at the very bottom of a list of 20 national priorities, below even moral decline and the influence of lobbyists. Meanwhile, a Rasmussen survey shows a whopping 44 percent plurality of Americans don’t think climate change is caused by human activities. Haven’t they checked out our How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic series?

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In your defense, fellow Americans, the polar bear should really be flipping off the outgoing Bush-Cheney administration (and their media mouthpieces), whose dissembling and equivocating on climate change for eight years probably did more to mislead Americans than anything else. And today we find out that at least one Bush-Cheney climate skeptic is trying to stick around in a high-level position at the National Science Foundation. Will it ever end??

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