Rachel Callender

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Dear President-elect Obama,

Congratulations on winning the US presidential election! Your name is going in history for multiple reasons that inspire both hope and the prospect of a positive future for this nation. However, more importantly, your name should go down in history for what you achieve as President in relation to the major issues at hand such as global climate change. The United States of America is the single largest emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and is responsible for extreme pollution in the region and even acid rain in the USA and Canada. This must be rectified. People want change. You can bring it. The American people want to continue to be proud of their nation’s achievements and the international example it sets as a world power. The American people have elected you to lead them, and you must elect to lead the world’s drive towards a clean energy future.

The USA must reduce its use of coal as fuel. Alternate energy possibilities exist such as nuclear, solar, geothermal and wind power. The use of solar panels and the construction of windmills in strategic locations are easy enough to implement and are clean energy sources. They require a high initial cost for construction but will be beneficial in the long run to both the environment and the economy. Nuclear power may not be recommendable on its own for the USA due its high expense of implementation and not high enough carbon reduction statistics. It also comes with many environmental, public safety, and health risks as well as issues regarding proliferation and long term management of nuclear waste. However, this option should not be completely disregarded as it is an important source of carbon-free energy. Geothermal power is also an option that should be taken advantage of as it is a relatively simple, very environmentally friendly source which uses the Earth’s heat to generate electricity. In addition to these clean energy sources, the USA needs to develop carbon sequestration and capture technologies as this reduces the carbon emission while maintaining the same production of carbon-releasing fuels that we have become so dependent upon. This however should only be an addition to the portfolio on climate change solutions that is instituted. It is neither cost efficient nor sets the right example for the rest of the world who might not be able to afford this solution in any near future. The USA is the example, the influence and the inspiration for so many nations. Any decisions made must be considered on a global scale and not a national one. You were elected as the president of the USA but as a leader for the entire world and must assume that responsibility with authority and confidence so other world leaders may do so as well.

The need is evident. The options are out there. The issue is pressing and the solutions are waiting to be instituted. We are counting on you Mr. Obama to make the difference; to take the steps towards a clean-energy future in the USA and inspire the rest of the world to follow suit. You have the population’s full support with this endeavor. Yes we can!