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Weekly Address: Meeting the Global Threat of Climate Change

In this week’s address, the President spoke about his upcoming trip to Alaska, during which he will view the effects of climate change firsthand. Alaskans are already living with the impact of climate change, with glaciers melting faster, and temperatures projected to rise between 6 and 12 degrees by the end of the century.

In his address, the President spoke to ways in which we can address these challenges, including the transition away from fossil fuels to more renewable energy sources like wind and solar, an effort in which America is already leading. And he stressed that while our economy still has to rely on oil and gas during that transition, we should rely more on domestic production than importing from foreign countries who do not have the same environmental or safety standards as the United States.

The President looked forward to his upcoming trip, and promised that while he is in office, America will lead the world to meet the threat of climate change before it’s too late.

Watch the President’s Weekly Address here.

Watch the Weekly Address.

Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina

Watch the President's remarks in New Orleans.

The President also delivered remarks on the region’s rebirth and what’s possible when citizens work together with city and corporate leaders to lift up their communities and build back in ways that make them more innovative and positioned for economic growth.


Here’s How the Federal Government Is Working with Local Communities to Create Change, in One Map:

This week, we released a map showing the Obama administration’s community-based initiatives. It combines datasets from initiatives across more than 15 federal agencies, and gives you the opportunity to see what’s at work in your area.

Explore the map here.

Get the facts and data behind the programs the Obama administration has put in place in partnership with the communities they intend to serve, all across the country.


Stack up ALL of the natural & man made DISASTERS … Where is the Infrastructure WORK or PLAN ?

Five years ago the BP oil disaster happened … 4/2010

Ten years ago today, thousands died and even more had to leave their homes

Americans must face the fact that the many natural and or man made disasters and anything in between have caused more issues than our next generation might be able to handle due to unqualified inept and do nothing lawmakers!

If you want your children their children and so on to live a better life … Vote for Change Challenge your member of Congress to do the right thing … The Local State & Federal level

While the sun comes up and the light of day starts to show just how bad this oil spill disaster is and finally uncover what exactly happened. Hopefully, reality will sink in on how just one error that could have been prevented by simply making BP or companies like them put expensive but high-tech emergency equipment in place to cap the well, avert or absorb spills before they start. The negative outcome and proof that the rules and deregulation of financial and oil companies by the house of Bush … is evident. Now, we see what happens when a big corporation tries to save money but does so much damage and in this case a big impact not only the environment but foul, fish industry and the entire economy on the gulf coast for decades. It is great to have a President that is willing to change direction on issues when the facts and or evidence show that delays and or cancellation of offshore drilling is clear. What happened should not be blamed on President Obama, this is clearly a human error and in this case BP; they know it and need to take responsibility for the entire clean-up.

We all have to remember that eleven people died that day

I have to say the first reports of the explosion and then word that everything was okay made me wonder …common sense tells you okay the well is underground; it could bleed out, up or both, which is what happened. The big question is why didn’t they act before the oil started to leak. This spill, is for me a warning to either change the way the clean-up process works or scrap any plans for further oil platforms or at least get an emergency plan in place because it seems this error by BP happened because they had no plan B, C maybe none at all… I’m no expert but equipment should have been available immediately that absorb oil… bumpers placed along the coast and shores before the leak actually spread … i saw nothing but boats watching , waiting for the leak to show … unacceptable

It’s only the middle of the week, clearly we all need a little calm … be still and breathe in and slowly release your breath.

The Budget, the Debt Ceiling, and Financial Reform conflicts between the two Political Parties are the next big fights facing members of Congress as well as the American pocketbook.  I say it is time to let go of that stupid required agreement to not raise taxes that all Republicans sign off on that professes their love and swear by. I say do something for your fellow American for once. Yes, financial reform is important but the battle for families on all levels will be an even bigger fight because of the impact these issues will have on everyone and that would have to be Abortion and Immigration. In my opinion the two issues cannot stand alone and at some point they will be addressed as one as folks debate when a life begins others will bring up, question or offer seemingly great reasons to strip the 14th Amendment as often as they can. If there are any responsible or somewhat intelligent and or lucid Republicans left in the room, Republicans would find it in their best interest not to be the Political Party of no. I have to say in a moment when most Americans are going over what exactly what did they do to help Wall Street, the Banks and Corporate America get back on track then have them turn their backs on Main Street again. It is not lost on me that over 80% of Americans want the rich to pay their fair share and let the Bush tax breaks expire. In response, Republicans do not seem to care because to say they do not get it is to ask how intelligent are the Republican Tea Party to begin with and that opens up a whole new bag of we should all be ascared right about now.

It was and still is a strange feeling to know that most if not all Republicans were still are willing to slow scale down or block progress for All Americans without a trace of remorse. Now, It is also clear that the real plan or rather Pledge to America was and is an agenda to reinvent how our government now functions by putting the rich in control or the ruling entity no less. The idea that a ruling class has to be in charge because they make and or create the jobs is not only offensive it would be a complete destruction of what it means to be an American and that whole trickle down theory has been proven to be a joke unless you have been hiding under a rock. The BS we all watched, heard or saw on the floor of Congress in both Chambers should have … like i have said before made it clear that McConnell was being honest when he stated he wanted to ruin the President and like Senator DeMint said make HCR President Obama’sWaterloo. Fortunately, that whole Waterloo thingy was a mission that will fail if We the People get out there and help. If you take everything that has happened since the mid-term elections the evil plan involved much more than stalling, blocking and or attaching silly amendments to Jobs bills. We all know Republicans made it impossible to make change or create jobs let alone keep public service workers from layoffs en masse while the wheeling and dealing commenced, people thrown off unemployment, which we call the 99ers, they left to fend for themselves. It is now obvious that we Americans have several flanks to battle and it includes efforts to take States rights beyond what we as Americans believe is reasonable. I have always been afraid of those words because given an opportunity any state with a Republican in charge would create change that no one voted for let alone thought would catch on given we are in the 21st Century …right?

I am letting Republicans know now that I plan to reject the idea of conforming to a Family Values Platform they might be planning to force upon us. I believe in equality for all which includes having a President who represents ALL of the People here in the US of A. I ask you what can be wrong with caring for ALL of your fellow American, not just 2%… especially since that 2% has wheeled and dealed for breaks starting from the house of bush passed on its horrible bets, pain and responsibility which in turn trickled down to main street.

Deepwater Horizon victims’ families mark first anniversary of oil spill 4/2010 has to be included with Katrina ..below is a briefing from the White house from there … don’t know how long it will be available


 An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig killed 11 and started the worst oil spill in US history


New thinking about the Caribbean

June 14, 2015

In North America and Europe there are from time to time international conferences that quietly enable new thinking. It is mostly an unseen process whereby governments, foundations or think tanks facilitate conversations, in ways that variously attempt to address intractable problems such as those in the Middle East, form a consensus on future policy, or enable the participants to look over the horizon.

These events allow invited participants to escape from their day-to-day responsibilities and usually in a group of 50 or less, debate and explore new ideas or solutions in private. The value is not just in the dialogue and the outcome, but in the freedom to say what you think knowing that no one will quote you, in the personal contacts made in the margins, and the associated trust that develops which can last throughout a career.

Such events rarely focus on the Caribbean, but a little over a week ago about sixty invited guests from the Caribbean as a whole, the UK and North America met at Wilton Park in the English countryside.

The objective of ‘Caribbean 2030: new thinking for a new generation’ was to bring together a mix of voices, young and more experienced, to consider what the region might look like fifteen years from now, and to hear in particular how younger participants from politics, government, the private sector, academia and civil society see the Caribbean’s future and how they might play a role in taking it there.

The conference, which was developed in conjunction with the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CaPRI) and Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was wide-ranging in its scope, but a number of general themes emerged which suggest a different Caribbean in fifteen years time.

One of the more significant discussions that ran throughout the conference was whether the future fortunes of the region lay in economic convergence between complementary economies. It was suggested that rather than politically-led solutions, it was trade, investment and financial services between networked groups of nations that would create future growth and integration. One consequence was that participants from the northern Caribbean, and in particular from Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, argued that there was greater value in Jamaica, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic having a stronger economic relationship that might also involve Cayman as a financial hub. The view of some was that such an approach would enable the Caribbean to escape being defined through its colonial past.

This was not to say that in terms of foreign relations and on issues of international or thematic importance that the region should not act through Caricom, nor for most was it to suggest that Caricom should be set aside; but many participants felt there were better opportunities for growth through a more rational approach to economic integration linked to improved infrastructure. The suggestion was that this thinking ought to drive policy across the region.

FYI: Caricom members include

 Antigua and Barbuda 4 July 1974
 Bahamas 4 July 1983 Not part of customs union
 Barbados 1 August 1973
 Belize 1 May 1974
 Dominica 1 May 1974
 Grenada 1 May 1974
 Haiti 2 July 2002 Provisional membership on 4 July 1998
 Jamaica 1 August 1973
 Montserrat 1 May 1974 British overseas territory
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 26 July 1974 Joined as Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla
 Saint Lucia 1 May 1974
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1 May 1974
 Suriname 4 July 1995
 Trinidad and Tobago 1 August 1973 Founder of the Organization before handing over to Guyana
Associate  Anguilla July 1999 British overseas territory
 Bermuda 2 July 2003 British overseas territory
 British Virgin Islands July 1991 British overseas territory
 Cayman Islands 16 May 2002 British overseas territory
 Turks and Caicos Islands July 1991 British overseas territory
Observer  Aruba Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
 Curaçao Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
 Dominican Republic
 Puerto Rico Commonwealth of the USA
 Sint Maarten Country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

There were of course dissenting voices, particularly in some of the working groups. Some in particular from the Eastern Caribbean and from academia objected and declared themselves all but wedded to making what the region already had work, though when it came to the detail there was little to demonstrate how this might take the Caribbean beyond where it is today.

A second prevailing theme was that of the new economy and the growing irrelevance of borders.

These thoughts came especially from some of the younger participants involved in information technology, new media, tourism and the private sector more generally, who made clear that what they were doing made traditional geographic concepts and the size of the Caribbean irrelevant.

The conference was also notable for leaping the language and cultural divide with participants from the Dominican Republic being able to demonstrate in a neutral setting how their experience in many areas from alternative energy to tourism had relevance to most of the region. It also allowed them to set out the country’s thinking in terms of how it might be better connected with and work more closely with the nations of Caricom.

As you might expect there were detailed exchanges on energy security, the environment, and education which all agreed was a development priority if the region was to succeed. There were interesting mentions of the blue economy − the region’s largely unrealised offshore resource − and important exchanges on governance and security about which more in a future column.

There was not a stand-off between the politicians and the private sector. In fact there was a surprising degree of consensus that both needed one another and that the region had to end this false dichotomy if growth were to be achieved. It was suggested that as the generations changed this may no longer be so much of an issue. However, for some, the balance between the competing interests of social equity and the role of the market in Caribbean development needed to be resolved if the region was ever to experience significant economic growth.

For some of the younger participants the real problem that the region has to face in the next fifteen years was to escape from the dead hand of the region’s public sector. In a rarely voiced opinion it was suggested that it is the public sector and those who work with it who have a vested interest in ensuring that thinking and their influence remain the same.

The suggestion was that this was holding the region back.

Strikingly the relationship with the UK, Europe and the US was little mentioned by the younger participants. It was as if the Caribbean had moved on and had a much more balanced view of when and on what issues it wished to relate to a much broader range of external partners. In this context it was unclear whether China’s presence in the region was a threat, an opportunity, or both.

The downside of the meeting was that there was no authentic Cuban voice able to discuss the way it saw the region, the way in which detente with the US may change the Caribbean’s political and economic centre of gravity.

These are of course personal observations, and in due course there will be a report with suggested actions.

The value, however, of this quite different conference will only be known if the synergies, new thinking and the relationships established begin to change the Caribbean for the better.

Previous columns can be found at www. caribbean-council.org