President Obama said in an interview broadcast Wednesday that his push to address climate change has been partly influenced by a frightening moment when his daughter Malia had an asthma attack as a 4-year-old.
“What I can relate to is the fear a parent has, when your 4-year-old daughter comes up to you and says, ‘Daddy, I’m having trouble breathing.’ The fright you feel is terrible,” the president said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Wednesday.
“And if we can make sure that our responses to the environment are reducing those incidents, that’s something that I think every parent would wish for.”
Obama has made climate change a major priority of his White House. This week, he announced a global warming report that focuses on how people can take action to reduce health risks associated with a changing climate. He’s also negotiated a deal with China to cut greenhouse gases.
But that strategy hasn’t been welcomed by all of Congress, including a number Republican lawmakers who don’t feel that climate change presents as pressing of a risk as the president suggests.
Obama encouraged a societal approach to climate change, involving public health officials, doctors and community leaders in developing strategies to fight climate change. And he argued that the issue affects all Americans, so there needs to be a large buy-in.
“There are a whole host of public health impacts that are going to hit home, so we’ve got to do better in protecting vulnerable Americans,” Obama added in an interview with CNN.
“Ultimately, though, all of our families are going to be vulnerable. You can’t cordon yourself off from air or climate.”