AIMS AND THE GIANT SPEECH: Beneath the general excitement over the inauguration of America's first black president, there was the faint (electric) hum of green glee today that President Obama addressed science and environmental issues in his inaugural speech. Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter made passing mentions of "a cleaner environment" and preserving "natural beauty," respectively, but no president since has even mentioned energy or the environmental in his inaugural speech. Andy Revkin has picked out the more specific highlights in a post on Dot Earth, and the full text of Obama's speech can be found here. (Sources: CNN, The Root, The New York Times, The Wall Street JournalReutersBartleby)

WEBSITE FOR SORE EYES: One minute into Barack Obama's presidency, the White House's new website was launched. It's sleek and befitting the first e-president, and it also features the hyperlinked words "Energy & the Environment" above the fold. It's another sign of how seriously Obama takes these issues, and the page outlines the Obama administration's platform, such as getting a quarter of our energy from renewable sources by 2025 and getting a million hybrid cars on the road by 2015. (Sources: WhiteHouse.gov, NY Times)

CLIMATE CONSENSUS: In what researchers are calling the largest such survey ever conducted, 82 percent of 3,146 Earth scientists agreed that humans are playing a significant role in heating up the planet. Beyond that, 97 percent of climate scientists actively engaged in research agreed that humans can't escape blame for climate change. (Source: MSNBC

   

FOLLOW YOUR NASA: Scientific American suggests today that it would behoove President Obama to get NASA involved in his fight against climate change, and lists nine ways the space agency is uniquely positioned to wage the war. (Source: Scientific American)

PALIN COMPARISON: Not to be outdone by her former opponent's calls for environmental responsibility, Alaska Gov. Sarah "Whalin" Palin has put aside her beef with belugas (not to mention drilling, baby, drilling) to announce a push for renewable energy. Energy experts say Alaska could be in the best position of all U.S. states to capitalize on power sources such as geothermal, wind, tides and waves, and while the prime locations for such endeavors are often far away from population centers, already-high energy costs in Alaska may be incentive enough to try. (Sources: The Associated Press, U.S. News & World ReportNY Times)

FORD'S PRAYER: The Washington Post profiles Ford hybrid chief Nancy Gioia — officially the "director of sustainable mobility technologies" — who's facing challenges that parallel Obama's. She's in charge of selling a product everyone knows we need but we're all too scared to buy. Cheap gas and a sagging economy don't daunt her, though. "We believe climate change is real and we have to be a part of the solution," she tells the Post. (Source: The Washington Post

Russell McLendon 

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