Obama = Lando Calrissian? He addressed the world in Copenhagen early today:

This is not fiction, it is science.  Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economies, and our planet.  This much we know.

[...]

I believe we can act boldly, and decisively, in the face of a common threat.  That’s why I come here today — not to talk, but to act.  (Applause.)

My own personal theory is that Billy Dee Williams’s memorable portrayal of Lando Calrissian in Star Wars has helped to prepare the world mentally & culturally to accept a black man as their planetary leader & hero. Lando was the leader of Cloud City – a pragmatic man who was willing to make a deal with the Empire if it kept his city safe, yet found he had to draw a moral line in the sand and support the rebel forces after all.

Cloud City was a pivotal city-state and sure Lando was kind of like a U.S. black mayor in space. Still, Obama now also governs a critical nation-state on our planet. The United States is one of the 2 worst polluters in the world. If the U.S. and China don’t step up to the plate, well, the planet and its inhabitants are screwed. And the people who will be hurt first and worst by climate change? No surprise there really: it’s black & brown people around the world who look a lot like you and me. And the Prez. Lando was fiction and now Obama needs to be the science. From WWF:

  • The US and China are the largest contributors of greenhouse gases.
  • Catastrophic climate change may yet be avoided if global average temperatures rise by less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • The world has already warmed 0.74°C over the past 100 years.
  • The 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 1990.
  • Arctic sea ice has declined to the lowest levels on record.

It was one of Obama’s campaign promises to go to Copenhagen personally to do his utmost to address climate change. Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins of Green for All (the green jobs organization founded by Van Jones) had this to say in an email last night from Copenhagen:

“The disaster is already in progress, but we have it in our power to end this injustice,”
Desmond Tutu, COP15

Cheryl:

This email was meant to be a year-end fundrasing appeal to the Green For All Family.  But in this moment, our call to action must not be for our own organization but for all our fellow citizens of world.

I am writing from Copenhagen. It is 3 am and I am filled with incredibly conflicting emotions.  This city is filled with people who face the consequences of global warming every day. Families who watched their homes fall into the water, farmers who can no longer harvest because of drought, and those whose peaceful countries are now preparing for unrest because they are losing their natural resources. These are the victims of global warming; debating whether the crisis is “real” denies their human experience, and that of millions of people like them around the world.

Still, I carry within me great hope and faith in this moment. In last year’s election, the United States came together and affirmed our commitment to one another. We recognized our desperate need to be one country whose values and purpose would withstand the test of time. People of faith joined with young people, wealthy people and poor people.  We stood together because we loved our country and we wanted it to be better. We heard a call to our highest selves. We elected Barack Obama, who promised a clean-energy economy that would restore our economic power and affirm our place as part of a global community. He left no doubt that global warming was real and was a threat to our existence, and he vowed to lead the charge to solve it.

A year later, we are again at a crossroads.  Last year’s election was not the end of the mission. We will reach the end only when we have translated our values and promise into action. Hope is not enough. It must become change.

Now we are being called back into service.  The United States must take bold leadership here in Copenhagen, by committing to a strong climate agreement and supporting developing countries. We must do this not just for the African mothers who have spoken so powerfully here, but also for those back home, in places like Oakland and Coal River Mountain, who want to see their children thrive and have opportunity in their own communities.

Now is the time for Barack Obama to support the rebel forces. Now is the time for him to not only use his powerful charisma & inspirational influence — but also to put real action on the table. We’re all hoping he will truly — represent, y’all. Obama said today in his remarks in Copenhagen:

Mitigation.  Transparency.  Financing.  It’s a clear formula — one that embraces the principle of common but differentiated responses and respective capabilities.  And it adds up to a significant accord — one that takes us farther than we have ever gone before as an international community.

[...]

Ladies and gentlemen, there is no time to waste.  America has made our choice.  We have charted our course.  We have made our commitments.  We will do what we say.  Now I believe it’s the time for the nations and the people of the world to come together behind a common purpose.

We are ready to get this done today — but there has to be movement on all sides to recognize that it is better for us to act than to talk; it’s better for us to choose action over inaction; the future over the past — and with courage and faith, I believe that we can meet our responsibility to our people, and the future of our planet.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

That sounds good and a brother needs to TCB. We are looking to Barack just as we looked to Lando to do the right thing and to be on the right side when it mattered. To make the difference that wins the war. A nation and a planet is counting on him. I hope he can deliver. May the force be with him.

Also, where is Billy Dee Williams’ Presidential Medal of Freedom, anyway? Can’t a brother get some recognition up in here?

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