U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the politically divisive issue of climate change during a visit to Florida's Everglades. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) President Barack Obama strolled past reedy sawgrass and twisted mangrove tree roots in Florida's Everglades on Wednesday (April 22), part of a push to get Americans thinking and talking about the damage climate change is causing close to home. Obama took a half-hour walk on the Anhinga boardwalk trail on the western edge of the vast 1.5-million-acre (607,000-hectare) park, past alligators slinking around the edge of porous limestone pinnacle rocks. Rising sea levels are killing grasses and threatening the unique ecosystem. It was silent, save for birds, the occasional splash of a gar fish, and the clicking of cameras capturing Obama in this vivid backdrop for talking about the urgency of climate change. With less than two years left in his presidency, Obama hopes to make addressing climate change one of his legacy accomplishments. He wants to finalize rules to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and marshal support for a global deal this year to limit carbon pollution. "Climate change can no longer be denied. It can't be edited out. It can't be omitted from the conversation. And action can no longer be delayed. And that's why I've committed the United States to lead the world in combatting this threat," Obama said in a speech to a small crowd at the park's welcome center. With climate shaping up as an issue in the 2016 presidential campaign, the trip also gave Obama a chance to draw a contrast with Republicans who want to overhaul his proposed regulations.