President Barack Obama has been in the Arctic trying to make his fellow countrymen aware of the threat posed by climate change, and secure his legacy. Obama crossed the Arctic Circle on Wednesday, in a first by a sitting U.S. president, telling residents in a far-flung Alaska village that their plight should be the world’s wake-up call on global warming
On Thursday, in a photo-op the by Alaska’s Exit glacier, Obama paused before saying: “We want to make sure that our own grandkids can see this”.
Obama also used his trip to urge Congress expand the United States’ fleet of icebreaker vessels, so the country can better compete with Russia as the Arctic continues to thaw.
The President’s Arctic trip has focused the American’s media attention on climate, where journalists have travelled to the Alaskan village of Kivalina, which is fast disappearing into the sea as global temperatures change.
Climate activists have been quick to criticise Obama for his supposed double standards on climate change, with the President having approved Shell’s plans to drill for oil in the Arctic earlier this year.
Bill McKibben, from the organisation 350.org, called Obama’s actions in the Arctic a “bad contradiction”.