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Discussing climate change—which he called “one of the most formidable collective tests that humanity has ever faced”—he said that for “all the climate deniers, for all the fingers firmly planted in the ears, all the heads foolishly plunged into the sand, right now you have global investment in renewable energy outpacing the spending on fossil fuels. You have activists in the most remote corners of the world saving rain forests. You have American businesses and state and local governments who are cutting emissions, determined to keep our nation moving towards the international goals that we agreed to in Paris. We have to move faster, we have to work together, but we should pause tonight and take heart in the ripples of progress that have been made.”

And he said that although America’s wealth is becoming even more concentrated in the hands of the few and “workers are too often an afterthought in the pursuit of profits, yet we just elected a new generation of leaders to local and state and federal office who are pushing for higher wages and who are standing up for unions and who are speaking out clearly and forcefully, without hedges or caveats, on behalf of economic fairness. And they’re a group of representatives who—are actually representative, folks who know what it’s like to pay down a student loan, folks who have tended bars or worked at call centers to get by, a record number of women who inspire and shake our conscience. And they’re out there knocking on doors and holding conversations at coffee tables, and they’re tweeting and instagramming in all kinds of ways that are bringing young people into the arena like never before. And in them, we see ripples of progress.”

 

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Speaking in New York earlier this month, where he accepted the RFK Ripple of Hope Award, President Barack Obama reminded the audience that hope was his “kind of thing,” and urged it to pursue the quest for progress and hope.

“Progress is hard. Sometimes you look out and it doesn’t seem possible. You can’t see it. But the story of the last fifty years is a story of a more just, more peaceful world. I have seen it. I have lived it. You have, too. That should not be cause for complacency. It should be reason for courage. That’s why I know that it will be the story of the next fifty years as well,” he said.

“So, if it is okay with you, I for one am going to be sticking with hope. And thanks to Bobby’s example and the example of those who are here tonight, I know I’m not alone,” he added.

Looking back, Obama noted that in the years since RFK’s death, “tens of millions would be lifted out of poverty. Around the world extreme poverty would be slashed, and more girls would begin to gain access to an education. Millions of Americans would be shielded by health insurance that wasn’t available to them before.”

He added that “the walls of apartheid in South Africa would come tumbling down. The walls of communism and totalitarianism in eastern Europe would be swept away. The walls barring women and minorities and the disabled and the LGBT communities and so many others from opportunity would buckle.

That progress is fueled—by hope. It’s not fueled by fear. It’s not fueled by cynicism. And this is maybe the most important thing: It’s not dependent on one charismatic leader but, instead, depends on the steady efforts of dreamers and doers from every walk of life, who fight the good fight each and every day even when they’re not noticed.”

Discussing climate change—which he called “one of the most formidable collective tests that humanity has ever faced”—he said that for “all the climate deniers, for all the fingers firmly planted in the ears, all the heads foolishly plunged into the sand, right now you have global investment in renewable energy outpacing the spending on fossil fuels. You have activists in the most remote corners of the world saving rain forests. You have American businesses and state and local governments who are cutting emissions, determined to keep our nation moving towards the international goals that we agreed to in Paris. We have to move faster, we have to work together, but we should pause tonight and take heart in the ripples of progress that have been made.”

And he said that although America’s wealth is becoming even more concentrated in the hands of the few and “workers are too often an afterthought in the pursuit of profits, yet we just elected a new generation of leaders to local and state and federal office who are pushing for higher wages and who are standing up for unions and who are speaking out clearly and forcefully, without hedges or caveats, on behalf of economic fairness. And they’re a group of representatives who—are actually representative, folks who know what it’s like to pay down a student loan, folks who have tended bars or worked at call centers to get by, a record number of women who inspire and shake our conscience. And they’re out there knocking on doors and holding conversations at coffee tables, and they’re tweeting and instagramming in all kinds of ways that are bringing young people into the arena like never before. And in them, we see ripples of progress.”

 

(Excerpt) Read more Here | 2018-12-31 23:27:00

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