Is climate change too much of a psychological challenge for the president? Is it simply too much for him to confront the near-almighty power of the fossil fuel industry and the Republican (and some Democratic) politicians who are that industry's acolytes?
The United States broke one record after another for extreme weather in 2013. Americans saw what unchecked climate change can do to our communities. But we also witnessed another kind of powerful force: real and positive climate action.
While many in Washington are focused on the miracle of actually seeing Republicans and Democrats mostly coming together on a budget deal, the big news in the energy and environment space is the return to the White House of John Podesta.
While the stewardship of the U.S. economy, jobs, health care, immigration, and foreign policy are all important considerations in this year's election, the safeguarding of constitutional rights for all Americans is at least as critical.
Rather than bemoan our human frailty, let us resolve to make what progress we can on climate change, when we can. Its rising impacts -- on our poorest neighbors today and on our children tomorrow -- demand no less.