Climate at the inauguration
Obama's mention of the c-word is not the first time climate has made an appearance in an inaugural speech, but presidents rarely use the occasion to discuss the environment. In 2010, Obama made a passing reference to rolling back "the specter of a warming planet." Former President Bill Clinton made one reference apiece to the need for a clean environment in his 1993 and 1997 inaugural speeches, but did not specifically mention global warming.
This year's reference was much more extended than that in Obama's first-term speech.
"We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity," Obama said. "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations."
Will there be action?
Environmental groups praised Obama's words and used the opportunity to push for policy action.
"He did a good job laying out a narrative about climate change and why we should all care about taking meaningful action," said Travis Franck, a policy analyst for the nongovernmental organization Climate Interactive. "It will affect our children and grandchildren in many ways: their economic opportunities, their health, their safety from disasters, their recreation activities, and their sense of pride in America and its place in the world."