A photo op meant to send a message about global warming
Advocacy and adventure will collide when Barack Obama visits Alaska on an official trip beginning Monday.
The American President’s itinerary may include a hike across the Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, White House officials said Friday.
The visit to the glacier, which has experienced significant melting in recent years, fits in with the broader purpose of Obama’s visit: to highlight the ways in which climate change is affecting individuals, communities and the American economy. The National Park is a vital pillar of the Alaskan economy by way of tourism, and climate change threatens to derail the stream of visitors the Park sees every year.
The trip is the latest in a long line of recent Obama initiatives to battle climate change, including his endorsement of solar energy and a new Clean Power Plan that aims at a 32% cut in carbon emissions by 2030.
As part of the three-day trip, Obama will deliver a keynote address at an international conference about climate change in the Arctics and interact with local fishermen in Dillingham, a major hub of the salmon industry. The President will also survey impacts of global warming on Alaskan ice sheets from onboard a coastguard ship.
The trip, which comes a week after Obama approved an Arctic drilling project, has been called hypocritical by climate change groups. However, the White House specified that the President will not be meeting any Shell oil executives while in Alaska.