President Barack Obama has tirelessly worked toward environmental healing and awareness through measures like the Clean Power Plan, White House science fairs, and the Better Buildings Challenge to name a few. With inauguration rapidly approaching, our 44th president wants to ensure the longevity of our progress and leave behind a positive environmental legacy.
This past September, Obama and National Geographic environment writer Craig Welch traveled to Midway Atoll: a North Pacific island home to the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a site that the president had expanded just days before the interview. The two discussed the Hawaii native’s love for nature (which he attributes to his mother, anthropologist Ann Dunham) and the condition of our climate.
Obama says the United States has achieved great things thus far in areas like clean energy use, but that there is still much to be done to ensure a fruitful planet for our kids and grandkids. “If we want to leave behind the same kind of incredible beauty that sustains not only our bodies but also our souls, then we’ve got to work for it,” says the president.
Watch the conversation below: