Friday, October 23, 2009

Liveblogging President Obama at MIT

12:13 PM. Woman is singing the national anthem.

12:14 PM I'm in a room in the Stata Center with about 50 others. We didn't get tickets to the event, held in MIT's Kresge Hall, but it is being broadcast here. People are talking about all the Secret Service agents around the campus, some people on roofs. Kids outside Kresge Hall, shouting "Obama!" over and over. Airspace near Logan was closed, with Air Force authorized to use deadly force against aircraft that didn't obey the temporary flight rules.

12:17 PM Stage is empty.

12:31 PM Presidential seal is affixed to podium.

12:42 PM Finally, some action. Susan Hockfield, President of MIT, is introducing Obama, talking about the MIT energy initiative.

12:44 PM Ernest Moniz, head of the MIT Energy Initiative, is speaking. "The President has expanded our energy vision..."

12:46 PM Obama on the stage. Large amount of applause. "Thank you, MIT!" "It's always been a dream of mine to visit the most prestigous school in Cambridge, Massachusetts..." "Students put my motorcade on top of Building 10." "Everybody hands out periodic tables - what's up with that?"

12:48 PM He thanks Eric Lander and Eric Moniz. Also acknowledges Governor Deval Patrick, Lt. Governor Tim Murray, Attorney General Martha Coakley, etc.

12:50 PM He's talking about some of the energy innovations of MITEI: windows that funnel sunlight to solar cells, etc.
"You just get excited being and seeing these young people here at MIT" "It's the legacy of a nation who supported those intrepid few willing to take risks that might fail".

12:54 PM "There will be a debate of how to move from fossil fuels to renewable fuels ... but no question that we must do it."
"Rising energy use imperils the planet." "Nations everywhere are racing to find new ways to produce and distribute energy."
"I want America to be that nation" [to win the race]. Bill we passed in January "makes the largest investment in renewable energy in history".

12:56 PM Initiative by Deval Patrick will allow researchers to test very large wind turbine blades, the size of a football field, as part of the Recovery Act.

12:58 PM Recovery Act, the Stimulus Bill, is responsible for the largest increase in funding of science in history.

12:59 PM Renewable energy will be the profitable kind of energy in America. A bi-partisan issue. We'll have an energy system that is more efficient, cleaner, and independent. Safe nuclear power, sustainable biofuels, wind & solar power. Consensus is growing. Pentagon has declared energy-dependence a security threat.

1:02 PM Climate denier's only purpose is to "defeat or delay the change that is necessary". Pessimism is also a problem.
We can do it. "This is the nation that pushed westward and looked skyward." "This is the nation that has led the world for 2 centuries in the pursuit of discovery."

1:05 PM Speech is over, Obama is shaking hands.

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