Former President Barack Obama spoke in Atlanta Wednesday, on the second day of the Greenbuild conference.
His speech came on the morning of the Democratic Debates which were also scheduled to take place in Atlanta later in the day at Tyler Perry Studios. Although the former president didn’t directly address the debates, he did touch on the importance of the ballot.
“Obviously, the biggest way to influence folks is by voting,” Obama said. “And I assume I don’t have to talk about that, but if I do, if any of you were puzzled by that, let me know.”
The focus of the conference and discussion were on how to go green and become more sustainable to improve the quality of life.
Obama’s talk ranged on issues from adjusting to life after the presidency to what his daughters have taught him about sustainability and the urgency of addressing climate change.
“I think with a recognition that we are inheritors of people’s actions in the past and we’re going to determine the world for those who follow,” he said. “And I think having children does that for you in a very powerful way and a very immediate way.”
Obama said it seems the younger generation has a better grasp of the challenges ahead. But now, we’re facing an existential crisis. He said this issue, isn’t like a bad tax policy that you can overcome with a change in the White House.
“This is one of those issues where you can be too late,” he said. “At least within terms of human understanding and human time horizons, the effects can become irreversible.”
The conference wraps up in Atlanta this Friday.