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Obama calls for cooperation on clean energy and green jobs in Middle East

Obama calls for cooperation on clean energy and green jobs in Middle East(By Jonathan Hiskes via grist)No one expected President Barack Obama’s speech in Cairo today to focus on

climate change, and it didn’t. Obama didn’t use the words “climate” or

“environment,” but rather talked about the usual Middle East challenges—the

Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran’s

nuclear ambitions, the distrust of American influence, and the struggles of

democracy in the region.The Middle East won’t be immune from the effects of climate change,

however, and a hard-core environmentalist might argue Obama should have

used this opportunity to remind the region that climate could exacerbate or

trump all of its current problems.Still, Obama did call out clean water, clean energy, and green jobs as he

spoke about how the well-being of the United States and the Muslim world

are linked. Whitehouse.gov has the full text of his speech, and video is

below, but here are the relevant excerpts:I know that for many, the face of globalization is contradictory. The

Internet and television can bring knowledge and information, but also

offensive sexuality and mindless violence into the home. Trade can bring

new wealth and opportunities, but also huge disruptions and change in

communities. In all nations—including America—this change can bring fear.

Fear that because of modernity we lose control over our economic choices,

our politics, and most importantly our identities—those things we most

cherish about our communities, our families, our traditions, and our faith.But I also know that human progress cannot be denied. There need not be

contradictions between development and tradition. Countries like Japan and

South Korea grew their economies enormously while maintaining distinct

cultures. The same is true for the astonishing progress within

Muslim-majority countries from Kuala Lumpur to Dubai. In ancient times and

in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation

and education.And this is important because no development strategy can be based only

upon what comes out of the ground, nor can it be sustained while young

people are out of work. Many Gulf states have enjoyed great wealth as a

consequence of oil, and some are beginning to focus it on broader

development. But all of us must recognize that education and innovation

will be the currency of the 21st century—(applause)—and in too many Muslim

communities, there remains underinvestment in these areas. I’m emphasizing

such investment within my own country. And while America in the past has

focused on oil and gas when it comes to this part of the world, we now seek

a broader engagement …... On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support

technological development in Muslim-majority countries, and to help

transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create more jobs. We’ll open

centers of scientific excellence in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast

Asia, and appoint new science envoys to collaborate on programs that

develop new sources of energy, create green jobs, digitize records, clean

water, grow new crops …… We have a responsibility to join together on behalf of the world that we

seek—a world where extremists no longer threaten our people, and American

troops have come home; a world where Israelis and Palestinians are each

secure in a state of their own, and nuclear energy is used for peaceful

purposes; a world where governments serve their citizens, and the rights of

all God’s children are respected. Those are mutual interests. That is the

world we seek. But we can only achieve it together.For the latest green jobs across the US, the Middle East and globally

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