Obama: Democratic Process is ‘Painfully Slow’ On Climate Change

President Barack Obama looks at the pauses to admire the view while hiking near the Exit Glacier on September 1, 2015 in Seward, Alaska. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Rolling Stone rolls out an exclusive interview with President Obama, featuring contributing editor Jeff Goodell who delicately asks the all-important question about the issue of climate change: “Doesn’t it scare the shit out of you sometimes?” he asks.

Not to President Obama. “Part of my job is to read stuff that terrifies me all the time,” he replied. “The whole point of this trip — is to sound the alarm.”

At another point in the interview, conducted during the president’s recent trip to Alaska, Obama complains that American democracy isn’t reacting quickly enough to the issue of climate change.

“Our Democratic process is painfully slow. Historically politics catch up when the public cares deeply. The American people have to feel the same urgency that I do,” he said.

When asked why he doesn’t do more to raise the alarm to Americans, Obama replied. “I do what I can do, and as much as I can do. What I don’t want to do is get paralyzed by the magnitude of the thing.”