Begin forwarded message:
From: "Diaz, Kevin B" >
Date: October 3, 2016 at 8:45:56 PM EDT
To: "Gabriel, Brian" >
Subject: in town pool report 3/lid
Lid was called at 8:25 p.m., after POTUS returned to the WH residence.
Daylong SXSL event was open to credentialed media, but here's a brief recap of the evening:
After a day of panel discussions and bands on the South Lawn of the White House, the president took part in a "conversation" with Leonardo DiCaprio and climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe of Texas Tech University.
At 7:05 p.m. POTUS took the "innovation stage" set up on the lawn under the giant letters SXSL, for South by South Lawn (get it?).
About 2,500 people were gathered under a clear sky in fading daylight and a sliver of moon. It was a festival atmosphere, but more wonky and not as "weird" as Austin (Yes, I've been; so has Obama).
POTUS and DiCaprio donned suits and ties.
Introducing his eco-doc, Before the Flood, DiCaprio told the crowd that "our intent for the film was for it to be released before the next election," and opined that any candidate who disputes the scientific consensus on climate change "should not be allowed to hold public office."
DiCaprio also revealed (don't know if this is news) that he's signed up for a trip to Mars. You never know....
The format was set up for DiCaprio to ask questions, and for Obama and Hayhoe to provide answers.
On the success of efforts to combat climate change, Obama said, "We have an incomplete. But the good news is we can pass the course if we make some good decisions now."
Later, Obama said "what we're seeing is that climate change is happening even faster than the predictions would have told us five years ago or 10 years ago... We're really in a race against time."
(Please check quotes against transcripts that follow from WH)
POTUS also acknowledge that achieving political consensus is hard, because its worst effects are in the future. "Climate change is almost perversely designed to be really hard to solve politically," he said.
But the president concluded on an optimistic note: "Everybody cares about their kids and grandkids, and the world we pass on to them."
POTUS hit the rope line at about 8:15, and worked his way back into the WH, passing by the press pool last.
Houston Chronicle/Hearst Newspapers