What the President’s environmental speech really said

Former Vice President Al Gore called President Obama’s speech on the environment last week “the best address on climate by any president ever.” 

That’s high praise. Obama’s speech won compliments from the left and groans from the right. It was, in a sense, predictable, though the ambition in the speech was atypical. But what did President Obama really say?

The word cloud gives a way to analyze what the President was saying by isolating the words from their context. It’s not a slam-dunk analysis tool, but it lets us see what the policy team thought was important enough to be repeated. If we were to compare them over time, we’d be able to create snapshots of priorities.

“Energy,” was mentioned 39 times. “Pollution,” 38 times.  “Carbon,” 37 times.  To put it into perspective, the President used each of those terms more than he said “America,” which is fairly stunning in a speech designed to set political policy.

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