Everyone but the Tea Partiers supports green technology — Republican, Democrat and independent alike. But Americans need to be leveled with. Green energy isn’t a jobs program or even an environmental policy. It’s insurance against fossil fuel price spikes and climate change. The president should remind people that stopping global warming isn’t about nature or “saving the planet.” Some set of plants and animals will survive. Human infrastructure is what’s in danger. We’ve built cities predicated on one climate and now those places have a new one. Climactic chaos is expensive.

Obama should have said: We support clean energy because we value the America we’ve built, and we’re going to fight to save and improve it through this country’s innovations. That could have been a generational challenge for an America lacking a sense of its own future — as sorely as it is lacking jobs.