On Tuesday, shortly after announcing to the American public that the United States was now bombing ISIS in Syria, the President of the United States flew to New York to address the United Nations – on climate change. His speech mixed high-flown sentiment with apologies for America, and pledged American sacrifice in the name of a lofty goal without evidence that such sacrifice would in any way contribute to attaining that goal.
In other words, it was a typical Barack Obama whirligig.
Even as American warplanes struck targets in Syria, even as regimes tottered in Jordan and Iraq and Yemen, among others, even as the Japanese economy collapses and the economies of India, China and Brazil shake, even as Ebola virus runs rampant through Africa, Obama announced that terrorism, instability, inequality and disease represented secondary threats. “There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other,” Obama said, “and that is the urgent and growing threat of climate change.”
Obama then went on a non-scientific rant about the pseudoscience of manmade climate change. “In America,” he said, “the past decade has been our hottest on record” – neglecting, of course, to mention that according to Christopher Booker of the UK Telegraph, “The US has actually been cooling since the Thirties, the hottest decade on record.” Obama continued with his litany of alarmism: floods, wildfire seasons getting longer, droughts, rainstorms.
“Worldwide,” Obama concluded, “this summer was the hottest ever recorded – with global carbon emissions still on the rise.” In the United States, however, better technologies are stanching the rise of carbon emissions – while 2013 saw a rise in American carbon emissions, America saw a steady decline in CO2 emissions from 2006 on, thanks in large part to recession. That process, by the way, works in reverse as well: purposefully cutting carbon emissions can destroy economies.
But not according to Obama. According to Obama, he has heard the call of the people:
The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call. We know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
So Obama claims that the marches over climate change over the weekend drove his action. The New York march, the largest in America, drew an estimated 311,000 people, and the September 2009 Taxpayer March on Washington drew twice as many people. Yet Obama did not feel the urgent call to lower taxes. Odd.
Obama then said there was good news: “we have the means — the technological innovation and the scientific imagination — to begin the work of repairing it right now.” What are those means?
Cutting American growth, first and foremost. Which, to Obama, is a net positive, since he believes that global economic inequality leads to all social ills. “[T]oday,” Obama explained, “I’m here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and its second largest emitter, to say that we have begun to do something about it.”
For example, Obama stated, we “now harness three times as much electricity from the wind and 10 times as much from the sun as we did when I came into office.” Obama neglected to mention that an utterly negligible amount of America’s electricity comes from wind and solar – 4.13 percent and 0.23 percent, respectively. By way of contrast, 39 percent of our electricity comes from coal, another 27 percent from natural gas, and 19 percent from nuclear.
Nonetheless, Obama continued, “these advances have helped create jobs, grow our economy, and drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly two decades — proving that there does not have to be a conflict between a sound environment and strong economic growth.” Actually, Obama’s stimulus packages have helped stagnate the economy, and carbon emissions were declining before Obama took office. But facts are merely propaganda waiting to be rewritten.
But Obama wasn’t done yet: he had more wonderful initiatives to announce. He said he would move forward with his Climate Action Plan, which will force power plants not to emit as much CO2, thereby radically driving up the price of energy for everyone in the United States. But this crippling sanction on American power generation was a big win, Obama chortled: “when completed, this will mark the single most important and significant step the United States has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.”
Obama announced that he had “new actions in renewable energy and energy efficiency” to push which would supposedly “save consumers more than $10 billion on their energy bills” – small comfort for those who will see their electricity bills skyrocket. According to the Obama-associated Associated Press, American electricity bills will rise 13 percent by 2020 thanks to Obama’s Climate Action Plan.
Obama then stated that “private sector leaders” had “agreed to do their part to slash consumption of dangerous greenhouse gases known as HFCs – slash them 80 percent by 2050.” HFCs, for those who don’t know, are used in “virtually every home, office, and automobile,” according to Diane Katz of the Heritage Foundation. And as Katz points out, our use of HFCs is minute compared to the use by China, India, and other developing countries.
But Obama has that handled: he has talked with China. “Just a few minutes ago, I met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli, and reiterated my belief that as the two largest economies and emitters in the world, we have a special responsibility to lead. That’s what big nations have to do,” Obama bragged. No word yet on Zhang’s response.
Finally, Obama turned to a mea culpa. Here, the president was in fine fettle:
Yes, this is hard. But there should be no question that the United States of America is stepping up to the plate. We recognize our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to combat it. We will do our part, and we will help developing nations do theirs. But we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every nation — developed and developing alike. Nobody gets a pass.
By “nobody,” Obama means “everybody” except, presumably, the people of the United States, given that he is already implementing executive orders, and China has signed onto precisely nothing.
To end, Obama dismissed the world’s worries over “the swarm of current events” and bothersome “economic challenges and political challenges.” After all, Obama said, we all need food and air and hopes and dreams!
[I]f we act now, if we can look beyond the swarm of current events and some of the economic challenges and political challenges involved, if we place the air that our children will breathe and the food that they will eat and the hopes and dreams of all posterity above our own short-term interests, we may not be too late for them. While you and I may not live to see all the fruits of our labor, we can act to see that the century ahead is marked not by conflict, but by cooperation; not by human suffering, but by human progress; and that the world we leave to our children, and our children’s children, will be cleaner and healthier, and more prosperous and secure.
This is our president: a man more focused on weaving together beautiful sentiments and pledging beautiful sacrifices in order to stop the weather than he is on leading America to victory against actual enemies and challenges. But that’s also the wonderful thing about fighting shadows: nobody expects you to win.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.