I’ve just watched the latest Rolling Stone video on climate change featuring an exclusive hour-long interview with President Obama – and I’m scared. Really scared.
The first thing that scares me is what it says about the decline of journalism generally and at Rolling Stone in particular.
Can this really be the same magazine that launched Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, which employed Lester Bangs, Joe Klein, Joe Eszterhas and PJ O’Rourke, and which gave us that OK-ish Cameron Crowe movie where the autobiographical hero never got to sleep with Kate Hudson?
And oughtn’t Rolling Stone to be trying to raise the bar rather than lower it after the appalling fiasco of its UVA rape story reportage?
But the thing that ought to scare us all far more than any of the above is the insight it offers into the terrifyingly desperate lengths to which President Obama and his fellow travellers are now prepared to go in order to advance the green agenda.
One of these fellow travellers is Rolling Stone editor Jeff Goodell, who was granted an exclusive audience with the President in order to promote what the video calls “Obama’s Climate Crusade”.
Crusade? I thought that word was on the presidential banned list on account of its being offensive to followers of the Religion of Peace (TM)
Apparently, though, climate change is so incredibly important that it trumps any of that minor-league rape, crucifixion and enslavement stuff going on in Syria and Iraq right now.
“This is the beginning of a very long war, a very long fight,” Goodell tells us to the accompaniment of brooding electronic music and footage of Obama on his trip to Alaska gazing wistfully at a melting glacier. “In the future every US president is going to have to become a climate warrior.”
Goodell goes on to ask possibly the silliest, most hysterical and embarrassing question Obama has been asked during his two terms as president. It reflects badly on Goodell’s credulousness. But it reflects even more badly on the President himself, who would most certainly have vetted it in advance.
What Goodell wants to know, on behalf of Rolling Stone readers, is how the president “decides how much truth to tell the American public about climate change and how much he feels it’s his job to inspire people and how much he withholds some of the truth because if they knew what we were really facing it would be too much for them to bear.”
Let’s pause just a moment to savour the sublime fatuousness of that question. Here is a journalist, on a reasonably well-respected and well-read magazine, who appears genuinely to believe that climate change is right up there with the Roswell incident and the Kennedy assassination and all those events that THEY can never tell us the truth about for fear of what it might do to our foolish impressionable minds.
And worse, here’s the President of the USA actually playing along with this game.
“I do what I can do,” says Obama in unflappable statesman mode. “What I don’t want anyone to do is get paralysed by the magnitude of the thing.”
Earlier in the interview, Goodell has used a rude word. But it’s allowed – the president brushes it off with a smile – because it reflects the seriousness of the terrible shit (oops, now I’m at it) in which we find ourselves.
“Doesn’t it scare the shit out of you sometimes?” Goodell asks the president. (He means climate change).
“Part of my job is to read stuff that terrifies me all the time,” replies the president.
That, there, folks is the non-denial denial. What Obama is doing there, as above, is leaving open the possibility in the viewer’s mind that, yes, there really is stuff he reads about climate change which is far far worse than anything he dares reveal publicly.
What a charlatan! What a snake oil salesman! Obama knows darned well that if his scientists were to produce research tomorrow morning showing that climate change was going to drown every other child in America and turn the survivors into zombie vampires with double strength Ebola and cooties he’d have the press releases on every news desk by lunchtime. That’s how desperate he and his administration are to breathe some life and purpose into the moribund fiasco of the forthcoming UN climate talks in Paris.
He wants climate action. As Goodell tacitly admits in the video, it’s Obama’s last shot at securing any kind of legacy. But the problem is nobody cares any more. Obama and his fellow green activists are like the boy who cried wolf.
Except of course the wolf in the fable actually existed. Whereas the wolf in the climate change story doesn’t.