Donald Trump has reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the Republican nomination for US president. There are now global concerns that his campaign could succeed. President Barack Obama said foreign leaders were unsure how seriously to take his pronouncements. He said Trump displays either ignorance of world affairs or a cavalier attitude or an interest in getting tweets and headlines. He suggested more useful proposals would thoughtfully address what’s required to keep the US safe and prosperous and “to keep the world on an even keel.”
But Obama himself disregards what might keep the world on an even keel. For example, regarding climate change:
The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact. And when our children’s children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world, with new sources of energy, I want us to be able to say yes, we did.
Those uncertain whether dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW) is a reality, but who would still disapprove of silencing dissent by saying the debate (any scientific debate) is “settled”, are persuaded by mention of the children not to raise objections. Which is a fact-free, sentimental argument, full of a cynical disregard of the democratic principle of free inquiry.
If it’s climate change, we caused it
This is not some distant problem of the future. This is a problem that is affecting Americans right now. Whether it means increased flooding, greater vulnerability to drought, more severe wildfires — all these things are having an impact on Americans as we speak.
Obama obviously accepts that specific evidence of a human cause is not required when there is evidence of climate change. Nowhere have the climate events he refers to increased in frequency or severity—and wildfires aren’t really a climate event.
Part of what’s unique about climate change, though, is the nature of some of the opposition to action. It’s pretty rare that you’ll encounter somebody who says the problem you’re trying to solve simply doesn’t exist. When President Kennedy set us on a course for the moon, there were a number of people who made a serious case that it wouldn’t be worth it; it was going to be too expensive, it was going to be too hard, it would take too long. But nobody ignored the science. I don’t remember anybody saying that the moon wasn’t there or that it was made of cheese.
He refuses to acknowledge that valid objections exist and slanders sceptics by saying they think the moon is made of cheese. A bit childish, really.
CO2 is not pollution
Today, about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants. There are no federal limits to the amount those plants can pump into the air. None. We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury, and sulfur, and arsenic in our air and water, but power plants can dump as much carbon pollution into our atmosphere as they want. It’s not smart, it’s not right, it’s not safe, and I determined it needs to stop.
It was a clever move by the greens, to call carbon dioxide “carbon” and then to call carbon “pollution”. They gave it a dirty name so people forget that plants need carbon to keep them alive. Plants get their carbon from airborne CO2, underwater plants from dissolved CO2.
There’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.
This talking point appeared recently, with an air of desperation about it. It’s patently untrue that climate change poses a greater threat to our safety than, for example, Islamic terrorists, earthquakes, China’s bellicose ambitions in the China Sea, emerging diseases, hurricanes, aircraft accidents or landslips. Climate change won’t be a danger for many decades to come, while these other things threaten us right now.
Tweets and headlines
Obama knows all about an interest in getting tweets and headlines, since he does it so much. For example:
Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree: #climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.
Just for a moment, let’s assume this is true. Now consider the 3% of those scientific experts who don’t agree. Unless they have lost their ability to read and to reason, then they have legitimate, scientific grounds to question the consensus. Do we call them deniers? In truth, the claim that 97% of scientists or climate scientists agree on global warming is the most notorious untruth in modern science, with no evidence to support it and comprehensively debunked long ago.
Gravity exists. The Earth is round. Climate change is happening. #ScienceSaysSo
After the UN defined climate change as being caused by humanity, activists could make statements like this with impunity—they couldn’t be wrong. At first hearing, you think we’re all talking at cross purposes but then you realise these opponents are winning some kind of argument against you. It takes a while to work out what’s happening but by then you’re forking out for a carbon tax, wondering why the traffic has slowed to a crawl because of all the bus lanes and why you can’t buy normal light bulbs any more.
The worst Obama does is resort to the “denier” label when people disagree with him about climate change. For example, he allowed his website to feature Ted Cruz under this hostile headline:
Ted Cruz is a Climate Change Denier
All because Ted Cruz stated:
There remains considerable uncertainty about the effect of the many factors that influence climate: the sun, the oceans, clouds, the behavior of water vapor (the main greenhouse gas), volcanic activity, and human activity. Nonetheless, climate-change proponents based their models on assumptions about those factors, and now we know that many of those assumptions were wrong.
But in denying questioners the right to voice their scepticism, President Obama is the denier in chief.