Obama — more ignorant than we thought

President Obama is charming, credible and he fronts well, but he just revealed some of what truly lies within. It was a disturbing insight and I hope his advisors can amend his ignorance.

It was just last Tuesday — Barack Obama, at a White House press conference, was urging the House of Representatives to pass the Waxman-Markey bill, properly known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act, when he let slip that he doesn’t know what carbon dioxide is.

First he said (I imagined a sonorous tone): “The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century global economy.” Unclear, even vague — but quite grand.

The legislation establishes a “cap and trade” mechanism to limit and to tax emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases.

Then he said: “At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air we breathe.”

Now, it’s good to hear that it won’t cost “us” anything, that the “polluters” will pay the bill, since, God knows, “we” can’t afford anything extra right now. But are we discussing the same substance? Contaminate the water, pollute the air? I’m thinking about carbon dioxide, but he must be describing carbon, or perhaps soot. They’re not the same thing!

How can CO2 pollute this lemonade in my glass? Or the champagne, the Speights, the Lemon and Paeroa, the Fanta? How can we see it in the rivers and streams? How can we detect the CO2 in the atmosphere? It’s not a pollutant, it’s a plant food — clear, invisible, tasteless and odourless. You can’t see it.

If you already knew these simple facts, I’m pleased to announce that you’re better informed than the president of the most powerful nation on earth. For now. I mean president for now. Oh, I also mean most powerful nation for now.

But, with leadership like this, neither can be for much longer.

** STOP PRESS ** Reuters just reported that the bill has been passed, by 219 votes to 212 — a margin of only nine votes. ** END **

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