Remember George W. Bush’s famous “16 words”? They came from Bush’s 2003 State of the Union speech, where Bush said: “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” That was a true statement, but it caused immense controversy, for reasons that are now hard to remember.
Fast forward to 2013, and President Obama’s State of the Union, where he said, talking about global warming: “Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.” That statement was demonstrably false, as SEPP’s The Week That Was points out:
The claim is so factually challenged that it is a wonder it got by the White House staff. Looking at the weather stations that have 80 years of data shows heat records were set in the 1930s, the Palmer drought index shows the 1930s and the 1950s were hotter and dryer with the 1930’s dust bowl lasting a decade. … Increased floods are not supported by the data, and, according to the National Interagency Fire Center, wildfires are declining.
Obama was wrong about Hurricane Sandy, too:
“We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy….a freak coincidence…” Sandy was neither unique nor extreme. Hurricane direct hits on NYC occurred in 1815, 1821 and 1893 in prior active periods.
What are the chances that Obama’s false 13 words will become as controversial as Bush’s true 16 words? Slim and none, obviously. Of course, there were so many other untrue statements in Obama’s SOTU that it is understandable that the 13 words on global warming got lost in the shuffle.