This year’s global warming convention (the “Climate Change Summit”) is taking place at the United Nations in New York. The march on Monday was intended to put pressure on the delegates by demonstrating popular support for
poverty fighting climate change. Of course, it didn’t put any pressure on China or India–the two key countries in any effort to cut carbon emissions–since their leaders didn’t attend.
President Obama addressed the Summit yesterday. His remarks are here. Rupert Darwell writes that both the president and his audience seemed bored. If they weren’t, they should have been. We have written a great deal about the global warming issue, of course, but I want to take a closer look at Obama’s speech. What did he say; and, perhaps more important, what didn’t he say?
One thing about Obama, he isn’t constrained by honesty:
Five years have passed since many of us met in Copenhagen. And since then, our understanding of climate change has advanced — both in the deepening science that says this once-distant threat has moved “firmly into the present,” and into the sting of more frequent extreme weather events that show us exactly what these changes may mean for future generations.
Actually, the last five years have revealed how little we know about the Earth’s climate. The UN’s own IPCC has had to back off on the more extreme predictions it made in the past, and the most current science is generally opposed to global warming alarmism. Obama’s claim that there are “more frequent extreme weather events” is simply false. Whether you talk about hurricanes, tornadoes, drought, floods, or anything else, extreme weather events have not become more common. If anything, we are living in a period of relatively few such events. For example, the United States has never gone this long, in its recorded history, without a major hurricane making landfall.
No nation is immune. In America, the past decade has been our hottest on record.
Untrue. Unless you “revise” the temperature records, the 1930s were hotter. And, in any event, weather records for most of the U.S. don’t go back before the 18th century, so they start during the Little Ice Age. Thankfully, it’s warmer now.
Along our eastern coast, the city of Miami now floods at high tide.
Really? The whole city? I doubt it. But if so, it has nothing to do with global warming. The oceans have been rising for thousands of years, ever since the end of the last Ice Age, first rapidly and then gradually. The current rate is commensurate with what it has been since the end of the Little Ice Age.
In our west, wildfire season now stretches most of the year.
Wildfires are currently down in the U.S.
In our heartland, farms have been parched by the worst drought in generations, and drenched by the wettest spring in our history.
Global warming: it can do anything! Worldwide, there has been no increase in the area under drought conditions.
So the climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it.
No, it isn’t. There has been no warming for around 17 years, and the alarmists have no good excuse for why their models are wrong.
To this point, Obama’s remarks were a standard catalog of misinformation. I assume that both Obama and most of his audience knew that he was lying through his teeth. Now he started getting to the point:
So today, 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.
The United States has made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions. 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.
Yes, at great cost, much of it in the form of subsidies paid to Democratic Party cronies. Nevertheless, as we have repeatedly documented, solar and wind energy make a risibly small contribution to the nation’s energy supply.
Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth.
Putting aside the fact that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant, that’s true: because of the natural gas boom. Fracking has not only helped to salvage our moribund economy, it has substantially reduced carbon emissions. So Obama takes credit for something he opposed and would have stopped if he had been able.
But we have to do more. Last year, I issued America’s first Climate Action Plan to double down on our efforts. Under that plan, my administration is working with states and utilities to set first-ever standards to cut the amount of carbon pollution our power plants can dump into the air. And when completed, this will mark the single most important and significant step the United States has ever taken to reduce our carbon emissions.
This is why Obama never sets foot in coal country. It remains to be seen how destructive these regulations will be, but Obama has long declared his intention to drive coal-fired power plants out of existence. Plentiful natural gas may make this an achievable objective, but at great cost.
I also convened a group of private sector leaders who’ve agreed to do their part to slash consumption of dangerous greenhouse gases known as HFCs — slash them 80 percent by 2050.
And already, more than 100 nations have agreed to launch talks to phase down HFCs under the Montreal Protocol — the same agreement the world used successfully to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals.
Obama failed to mention that HFCs came into common use in the late 1980s as a replacement for chlorofluorocarbons, which supposedly were depleting the ozone layer and were banned by the Montreal Protocol. That was a fraud, too.
The United States has also engaged more allies and partners to cut carbon pollution and prepare for the impacts we cannot avoid. All told, American climate assistance now reaches more than 120 nations around the world. We’re helping more nations skip past the dirty phase of development, using current technologies, not duplicating the same mistakes and environmental degradation that took place previously.
We’re partnering with African entrepreneurs to launch clean energy projects. We’re helping farmers practice climate-smart agriculture and plant more durable crops. We’re building international coalitions to drive action, from reducing methane emissions from pipelines to launching a free trade agreement for environmental goods. And we have been working shoulder-to-shoulder with many of you to make the Green Climate Fund a reality.
One would have to examine each of these projects on a case by case basis to determine whether they are a good idea or a waste of money. But cheap energy is the foundation of prosperity, and Africa badly needs cheap energy. Anything that makes energy more expensive, in service of a bogus, quasi-religious global warming ideology, is bad for Africa.
Now, the truth is, is that no matter what we do, some populations will still be at risk. The nations that contribute the least to climate change often stand to lose the most. And that’s why, since I took office, the United States has expanded our direct adaptation assistance eightfold, and we’re going to do more.
Today, I’m directing our federal agencies to begin factoring climate resilience into our international development programs and investments. And I’m announcing a new effort to deploy the unique scientific and technological capabilities of the United States, from climate data to early-warning systems. So this effort includes a new partnership that will draw on the resources and expertise of our leading private sector companies and philanthropies to help vulnerable nations better prepare for weather-related disasters, and better plan for long-term threats like steadily rising seas.
On humanitarian grounds (as well as, to a lesser extent, economic grounds), it may be a good idea to aid developing countries with respect to, for example, tsunamis. The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, which was caused by an earthquake, killed something like 280,000 people. So deploying a tsunami warning system could be a great idea. However, is has absolutely nothing to do with global warming.
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.
Actually, there is nothing the nations of the Earth can do, singly or in combination, that will have a perceptible impact on the climate. If you believe the alarmists’ models, the kinds of reductions that Obama is talking about will have negligible consequences.
And the U.S. will not be “joined in this effort by every nation.” China is building coal-fired power plants at a furious pace, and India has already indicated that it has no interest in remaining poor forever–one-third of its people have no access to electricity–in order to please overfed celebrities like Leo DeCaprio.
Obama knows this, of course. What is most notable about his speech yesterday is that it contained nothing new. A pat on the back for fracking, lip service to solar and wind, the administration’s ongoing war on the coal states, and a few penny-ante initiatives to aid poor countries. That was it. No wonder the audience was bored.