On Monday, the Washington Post ran a piece with the print headline, “The climate issue takes a backseat.” The thrust of the story is that while the White House is pushing hard for stronger fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks, they are supposedly downplaying the fact that the new rules “would do more to cut global-warming pollution than any other policy in the president’s time in office.”
If true, this isn’t really news (see “Aussie PM Gillard gives climate speech Obama won’t” and links below).
What is news is that one of the giants of the environmental movement, Jonathan Lash, slams Obama in the piece for lack of leadership on climate. I’ve known Lash for almost as long as he has headed the World Resources Institute. WRI is in many ways a reflection of Lash’s temperament — rock-solid in substance and soft-spoken in rhetoric.
When Lash speaks out, people should listen. Here’s what he said:
“I don’t blame the president for the failure of climate legislation, but I do hold him accountable for allowing opponents to fill the void with misinformation and outright lies about climate change,” he said. “By excising ‘climate change’ from his vocabulary, the president has surrendered the power that only he has to explain challenging issues and advance complex solutions for our country.”
Lash answers the question that I and others have repeatedly posed about the administration’s lame messaging, “Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming?”
Perhaps Lash is speaking out more bluntly because he announced in May he was resigning as WRI’s president after more than 18 years at the helm to become the president of Hampshire College, in Amherst, Massachusetts.
He will be missed in DC.
- Brulle: “By failing to even rhetorically address climate change, Obama is mortgaging our future and further delaying the necessary work to build a political consensus for real action.”
- Downplaying or remaining silent about climate change was and is a blunder for progressives
- The failed presidency of Barack Obama, Part 2