Recently, climate change has been the Voldemort of the Obama Administration: ”The Threat-That-Must-Not-Be-Named.”
In January, the President omitted any discussion of climate change from his State of the Union address, since, what really does the gravest threat to Americans and indeed all homo “sapiens” have to do with the state of the union? Then the White House edited climate change from Obama’s Earth Day 2012 proclamation.
But in an April Rolling Stone interview, Obama pulled a Harry Potter, saying outright that he thought “climate change” would be a campaign issue. Nervous campaign aides looked around to see if invoking the threat that must not be named would somehow cause it to mysteriously appear. And it did, as the nation went through brutal heatwaves and wildfires and a record-smashing drought.
Having learned his lesson, the President was back to being “Silent On Climate Change In his Big Iowa Energy Speech” by the end of May. Then earlier this month, the president recounted the story of
climate change record-breaking heat and ever-worsening drought, but wisely decided not to tempt fate by naming names or causes or what’s gonna happen in the future if we keep doing bloody little or any of that scary sciency stuff.
But it turns out that the President was just being coy. He will talk about climate change to select audiences, you know, the kind that are going to suffer the most from climate change — thanks to their parents’ greed and myopia: college students, Generation CO2.
Here is Obama at Iowa State University Tuesday afternoon:
Hello, Cyclones! Thank you….
The decisions we make as a country on big issues like the economy and jobs and taxes and education and energy and war and climate change — all these decisions will directly affect your life in very personal ways. And I’ve got to say, this is something I’m acutely aware of when I make these decisions, because they’re decisions that are going to affect Malia and Sasha, my daughters, as well. It’s the way it’s always been — one generation makes decisions on behalf of the next.
But here’s the thing, Cyclones — your generation chooses which path we take as a country….
Will this be a country that keeps moving away from foreign oil and towards renewable sources of energy like wind and solar and biofuels — (applause) — energy that makes our economy more secure, but also makes our planet more secure? (Applause.) …
You believed four years ago that we could use less foreign oil and reduce the carbon pollution that threatens our planet. And in just four years, we’ve doubled — doubled — the generation of clean, renewable energy like wind and solar. (Applause.)
We developed new fuel standards so that your car will get nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade. (Applause.) That’s going to save you money at the pump. That will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a level roughly equivalent to a year’s worth of emissions from all the cars in the world. (Applause.)
Today, America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly 20 years. We’re on track to emit fewer greenhouse gases this year than we have in nearly 20 years. You can keep those trends going. You believed in America, and that’s what’s brought about change.
Governor Romney wants to pass a new $5 trillion tax cut targeted towards the wealthiest Americans. That’s not going to cut our debt. Ignoring inequality doesn’t make it go away. Denying climate change won’t make it stop. These things won’t make for a brighter future. They won’t make your future stronger.
Go, team! Of course, Obama was only kidding when he told the students their generation chooses which path we take as a country. He wasn’t was addressing Hogwarts students, after all.
In the real world, the students’ parents and grandparents have already set the world on a path towards catastrophic warming and only their parents and grandparents can reverse course fast enough to prevent bringing unimaginable peril to all the world’s children.
Note to team Obama: Not talking about climate change doesn’t make it stop, either (see “Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming?“)
Since the Iowa State team is the Cyclones, Obama was being very gutsy here, taking the risk that by mentioning climate change he would be blamed if an actual cyclone made land fall that day.
The fact that one did, however, should merely be taken as coincidence because a few hours later, at Colorado State University, Obama said: