Obama’s Climate Change Condescension
If you missed President Obama’s big climate change speech at Georgetown University earlier today, count yourself lucky. At this point, one has to assume that the White House speechwriters are making his remarks this dreary as an intentional means of keeping the public away from the content (in this case, a huge push to regulate carbon emissions from coal plants — the nation’s cheapest and most widespread source of electricity).
Two things stood out from the remarks:
1. Obama is all in on executive power. In the same week that the Supreme Court announced that they’re going to take up the President’s patently unconstitutional recess appointments to the NLRB, here he was once again bypassing Congress and the public. Obama is proposing nothing less than a reordering of our energy economy (let’s not forget his 2008 campaign trail promise to bankrupt coal producers) — and he’s doing it all through executive directives to the EPA. Congress had the chance to pass cap and trade back in the first two years of this Administration and they couldn’t get it done despite the fact that Democrats controlled both houses. Part of the reason: there was a Treasury Department analysis at the time that said passage would be tantamount to a 15 percent income tax increase. The people and their elected representatives have spoken. The President has ignored them.
2. Obama’s condescension towards climate change skeptics (such as yours truly) is astonishing. While the left has a tendency to boast about their reverence for science, they don’t seem to have much respect for the process of critical inquiry that the process requires. Obama today referred to climate skeptics as “members of the flat earth society” (ah yes, the man who was going to heal our national wounds). Just once, I’d like to see someone on the left acknowledge the fact that you can’t get to the virtues of widespread carbon reduction without going through a series of increasingly specific propositions, all of which are subject to some measure of debate:
– Climate change is occurring
– Climate change will produce significant negative effects on humanity
– Climate change is, at least in part, caused by human activity
– There are actions we can take to reduce the prospect of climate change
– The benefits of those actions outweigh the costs
– There are not other policies available with a superior cost-benefit ratio
Perhaps the president has already answered these questions in his own head, but he’s been remarkably mum about them publicly. My guess is that the glib insult is a way of obscuring the fact that he has no real responses.