In his second inaugural address, Barack Obama makes a very big deal of the terrible climate change crisis apparently threatening the world.
At least two things trouble me about this passage of his speech. The first is that every single word – including the “ands” and “buts” – is either a lie, a deliberate obfuscation, a non-sequitur, a junk-science myth or a load of total cobblers.
Here’s what he said:
We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.
You can read my full deconstruction of this unutterable tripe here. But let me give you just one example of why it’s a pack of lies. This claim about extreme weather: it’s just not true. Watts Up With That? has just done an analysis of US climate records since 1910 – raging fires, crippling droughts, powerful storms, etc – and shows that 2012 ranks pretty low on the list of catastrophic years. Just 54th, in fact.
The second thing I really loathe about that speech is the way he shoehorns, with all the subtlety of a severed horse’s head in your bed, both God and the founding fathers into it. E.g.:
That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
Can you read the subtext here? It’s so unsubtle, so crassly insulting that you can hardly have missed it. Let me translate:
You, Republican America, are incredibly dumb and I totally hate and despise you. But in order to pretend that I’m some kind of bi-partisan healer I’m going to dress my words up with the kind of imagery that you crazies seem to go mad for. You like God, right? And the Founding Fathers? OK. So here’s some nice God ‘n’ Founding Fathers stuff for you. Happy now? Course you are. You’re that dumb — you didn’t even see what I did there. Did you?