Free Markets, Free People

Hope And Change: Obama Disappointing Europe Over Climate Change?

If the article in Der Spiegel is any indication, the answer is “yes”.  Lead paragraph:

US President Barack Obama came to office promising hope and change. But on climate change, he has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor George W. Bush. Now, should the climate summit in Copenhagen fail, the blame will lie squarely with Obama.

What, he can’t blame Bush? Surely he can find a way. I guarantee one thing – he will blame it on Republicans and then the Senate.

But the disappointment in Obama is not only palpable, it is obvious:

Barack Obama cast himself as a “citizen of the world” when he delivered his well-received campaign speech in Berlin in the summer of 2008. But the US president has now betrayed this claim. In his Berlin speech, he was dishonest with Europe. Since then, Obama has neglected the single most important issue for an American president who likes to imagine himself as a world citizen, namely his country’s addiction to fossil fuels and the risks of unchecked climate change. Health care reform and other domestic issues were more important to him than global environmental threats. He was either unwilling or unable to convince skeptics in his own ranks and potential defectors from the ranks of the Republicans to support him, for example by promising alternative investments as a compensation for states with large coal reserves.

Obama’s announcement at the APEC summit that it was no longer possible to secure a binding treaty in Copenhagen, is the result of his own negligence. China, India and other emerging economies have always spoken openly about the fact that the US, as the world’s largest emitter of CO2, has to be proactive in commiting itself to targets agreed on by way of international negotiation. But that is not America’s style. The US is quite happy to see itself as the leader of the Western world. But when it comes to climate change, America has once again failed miserably — for the umpteenth time.

To that I say, “thank goodness” for the umpteenth time. This is all a load of blarney and those who’ve looked at the science and considered the findings of scientific skeptics know that not only is the science far from settled, there’s no “scientific consensus” in its validity.

That said, it’s interesting to see how quickly Mr. “Citizen of the World” Obama gets thrown under the bus by Europe. Anyone who has observed Europe over the years would have anticipated this – perhaps not this quickly. But there was no “reset” with the rampant anti-Americanism that lives there. There was only a pause – mostly because they disliked George W Bush so much. But this particular article – among more and more I’m seeing lately – signals a return of the Europe we’ve all known and loved for so long – anti-American, disdainful of all things American and proud of it. Climate change is simply their latest excuse to take shots at the US and its leadership.

It’ll be interesting to see how the administration reacts to this building criticism. My guess is, given how they’ve reacted here, it won’t be pretty.



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16 Responses to Hope And Change: Obama Disappointing Europe Over Climate Change?

  • If you thought Obama’s bowing before the Japanese Emperor was bad, you ain’t seen noting yet!  You want to see groveling at it’s finest?  Watch Obama lick the bottom of Der Spiegel’s boots to get back on the throne as the “First Citizen of the World” title he covets so much.

  • I’m sure everyone here knows this but the statement quoted below is false.  China surpassed us some time ago.
    “the US, as the world’s largest emitter of CO2,”

    • about the fact that the US, as the world’s largest emitter of CO2
      Fact ?! On a per cap basis, but not as a whole.  That title goes to China.

  • The thing is, there may not be much he can do.  Or at least, anything that would satisfy whoever wrote that editorial.  Obama (and Pelosi and Reid, as well) has spent incredible amounts of political capital on health care reform.  With the jobless rate still climbing and calls for his administration to focus on job creation increasing, the chances of getting Cap and Trade passed in the Senate appear to be nil.
    Which is fine with me.  The attempts to cram a radical agenda down the throats of his constituents may very well cripple that agenda, and unless the Democrats have a good showing in November of 2010, it may kill the agenda outright.  I’m sure that, as with Chavez, Obama will be stung by the realization that cozying up to the EU didn’t buy him jack squat.  I guess we all have our cross to bear.

  • Anyone know “the Mirror’s” view on us pulling our our non-green, non solar powered military gear and troops out of Germany?

    • As far as I am concerned it is a national scandal that nearly twenty years after the fall of the Berlin wall we still have thousands of troops and expensive basses in Germany, what the hell are we protecting them from?

      • I get some of it, but every time the Euro’s carp on things I move we pull some more back.  Erb was big on how the Euro’s don’t need us (not that he made their policy mind you…), but I’m sure many of them feel that way, certainly they did when GW was head honcho.  Let’s face it, a some large part of them keeping us there is for their economy, I’m ready to stop sending the extra US (military) dollars to Germany any time.

  • I got the impression that Obama wasn’t the hold up for a treaty and that it was these other nations. 

    If there’s any criticism, its about policy before the treaty.  The Europeans signed up for all kinds of self-imposed requirements that they fail to meet.  They’re using the fact we haven’t signed up for requirements we can’t meet either as an excuse to blame the US for the treaty failure. 

    • It’s one thing to sign up for a treaty and another thing altogether to get Senate Confirmation.  If you remember, Clinton signed us up for Kyoto but never sent the treaty over formally for Senate confirmation.  If I remember correctly, there was a test vote on the subject and it came up 98-0 against.

    • Based on the numbers from the Union of Concerned Scientists (a known shrill for “evil” industry LOL), two of the top four CO2 emitting countries, China (#1) and India (#4), are on record as not interested in killing their economies for the sake of “climate change.”
      Obama has already shown his “bona fides” on the subject of “wealth redistribution,” the other goal of the “climate change” treaty, by being the chief sponsor of the “Global Poverty Act” during the last session of the Senate.

  • If climate change is such a big deal (I don’t think so), then the EU should take the lead and show the rest of the world what to do. Then after about 10-20 years, let’s look at the results.

    • Just look at the last decade (since Kyoto).  During the past decade (under mostly Bush’s leadership), the US (not ratifiying Kyoto) increased CO2 output by far less than the EU (who ratified Kyoto).

  • I’m not sure whom I feel more (ahem) sorry for:

    1.  Imeme, because he can’t quite get all the socialist crap passed that he wants;

    2.  The lefties, who are disappointed that their favorite son isn’t actually the second coming (of Lenin);

    3.  The rest of us.

    Nah, I take that back: I DO know whom I feel more sorry for!

  • CO2 IS GREEN! It’s plant food for Cris’sakes!!!

  • “In his Berlin speech, he was dishonest with Europe.”

    LOL!!!  They’re just now figuring that out????