Why We Lose: This Earth Day Obama Doesn’t Beat Climate Change Dead Horse, Left Pounces

I never cease to be amused by the lengths some "liberals" go to in order to bash President Obama. Take this article, from Joe Romm at the Think Progress Green Page, in which he rails about changes in the president’s Earth Day proclamations between last year and this year.  His complaint? That last year’s White House proclamation contained the phrase “climate change,” and this year’s (GASP!) DID NOT!

It’s quite the shocker, isn’t it? Apparently, if Joe Romm doesn’t see the words “climate change” in every annual proclamation, he assumes that no one in government believes it’s actually occurring. This sort of argument reminds me of Bill O’Reilly’s annual lament about the “war against Christmas,” which is based on the retailers' alleged failure to wish everyone a “Merry Christmas.” Apparently, that failure means there is no Christmas in those years.

And no, I’m not exaggerating. This is how Romm starts the article:

You’ll be glad to know that in the last 12 months, that whole climate change problem went away. At least that’s the impression left from comparing President Obama’s 2012 Earth Day proclamation with the 2011 one.

Like I said; if the president doesn’t mention it, Romm thinks people will cease to believe it’s a problem.

I don't get it. People are bombarded with this concept on a daily basis.The president chose to take a positive tone during an election year, and remind people that we’ve come a long way on the environment and that we can continue to change things if we continue doing what we're doing. That doesn’t mean he’s forgotten the changing climate, it just means he’s taking a positive tone during an election year, because he knows that’s what it takes to win elections.  I'll remind you once again; progressives don’t win elections by taking a negative tone and attempting to scare the hell out of people. The president knows this, and unfortunately, progressives do not. If you don't believe me, look at the reality that the last 32 years have seen the domination of an obnoxious sub-group of voters who feed off of electoral negativity. Railing about the dire future we face on climate change only gets extremists charged up, not the voters who actually decide elections.

But the part of this article that really takes the cake is the following:

Can’t argue with any of that. Sure, Obama isn’t doing bloody much on climate change, and he’s nonsensically censoring it from his major speeches even though it may be one of the definitive wedge issues of our time…

Climate change is not a “wedge issue.” On the other hand, the high cost of energy, especially gsoline prices, IS a wedge issue. 

Climat change is a fact, and most people believe it is, anyway. While they may disagree on the reasons for it, fully two-thirds of Americans believe the planet is getting warmer.( Here’s a survey; scroll down.) So, why is it so important to some progressives to continue beating that dead horse? I mean, you know 30% of the population will never say they believe you, so what’s the point if the number is currently 34%?

Just as importantly, is the end game to get as many people believing in climate change, or to actually burn less carbon-based fuel and reduce our contribution to the problem? I would submit that the latter should be the end game. It seems to me that the energy we expend trying to to reverse the trends causing high carbon emissions would be far more productive than trying to convince the nutjobs on the right that climate change is real. We never cared what they thought before, why now?

We have a great Interstate highway system because we needed one. Eisenhower realized he couldn’t sell it as a quick way to get from New York to Miami, so he sold it as a defense project, to move tanks and weapons from one part of the country to the other whenever the Soviets decided to attack. Why can’t we use the same type of approach when it comes to reducing carbon emissions? Does the argument have to be “the survival of the planet is at stake”? Why can’t the argument be “you’ll spend less on energy every year” or "you'll live in a cleaner country"?

I also take issue with Romm's contention that President Obama “isn’t doing bloody much on climate change.” If Romm considers himself a journalist, he should be a little more careful regarding his “statements of fact.” Like, he should only state fact.

Has President Obama gotten rid of global warming yet? No. Has he eliminated the use of oil entirely? No. In other words, he hasn’t leaped tall buildings in a single bound and he can't reverse the spin of the earth to trn back time. But to say he hasn’t done much — bloody or not — is absolutely untrue. In his first three years, despite unprecedented opposition from the Republican Party, he’s managed to:

  • For the first time ever, ruled that CO2 is a pollutant. http://bit.ly/iQTSNN
  • Usher in the first major increase in CAFÉ standards since Carter's administration, from 27.5 mpg now to 35.5mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025   http://1.usa.gov/qtghsW  
  • Usher through the first increases in commercial fuel efficiency standards since Carter. http://1.usa.gov/oQiC1K 
  • Reengage the United States in climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks, and even proposed one himself. http://bit.ly/dX6Vj3
  • Address the U.N. Climate Change Conference, thus officially reversing the Bush era stance that climate change was a “hoax.” http://nyti.ms/hfeqvv
  • Double federal spending on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE
  • Push through a tax credit for people who buy plug-in hybrid cars. http://bit.ly/j8UP5Y
  • Assert EPA's legal supremacy over the states, and bar Texas from authorizing new oil refinery permits on its own, using its own standards. http://bit.ly/ww8eMd
  • Get his EPA to improve boiler safety standards to save lives and improve emissions.  http://bit.ly/jYH7nt
  • Actively try to amend the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to eliminate  liability limits for companies responsible for large oil spills. http://nyti.ms/bxjDi3
  • Mandate that federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles, and encourage government fleet support for experimental, fuel-efficient vehicles.   http://bit.ly/h5KZqy http://1.usa.gov/fLWq5c http://1.usa.gov/hmUSbk 
  • Require states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce energy consumption. http://bit.ly/lBhk7P
  • Through the economic stimulus plan, make the first major government investments in alternative fuels since Carter. http://bit.ly/JvfBRi
  • Order power plants to prepare to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar by 2021. http://reut.rs/fV155p  (Note: the GOP is still trying to kill it.)

First off, every one of the above is cited. As you can see from the above (and that’s not everything), it’s simply untrue to claim that Obama “isn’t doing bloody much on climate change.” For the first time since Jimmy Carter was president, an administratio is taking environmental issues seriously, and doing whatever he can to improve things.

And that's the catch, folks. He's doing what he can. Instead of complaining constantly about what he hasn't done, we should be working hard to make sure the president has the tools to do what needs to be done. We took a negative approach to the 2010 election, and in the process we hamstrung his ability to get done what he needs to do. If he's going to do more, he needs a Congress that will give him more support, and he needs support from us. That means, stop the whining and complaining and offer support, like we did in 2008 

Of course this year's Earth Day proclamation is different from last year's. This is an election year. This is a year you offer up solutions, because that's what gets votes. Voters are looking to elect people who can solve problems; they’re not particularly interested in voting for someone who can simply recite problems back to them.

As the survey linked above shows, two-thirds of people already believe the climate is changing, so repeating the phrase is absolutely pointless. What they want to hear is what can be done to address climate change. I urge everyone to read the 2012 Earth Day Proclamation that Romm so takes offense with, and you’ll see, in a very subtle way, it actually provides a road map to how we can all help to fix the environment, even though it doesn’t list all of the problems we currently face.

That, my friends, is how we win elections. 

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One comment

  1. Didnt the Obama EPA just put in a measure to limit mercury going into the waters and environment?
    Didnt he stop the Keystone XL until they address the environmental concerns?
    He’s doing the damn actions, but if he’s not saying their buzz words, its all fail?
    And this is why the Tea Party is in power in most of these states.
    Cant be bothered to point their powder at Romney, no, they still have some powder to point at President Obama
    And they wonder why a progressive agenda doesnt go too far, you got these whiners acting like they’re in their terrible twos

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