Obama Again Sounds Climate Change Alarm But Continues To Support Fossil Fuel Industry

Jerri-Lynn here. This article pulls its punches somewhat in its criticisms of Obama’s climate change record and to my mind doesn’t fully live up to the promise of the headline. Nevertheless, please persevere until the end, when the author hits a bit harder as he discusses the US rise to the position of the world’s third largest fossil fuel producer, in part as a result of the fracking boom. While Obama and company have squawked about climate change, administration policy has actually fuelled that particular trend in fossil fuel extraction.

The underlying New York Times article that sparked the author’s post (and the video interview embedded herein) comprise part of the ceaseless drumbeat of legacy journalism as the Obama administration stumbles toward its finish line. Am I alone in being absolutely sick of these assessments, which serve to whitewash what has been a very sorry presidency for progressives, featuring a long litany of disappointments? So, as I do, I suggest you substitute “long litany of disappointments” for that L word whenever you see some article assessing Obama’s legacy, and then I find it’s somewhat easier to stomach whatever propaganda is being sent your way.

By Farron Cousins, who is the executive editor of The Trial Lawyer magazine, and whose articles have appeared on The Huffington Post, Alternet, and The Progressive Magazine. He has worked for the Ring of Fire radio program with hosts Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Mike Papantonio, and Sam Seder since August 2004, and is currently the co-host and producer of the program. He also currently serves as the co-host of Ring of Fire on Free Speech TV, a daily program airing nightly at 8:30pm eastern. Farron received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of West Florida in 2005 and became a member of American MENSA in 2009. Follow him on Twitter @farronbalanced. Originally published at DeSmogBlog.

On September 8, The New York Times published an interview with President Barack Obama in which he discussed the rapidly approaching, and already present, dangers of climate change, along with the threats that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would pose to the environment as president.

Reflecting on his climate legacy in the interview, President Obama reinforced his concerns about and dedication to acting on climate change, but his rhetoric fails to match up with his broader record, which notably includes overseeing the United States’ rise to the top spot among fossil fuel producers worldwide.

Indeed, in the interview, President Obama referred to climate change trends as “terrifying,” a statement which is hard to argue with considering the overwhelming scientific evidence. The Times also mentions the president’s successes in putting the Clean Power Plan in place and his role in committing the United States to the Paris climate agreement.

President Obama also attempted to explain why getting through to people on climate change can be so challenging, as The Times noted:

What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” he said. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

Climate change, Mr. Obama often says, is the greatest long-term threat facing the world, as well as a danger already manifesting itself as droughts, storms, heat waves and flooding. More than health care, more than righting a sinking economic ship, more than the historic first of an African-American president, he believes that his efforts to slow the warming of the planet will be the most consequential legacy of his presidency.

The article goes on to discuss the number of ways that the president has reached out to other countries to help fight climate change, and how he’s talked about the issue at length, especially during his second term as president. But there is one vital piece of information missing from The Times’ coverage of Obama’s climate legacy: The fact that he has done even more for the fossil fuel industry than his predecessors, including the ones who literally used to work for oil companies.

There are two very distinct issues here: The first is the president’s limited success in actually reining in carbon emissions and protecting the environment, and the other is his simultaneous approval and expansion of fossil fuel projects.

When discussing the limitations of President Obama’s record of action on climate change, it is important to factor in the obstruction coming from the climate change-denying Republican Party that currently holds majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

With the legislative branch of government currently dominated by a party that overwhelmingly denies the reality of climate change, it isn’t very surprising that the president’s environmental agenda has struggled as a result.

For example, the cap and trade legislation that President Obama championed was shot down in 2010 in part by Republican obstructionism in the Senate, allowing a business-as-usual scenario to continue for greenhouse gas emissions, which were slowed somewhat by the Great Recession but have since rebounded along with the economy. The Times article also notes that the Koch brothers and their Tea Party super PACs played a considerable role in killing that legislation.

And even though President Obama was able to make the Clean Power Plan a reality, legal challenges from Republican officials and fossil fuel industry lawyers have delayed the implementation of that plan, which would require states to regulate emissions from the electricity sector.

Sadly, it isn’t just Republicans providing opposition to the president’s climate plans; plenty of “centrist” Democrats have joined in as well. The most notorious Democrat fighting the climate agenda in Washington, D.C. is Senator Joe Manchin from coal-dominated West Virginia. As a notable example, Sen. Manchin helped destroy a bipartisan bill that would have reduced power plant emissions years before the Clean Power Plan was drafted.

Perhaps President Obama’s shortcomings on climate change action could be forgiven or even dismissed, if it weren’t for his administration’s willingness to open up federal lands and waters to fossil fuel industry exploitation. That’s where the real disappointment lies.

Looking at some of the numbers on this issue reveals a pro-industry approach toward energy production. When President Obama took office in 2009, domestic oil production was at about 5.1 million barrels a day. By April of 2016, that number had climbed to 8.9 million barrels a day, which CNN notes is a 74 percent increase in just 7 years.

Under President Obama’s watch, the United States has become the largest fossil fuel producer on the planet when accounting for both oil and liquefied natural gas production. In terms of just crude oil production, the U.S. falls to third place, behind Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Oil and gas obtained via hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) now accounts for 50% of U.S. oil production, and, thanks to the Republican-controlled Congress, the 40-year-long ban on crude oil exports was lifted.

Meanwhile, the government is still auctioning offshore oil and gas leases, even after President Obama presided over the largest ever oil spill in U.S. waters. Fracking continues its incredible boom, despite reports showing a rise in human-caused earthquakes related to fracking wastewater injections.

While the president may not have personally approved all of these projects, as leader of the United States and a purported leader on climate action, he bears the responsibility for allowing them to happen and not doing more to stop them during his administration.

What the president said in his New York Times interview is true; climate change trends are absolutely terrifying. But the United States will be hard-pressed to make meaningful progress on climate while continuing to give the fossil fuel industry so much support and access for a purpose so utterly opposed to that goal.

Watch Obama’s edited interview with the New York Times below:

Print Friendly, PDF & Email


  1. wombat

    74% increase in U.S. oil consumption during the Obama Administration, Not much of a surprise. Short term interests have outweighed the inevitable long term destruction of the climate. The neoliberal Dems, the red hunting Joseph McCarthys of the 2010s (see HRCs perpetual warnings on Trump and Putin), have managed to increase crude output in conjunction with Saudi Arabia, coincidentally concurrent to the Annexation of Crimea and thereafter- A short term success story really: we have managed to squeeze the heavily oil dependent Russian economy, at what future cost? Who knows, all the fossils are going to be consumed anyways, perhaps that is President Obama’s logic.

    1. FluffytheObeseCat

      It’s a 74% increase in oil production, not consumption. Our consumption profile wasn’t covered in the post above.

      1. Synapsid

        wombat, Fluffy, all,

        About domestic oil production: In 2009 we were in a recession, domestic production of oil had been declining since about 1988, and oil prices had been climbing since 1998. Those high prices had allowed the development, by fracking, of oil resources that had not been economic to develop before. The industry took the bit between its teeth and production took off. Obama inherited that; to start at 2009, point to the climbing production, and say “Obama” is either dishonest and manipulative or the result of ignorance and lazy thinking.

          1. Synapsid


            Read the post again and then state, in one sentence, what the point of the post is.

            Hint: It is not to defend Obama.

  2. Synoia

    What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” he said. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

    When they see it, in the form of sea level rise IT WILL BE TOO LATE.

    On the current path, between 100 million and 200 million US citizens will become impoverished and homeless as rising sea levels destroy the sewage plants, refineries, and other coastal infrastructure needed to live in their homes.

    There are approximately 180 sewage plants serving 150 million people at risk in the US. They will not be all flooded at the same time, but at some point the cost of protection will outrun the amount of available protection budget (and the current protection budgets are at or close to $0)

    My advice? Sell now and move ahead of the rush. Only buy if the sewage plant serving new home is over 150 ft above sea level, or it has a septic system and is over 200 ft above sea level.

    1. Skippy

      What I have experience wrt people having difficulty with AGW is they find it a “Tax” on their Freedumbs ™….

      1. Paleo

        Americans can’t define what freedom is. They equate self indulgence with freedom which has the result of destroying civic responsibility.

    2. Thor's Hammer

      Fish swimming through the streets of New York and Miami presents a graphic image that belongs in a B movie, but it also serves to divert attention from the real threats to the future of homo sapiens on this planet. Millions of years ago shallow seas capable of supporting only a mono-culture of algae covered much of the planet. Quadtrillions died and with time, heat, and pressure eventually became the oil and coal that humans are burning to support a temporary industrial civilization and exponential growth in population.

      The planet’s oceans form a giant sink for the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels. But as carbon dioxide is absorbed it changes the PH acidity of the oceans. And at the base of the food chain pyramid quadtrillions of organisms depend upon a delicate balance of acidity in order to form their skeletal structures. Without them the entire oceanic food chain will collapse, and with it a major food source for humans. But never mind— after a few hundred million years new oil may be created.

      On land we are precipitating the Sixth Extinction at a pace unheard of in planetary history. At this rate half of the species on earth will be extinct within a century. We may not miss metafundia like the elephants or our cousins the great apes, but we certainly will miss honeybees that pollinate our apples or the soil bacteria that allow us to grow grains.

      In the end, for all their individual brilliance, humans are just another species like yeast or lemmings, obeying the imperatives of their biology and social organization. From the standpoint of planetary health we are a toxic weed species. The planet doesn’t need us and we cannot live on it while doing our utmost to destroy it.

      1. Tony Wright

        Well put. I would add that as supposedly the only sentient species on the planet we have the power of consequential thought. Sadly ,and ultimately catastrophically though ,we only use this ability for short term self interest ,and our success at doing so is causing mass extinctions and climate change. The only solution is to rise above our basic instincts and control our population.
        Unfortunately our economic system is utterly addicted to endless growth, and religions all push the line, either implicitly or explicitly ,that their believers have a greater right to populate(or overpopulate) the earth.
        Unless both of the above change radically the Earth our grandchildren inherit will resemble a mixture of Mad Max, the Middle East and the Manila Rubbish Tip

    3. Katharine

      There should be a huge business opportunity for composting toilets and graywater recycling systems.

      That is not to say those would be sufficient to offset the loss of treatment plants, but it would not be realistic to suggest that nothing would be done when governments and individuals finally began to confront the change. Granted the habitual behavior of governments does not inspire confidence, they have occasionally dealt successfully with reality.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Agree! We will need to learn how to use our night soil and waste waters. I do wonder whether running water will be all that available. We must adapt a lot of habits. Wells and cisterns seem a good idea. My knowledge of agriculture is deplorable as is my knowledge of other practical arts.

        I’ve become very fond of having light at night but I’m wary of the silicon based solar panels — they don’t seem all that robust. How would they stand up to golfball sized hail and strong winds?

  3. Madmamie

    Exactly right. Water sources and water quality, location in relation to fresh food sources and future viability of transportation networks are other things to consider before settling anywhere. And how lucky you are if you get to choose!

    Of course the big one will undoubtedly take out part of the Pacific coast in one fell swoop but that’s the exception. Elsewhere it’s not a sunami coming in one wave. How weird that everybody sees only the end results and forgets the consecutive waves of illness, accidents, accidents, riots, progressive migration and ineffectual temporary fixes that will precede the final destruction of some coastal areas.

  4. makedoanmend

    Question: how can Obama and other “movers-and-shakers” in the US and elsewhere, who have at their disposal the most information/data rich resources on the planet with which to make decisions, both hold the view that the future is scary if we burn more fossil fuels and then introduce policies that increase the production and subsequent consumption?

    Sure there are maniacs who love money so much that they live only to accumulate more and more and more, and fossil fuels are big money getters. To hell with their grandchildren and every other living organism on earth.

    OTOH: Is it possible that the Obamas and many of their ilk elsewhere feel as helpless as the rest of us? Sure, they would like to cut fossil fuel consumption but are their electorates willing to change? Are we willing to live on a fraction of the energy we now use and give up our lifestyles and adopt hardships? Is there any program and series of steps that allow for a calm and dispassionate downpowering from the heady heights of energy-industrialism to some other more perceived “primitive” lifestyle. Would even suggesting that we must accept a less materially consumptive world past muster with any of our complex and modern societies?

    Such a political platform would garner how many votes?

    Maybe there are no scapegoats like there seems to be no easy path towards a collectively sane down-powering.

    1. Jan Galkowski

      It is increasingly plausible that our political system, and quite possibly all others across the planet, are simply incapable of addressing and fixing problems at this scale.

      I mean look at the proposal for “cap ‘n’ trade” proposal of 2010 whose defeat is blamed on Republicans: That bill, as any cap ‘n’ trade proposal, is a terrible idea: Most economists agree and vastly prefer a steep Carbon Tax (itself not without its problems, well beyond political ones). Cap ‘n’ trade lets the least deserving continue to pollute at the expense of those least off, it is difficult and expensive to enforce, relying upon self-reporting, and it is easy to cheat. Naturally, it was seen as workable, because, well, the companies who cared knew how to get around it. Major environmentalists opposed the legislation because it was just a fig leaf.

      The trouble with solving problems of this kind with the political system is that a fix requires X, and the political system demands compromise so, instead, you get X/4. Alas, the X is not arbitrary, it’s a threshold: If you don’t do X the problem isn’t fixed.

      This is the science that hasn’t successfully been communicated to the public and to policy, for whatever set of reasons you want (too depressingly, too economically disruptive, too whatever), that climate disruption comes from cumulative long term emissions, not emissions intensity. It is unlike most other environmental problems which address spewing toxic stuff into the environment. There, clearly, reducing the amount of spew is better than doing nothing, as long as the reduction is significant. What people need to realize is that the only fix is going to zero, not a “significant reduction”. And this has not been communicated.

      See http://goo.gl/59k0zG if you want to understand why this is the case.

    2. Tony Wright

      But we can change. Recent examples include successful anti smoking, anti domestic violence and anti drink driving campaigns, all of which have reduced destructive behaviour which was accepted, or at least condoned, a generation ago.
      It is a matter of political will – or political won’t.
      Sadly, we get only the best democracy that (Big) Money can buy, rather than a valid representation of our opinions.

  5. der

    Ken Salazar, more of the same. Our Innovators and Influencers are helpless, because Free Markets. Science be damned, except the energy extraction kind. 2025 is the no turning back year as I see it, positive feedback loops and tipping points, nature has no time for wishy-washy “leaders”. Our elites wrestle with the questions – “Who goes on Elon Musk’s ship to Mars?” and “Where will we find Eden on our return? Will GPS work?”

    Our Best & Brightest, the Professional Class. For them it’s a lifestyle choice.

    1. oh

      These actions are from the Reagan playbook, where the regulators were hand picked from the very industries that they worked in.

  6. Don Midwest USA

    Obama’s role in the last minute attempt to suppress the Senate report on CIA torture

    A three part article by Spencer Ackerman for the guardian. Much of the new information comes from Daniel Jones who spent 6 years of his life reading the millions of CIA documents and the lead author in the 6,700 page report. A little over a 500 page summary was finally published after years of delay and suppression and even hacking the Senate computers, by the CIA, which is a criminal charge and a violation of separation of powers.

    The original Senate staff team to review the issue early on was reduced to democrats only as the republicans on the team withdrew. Unlike every other oversight action by the legislature, they did not do their work in their own buildings, they did it in a remote CIA building in the basement with security and good lighting. The CIA provided documents to the “secure” Senate computers to be used for the study, but lots of crap when on like poor search tools at the start, and various ways to delay and suppress the documents.

    An earlier Panetta report of an internal audit of the CIA was in line with the conclusions of the Senate effort and the CIA tried to supress that document, it was “lost” and only the actions of Daniel Jones saved the document which was instrumental in getting legislative support to publish.

    The particular point of this comment is that at the end of the study, after the election in which republicans took the senate, the Obama administration attempted to run out the clock and with the new senate, the report might have never seen the light of day.

    This is the link to the second article. The third part has not yet been published.

    ‘A constitutional crisis’: the CIA turns on the Senate:
    Tensions flare between the CIA and the Senate in the fight to release the report on torture – leading the agency to spy on its own legislative overseers

    1. Don Midwest USA

      Part 3 of the article has now been published.

      There are two videos in the article, one of which is CIA director Brennan refusing to admit that CIA spied on senate investigation. Brennan wants to continue as CIA director under a Hillary administration and if he does, expect more efforts to hide the truth from the American people and continue the military, security, industrial complex which along with corporations and oligarchs run the place.

      Brennan uses the excuse of partisanship, the blanket used to hide immense sins of government failures. And like the videos of torture which CIA destroyed (and the man who did it wrote a book), they are continuing to attempt to destroy the full 6,700 page report. Daniel Jones, the staff member who did much of the important work, argued that the 100 page index be published to show the breadth of what the CIA did.

      Here is the link to part 3

      No looking back: the CIA torture report’s aftermath

      Obama’s legacy of protecting the oligarchy and military will probably allow him to become the first billionaire ex president

  7. Don

    We have a problem that is much worse than we think. The problem is that we need to reduce emissions and this will require government audits of industry (sorry, conservatives) but at the same time “the Canadians” are correct, and there is no rational thinking being whose mind hasn’t been dimmed by the constant hammering of the “consensus” view that can deny this once the facts are grasped. Here are the facts, and we owe it to ourselves and to our children to be familiar with them:

  8. Uahsenaa

    It’s always fascinating to me how little anyone, even in these kinds of pieces, ever mentions the c word: coal. Coal is responsible for 43% of CO2 emissions, and that doesn’t even take into account all the other waste products that result from burning coal. Oil and natural gas are terrible as well, but it seems like even the well-meaning won’t touch the elephants in the room. Coal, I imagine, is an especially touchy subject, since it’s the primary means of generating electricity the world over, and electricity is what makes all our futuristic gadgets run.

    And I’m not sure you can blame this reticence entirely on “the people,” even if we’re merely talking about “the ones who vote,” because massive de-industrialization hits them far less hard than it does the pocketbooks of the people who make modern politics what it is. People, within a single generation, managed to adapt to a world replete with screens and networked devices, so I think within a single generation they could just as easily adapt to something else. Industry, on the other hand, and the corporate masters who profit most handsomely from its wastefulness, might not recover. Therein lies the rub.

    1. Synapsid


      Exactly. Coal is the climate killer and its use is increasing worldwide, except in the US and a few other big economies.

      Japan and South Korea, for example, are two of the very largest importers of liquified natural gas (LNG) but are cutting its use and switching more to coal because of its lower cost. India has a population of 1.2 billion and will overtake China within twenty years in number of people, and by then might be using more coal than China does, too. The IEA calculates that the Asia-Pacific region will account for most of the increase in coal use over the next decades, and the number of people living in that region approaches two billion today; we can expect the population there to grow.

      Coal should be of much more concern, with regard to dealing with climate change, than it is.

      1. Code Name D

        Korea has nothing on US. Here in Kansas, we have been fighting the Holcomb Pant expansion for 15 years, with Democrats either being MIA or out-right supporting the plant expansion.
        The plant is still in limbo. A resent SCOTUS ruling said that a plant expansion must comply with current regulations and those 15 year old permits are no longer applicable give the many changes in regulations since then.
        But worry not, Holcomb is not dead. The TPP could bring it back to life.

  9. Enrico Malatesta

    The message to our elected officials from the Deep State is they cannot fix the country’s problems so said elected officials should line up and grab what they can while the country is being looted.

    The oil&gas industry stands ready to reward Mr. Obama with $500K+ speaking fees and donations to the Obama Foundation. Remember, the Clinton Foundation’s behavior is not a warning, but an instruction manual to our sElected Officials.

    Do you think the Dakota Tribes are going to pay Mr. Obama similar to the oil&gas industry if he rules in the Tribes’ favor? That said, do you think that any of the lukewarm Climate Change victories will stand up to the provisions of the TTP, TTiP, & TISA?

  10. John Wright

    It will be very interesting to see the design and siting of the upcoming Obama Presidential Library given Obama’s expressed concern about climate change.

    Perhaps the library will be built on a high mid-western hill?

    If the Obama Library is in a re-purposed oil tanker floating on Lake Michigan, then Obama is taking no climate change chances with his legacy.

    1. John Zelnicker

      @John Wright – I’m not sure of the topology, but the Obama library is going to be at the University of Chicago: “The Barack Obama Presidential Center is the planned presidential library of Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States. The center will be hosted by the University of Chicago, and will be located in Jackson Park on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois.

      1. OIFVet

        The 0bama Liebarry will lie (pun intended) on the path of migratory birds headed to nearby Wooded Island in Jackson Park (less than 1/2 mile away). Wooded Island is a bird sanctuary, a favorite for bird watching, and important for the protection of so many migratory species. The Liebarry will obtain whatever LEED rating is deemed necessary to greenwash 0bama’s legacy, but the fact is that many birds will die because of it, be it from colliding with the copious amounts of glass that will no doubt be part of the exterior cladding, or from the loss of park habitat, or be driven off by the larger crowds and increased noise.

    2. Crazy Horse

      News flash:

      The new Obama Library will be built on the island of Nilhau just offshore from Kauai in Hawaii. As one of the final acts of his presidency, Obama expropriated the island and removed all the native Hawaiian residents in order to provide a suitable site for the 200,000 sq ft .Library featuring as its centerpiece the display of his Nobel Peace Prize.

      The island’s security will be continually monitored by overflights of the latest model Predator drones.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        That’s a shame. It makes it so must harder to drive by and contribute a loose brick to the Obama Library.

  11. jfleni

    It can’t be very “terrifying”, because prince Barrack and his family will move to an 8000+ square foot mansion (maybe 50-60 feet above sea level in dogpatch-
    DC, in 4 months time). Maybe Barrack just got carried away checking his

    Good for the goose Good for the Gander! Problem is the Gander is as nutty as
    the day is long!

  12. Clark Landwehr

    The real driver of Environmental Devastation is the Finance. Back around 800 BC, the Greeks figured this out; hence Solon’s financial reforms (debt cancellation). Of course it didn’t really take and the Greeks destroyed their environment anyway and welcomed the Roman loansharks…

  13. JimTan

    A US Government Tax on carbon emissions exceeding national targets is preferable to any “Cap and Trade” mechanism. That, or the U.S. Government should be the exclusive provider of carbon credits. Cap and Trade, using market based Carbon Credits is a mechanism designed to primarily enrich banks, and secondarily help the environment. Matt Taibbi provided some great detail on its true motives in his famous “Great American Bubble Machine” article about Goldman Sachs:


    “The next bubble, is in carbon credits — a booming trillion dollar market that barely even exists yet, but will if the Democratic Party that it gave $4,452,585 to in the last election manages to push into existence a groundbreaking new commodities bubble, disguised as an “environmental plan,” called cap-and-trade…………..Will this market be bigger than the energy futures market? “Oh, it’ll dwarf it,” says a former staffer on the House energy committee…………..cap-and-trade, as envisioned by Goldman, is really just a carbon tax structured so that private interests collect the revenues. Instead of simply imposing a fixed government levy on carbon pollution and forcing unclean energy producers to pay for the mess they make, cap-and-trade will allow a small tribe of greedy-as-hell Wall Street swine to turn yet another commodities market into a private tax collection scheme. This is worse than the bailout: It allows the bank to seize taxpayer money before it’s even collected. “If it’s going to be a tax, I would prefer that Washington set the tax and collect it,” says Michael Masters, the hedge fund director who spoke out against oil futures speculation. “But we’re saying that Wall Street can set the tax, and Wall Street can collect the tax. That’s the last thing in the world I want. It’s just asinine.”

    We’re currently moving toward implementing state level carbon emission targets by year end which is good:


    What’s not good is there is the vagueness on how companies will maintain these emission targets ( my bet is Cap and Trade gets forced through some backdoor ).

  14. KYrocky

    “…his rhetoric fails to match up with his broader record.

    That pretty well sums up everything about Obama, in every area. Obama has never been fully candid or truthful, but then what politician has. And at the end of the day Obama’s legitimate accomplishment si that he is a very good politician.

    Obama falls way short in environmental protection, particularly with respect to climate change. His protection of financial criminals ranks him almost as a co-conspirator. His unwillingness to address income and wealth inequality have been staggering. From lies about numbers of civilian deaths from drones, shielding frackers, BP and other environmental perpetrators from full accountability, to prosecutions of whistle blowers and lies about TPP, Obama has consistently showed us who he is by actions, and his actions are oftentimes at complete odds with his words.

  15. Michael

    I am incredibly glad for the phrase “Soft Climate Change Denial.” That has really helped my thinking on this and many other topics.

  16. Joe Firestone

    Am I alone in being absolutely sick of these assessments, which serve to whitewash what has been a very sorry presidency for progressives, featuring a long litany of disappointments?

    No you’re not. I’ve been making lists of offenses against progressivism since he took office in 2009. I believe his presidency is a great failure. And his climate efforts have been a travesty. Eight years of marking time while we lose whatever chance we’ve had of containing climate change.

    I don’t credit political excuses either. The Republicans got their great victory in 2010 due to Obama’s failures up to that time and also because he was asleep at the switch in recognizing how important the 2010 decennial election was. It was sheer political malpractice.

    1. Crazy Horse

      Sorry Joe, but the assessment of the Obama presidency as a failure is incredibly naive. He was elected as the Not-Bush harbinger of Hope and Change, but acted solely in the interests of the ruling elite who selected and groomed him for office. He has been the most successful politician of this century, delivering precisely the policies that the Overlords who created him favor.

      —Presided over and facilitated the greatest theft of wealth in history, destroying the middle and working classes and transferring their savings and wealth into the coffers of a small elite of banksters and billionaires.

      —Suspended the rule of law regarding the right to life, liberty, and property and replaced it with an expanded National Security State started under his predecessors.

      —Directed a fleet of remote control assassin drones prowling the globe and killing at his command.

      —Expanded the scope of the Permanent Warfare State and allied it with supposed mortal enemies like Al Qaeda/Nusra Front in Syria and Libya while maintaining the facade of peaceful nation building.

      –Unilaterally attacked Russia with acts of economic warfare and created a path to nuclear war where none had existed before.

      — Orchestrated the sham killing of Osama bin Laden, who had been dead for years, crudely disposed of the empty casket, and got everybody to believe in it.

      —And all the while convinced naive Liberals that he was acting on their behalf.

      1. Joe Firestone

        Hi Crazyhorse, I was evaluating Obama’s presidency from the normative point of view of public purpose rather than from the point of view of his overlords. So, while I agree that he may well be viewed as a great success by them and therefore someone who merits extremely high speaking fees and other favors really soon now, I do not agree that the inference ought to be that he was not a failure.

        The proper standard for evaluating him is the public purpose standard. By that standard he has been, and continues to be an abject failure, because he fell way short of what needed to be done for the nation he was elected to serve.

        This is not complicated. As citizens we all get to evaluate presidents according to how well they have served most of us individually and collectively, and it is simply irrelevant for such an evaluation what his masters may think, or how they would evaluate his performance in office. So, using your own view of public purpose during his term, don’t you agree that he has fallen far short of achieving it? And, if not, then why not?

        1. Crazy Horse

          Hi Joe,
          I appreciate your well reasoned and civil answer to what was an intentionally a provocative post. In the end it comes down to a matter of perspective. If you believe that the US is a functioning democracy and that Presidents are public servants then it makes sense to evaluate them according to how well they serve the general public.

          If however you believe that the US is an oligarchy where a few thousand Lords monopolize control over the economy, own/control the major mass media, determine the legitimacy of what is taught in the leading universities, and spend half the world’s total military budget maintaining a global empire to further their aims it makes little sense to evaluate one of their chosen servants by any standard except how well he/she serves it’s masters.

          I think the preponderance of evidence supports the latter perspective.

  17. ewmayer

    “What makes climate change difficult is that it is not an instantaneous catastrophic event,” [0bama] said. “It’s a slow-moving issue that, on a day-to-day basis, people don’t experience and don’t see.”

    Kinda like overpopulation – the true underlying cause of all sustainability ills – eh, Mr. President? But that would require actual courage to mention.

    Luckily, Hillary – or whichever skinwalker team D picks to inherit the human suit after today’s right-wing-conspiracy health scare – is hard at work on addressing the too-many-humans issue. They just need to figure out how to work things so that the coming nuclear war with the godless commies will kill mostly the ‘deplorables’!

    1. Tony Wright

      Or better still, something like a human version of myxomatosis, but which only kills the 90% who have no regard for the other species with which we share the planet. After all we are overpopulating the planet like a bunch of predatory, polluting rabbits.

  18. Gaylord

    There will be no escape, no mitigation, no adaptation to the destruction of habitat, the conflagration and inundation, and the pandemic disease that will overtake the human species in the decades to come. All claimed efforts to “fight climate change” are but a mirage.

  19. Russell

    The Oil Industry lie a lot of us bought was NG was a Transitional Fuel. The other was the Oil Company was going to pivot towards becoming an Energy Industry. There was also the surprise of Methane.
    They stopped showing the drill pipe cap at about 400 feet down typically supposed to prevent aquifer gas & pressure chemical fluids out of the water because it doesn’t work. The gas & oil seeps up through cracks that do not localize, like a bad screw in an old tin roof.
    That they took that out of long pants high heeled executive girls commercial to make fracking seem wonderful, maybe for something an attorney would say later.
    I asked a guy to design an electric road, and he did. Chris Gorman is his name. Before banned from CR4 I asked after these things.
    Great leaders ask for their engineers. We don’t hear enough of that, and I wonder if it is all locked down by the spies in markets that they are assured will pay more than the people who financed their development.
    I’ve kept up with Exoskeleton development, way behind its day.
    It was Gingrich who went for scientific social engineering in a big way so successfully destructive I could hate the guy.
    The slop of a system is overcome by the informal work between people who have shared dinners.
    The system, is a better system when it is not completed except by handshakes, dinners together, a same day of walking around as at work together to serve together for the good of the people of one nation, not the world, just one nation.
    We can blame the real breakdown on Gingrich, and for what it means now that Sanders is defeated is nearly certain doom considering the time that is running out so much faster they are cruising the Northwest Passage.
    Obama, man, even the ACA is all sabotaged, since Carter all the sabotage.
    Science fiction has lost all charm.
    Thanks, Russell

Comments are closed.