While news coverage of Obama’s appearance at the September 23 UN Climate Summit focused on his speech reiterating the non-stop apocalyptic blathering of global warming catastrophists, little has been reported on his Climate Change executive order issued the same day.
“For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week — terrorism, instability, inequality, disease — there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” So declared President Barack Obama, in the opening sentence of his televised address from the United Nations Climate Change Summit in New York City.
“Five years have passed since many of us met in Copenhagen,” President Obama continued, “And since then, our understanding of climate change has advanced — both in the deepening science that says this once-distant threat has moved ‘firmly into the present,’ and into the sting of more frequent extreme weather events that show us exactly what these changes may mean for future generations.”
With florid rhetoric that predictably invoked the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenarios that have become boilerplate in political speeches, President Obama pressed on:
So the climate is changing faster than our efforts to address it. The alarm bells keep ringing. Our citizens keep marching. We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call. We know what we have to do to avoid irreparable harm. We have to cut carbon pollution in our own countries to prevent the worst effects of climate change. We have to adapt to the impacts that, unfortunately, we can no longer avoid. And we have to work together as a global community to tackle this global threat before it is too late.
We cannot condemn our children, and their children, to a future that is beyond their capacity to repair.
While the president’s presence at, and address to, the United Nations was important as a public relations boost for the UN’s big Climate Summit in Paris next year, his issuance of an executive order shortly before heading to the UN may have more substantive and immediate impact.
Entitled “Climate-Resilient International Development,” the executive order mandates that all federal agencies begin factoring “climate preparedness” and “climate resilience” into all of their international development programs and investments.
What does that mean? The definitions section of the executive order explains that:
"preparedness" means actions taken to plan, organize, equip, train, and exercise to build, apply, and sustain the capabilities necessary to prevent, protect against, ameliorate the effects of, respond to, and recover from climate change related damages to life, health, property, livelihoods, ecosystems, and national security;
"resilience" means the ability to anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing conditions and withstand, respond to, and recover rapidly from disruptions.
Obviously, then, most people should agree that climate “preparedness” and “resilience,” are good things that deserve the support of one and all — right? Well, that brings to mind the old riddle: How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Five, many people will answer, but the correct response, of course, is four; calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg. And neither does declaring a policy or action to be a blow for “climate preparedness” or “climate resilience” make it so. In fact, virtually everything the administration is doing in the name of “climate preparedness” and “climate resilience” is having the exact opposite effect. Which is to say that its actions are undermining genuine preparedness and resilience.
Which countries are best prepared to deal with hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, floods, heat waves, blizzards, and other extreme weather events? The answer of course, is the advanced industrialized countries. They have the infrastructure, tools, factories, medical emergency services, education levels, surplus wealth, and standards of living that allow them to withstand destructive weather events and other natural disasters, and to recover quickly, while less extreme events devastate developing countries and leave them crippled for generations.
One of the most important factors responsible for this preparedness and resilience of the advanced countries is: abundant energy. When a tsunami, hurricane, earthquake, or flood devastates a region of the United States, for instance, loss of life is relatively small, compared to a similar event in, say, Haiti or Liberia. The reason for this is energy. The poorer countries need more access to energy if they are to be able to lift themselves out of their poverty and vulnerability. And the developed countries need continued access to affordable and diverse energy sources if they are to maintain their preparedness and resiliency, enabling them not only to adapt and respond to their own weather-related contingencies and natural disasters, but to have the surplus wealth to be able to help the less fortunate in the developing nations.
But President Obama’s “Clean Energy” agenda is a prescription for global energy poverty. (See here, here, and here.) Along with the United Nations and the militant “green” lobby, he has declared war on hydrocarbon fuels — coal, petroleum, natural gas, wood — and insists that we rely increasingly on “renewable” energy sources — wind, solar, ethanol — that are neither practical nor economical for large-scale power generation.
President Obama’s new executive order declares:
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and to safeguard security and economic growth, protect the sustainability and long-term durability of U.S. development work in vulnerable countries, and promote sound decisionmaking and risk management, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Policy. The world must reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the most dangerous consequences of climate change. Even with increased efforts to curb these emissions, we must prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The adverse impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, increases in temperatures, more frequent extreme precipitation and heat events, more severe droughts, and increased wildfire activity, along with other impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, such as ocean acidification, threaten to roll back decades of progress in reducing poverty and improving economic growth in vulnerable countries, compromise the effectiveness and resilience of U.S. development assistance, degrade security, and risk intranational and international conflict over resources.
Yet another federal enviro-bureaucracy
Section 6 of the executive order states: “There is established an interagency Council on Climate Preparedness and Resilience,” which “shall be co-chaired by the Chair of CEQ [Council on Environmental Quality], the Director of OSTP [Office of Science and Technology Policy], and the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism.” Membership on the new Council “shall include senior officials (Deputy Secretary or equivalent officer)” from each of the Cabinet departments, as well as a dozen other listed federal agencies and advisory offices — and “such agencies or offices as the President or Co-Chairs shall designate.”
Bribe, Extort, Brow-beat, Arm-twist
The new order “requires the integration of climate-resilience considerations into all United States international development work,” which means that U.S. foreign aid will be used even more brutally than now to bribe and coerce the governments of developing countries into supporting the “decarbonization” program of the White House and the UN.
In addition, the executive order states: “The United States will also promote a similar approach among relevant multilateral entities in which it participates.” Which means that the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, African Development Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, etc., will increasingly be using their leverage to push developing countries to support the plan for empowering the UN to deal with the non-existent “crisis” of global warming.
Obama: Ignore Facts and “Double Down”
As The New American has reported many times, even many of the top global warming alarmists now acknowledge that there has been no measurable global warming for 18 years.
Moreover, contrary to the non-stop, fright peddling about fictitious global warming “crises,” the polar ice caps have been growing, not melting; the United States saw thousands of record low temperatures this past summer, as did much of the rest of the world; the number of destructive hurricanes and tornadoes has decreased in recent years; polar bear populations are thriving, contrary to the claims that the fuzzy, white icon has fallen victim to manmade global warming.
Nevertheless, Obama boasts that he has initiated efforts to “double down” on his administration’s attacks on carbon dioxide, even though CO2 (“the gas of life”) is not pollution, is a natural gas, is a beneficial gas, is essential to plant life, and is a very minor player among the many factors affecting climate. In his UN speech on September 23, he declared: “Last year, I issued America’s first Climate Action Plan to double down on our efforts. Under that plan, my administration is working with states and utilities to set first-ever standards to cut the amount of carbon pollution our power plants can dump into the air.”
Judging by both his words and actions, Americans can expect that, over the next several months, President Obama will continue to escalate his destructive environmental agenda in the frenzied run-up to next year’s UN Climate Change Summit in Paris.
Photo of President Obama at UN Climate Summit: AP Images