Monday, December 14, 2015
While there's plenty of reason to be skeptical that ocean levels are rising, there's no question that it's time to don our hip-waders in response to the multinational climate agreement reached in Paris on Saturday.
"I believe this moment can be a turning point for the world," Mr. Obama said as a choir of angels sang. "It's the best chance to save the one planet we've got."
Which would be a lot more impressive if the agreement had any details about how to accomplish a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, was binding in any way, had any metrics for checking to see if countries are keeping their promises, or was rooted in anything even marginally like science or reality.
Not that the loosey-goosey nature of the agreement will keep Obama from using it as a cudgel against American industries and energy companies, both of which have been known to produce near-toxic levels of employment, wealth, and national security.
Still, the president is no hypocrite and he's doing his best, on a personal level, to get rid of noxious fossil fuels. For instance, just a few days from now he'll destroy thousands of gallons of Earth-killing petroleum products by burning them in the engines of Air Force One as he jets off to Hawaii for another Christmas (oops!) holiday vacation. And to get rid of additional fuel (good riddance!) Michelle Obama will probably again make the huge sacrifice of taking her own jet to Oahu.
But despite these efforts, not everyone is happy. Alleged presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says that the Paris agreement will not reduce global warming enough for humanity to survive, which is why he's now campaigning on a pledge to cut our nation's carbon emissions by 80% through a mixture of sky-high taxes, penalties for industries, the end of all energy exploration and development on public lands, and "a lot of sitting around very quietly in cold, dark houses."
Hoping, no doubt, for an occasional bowl of warm porridge.
BONUS: TASHFEENDISHLY CLEVER
It's a good thing that the possible reduction in global warming will mean (according to Barack Obama and John Kerry) the end of anti-western terrorism, because new details about the (ahem) intensive anti-terror security vetting process given to immigrants and visa recipients are anything but comforting.
It had already been revealed that a big part of the process is simply asking the applicants if they're terrorists, affiliated with terror groups, have experience in making bombs, or intend to wage jihad in the United States. Apparently this screening process is rooted in the notion that while radical Islamic murderers may be a lot of bad things, they're certainly not fibbers.
But we're now finding out that the background checks don't include looking into the richest conceivable source of available data - the social media of applicants. Which is why no red flags were raised following Tashfeen Malik's online comments before coming to our country that she supported jihad and hoped to wage it.
But in fairness, we can't really expect the State Department to have the time and resources to track down the emails of a potentially dangerous female jihadist. Not when they've been so preoccupied trying to track down the emails of a demonstrably dangerous former female Secretary of State.