Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Warming Wednesdays: How about that State of the Union speech?

I was working last night, so not paying attention in real time to the Prez' big annual visit to Congress. Later I scanned the text for what he had to say about global warming. As I try to remind myself every Wednesday amid all the political noise and flapdoodle, none of this is going to matter much if we allow our economic system to make the planet unsurvivable.

A search on "climate" reveals that Obama did mention it.

The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. 

I guess saying that gridlock rules is better than saying nothing. But I think I've got a right to be disappointed in the people who rule us and in the ordinary people (too many of us) who put them in office.

Every year around the time of these speeches, pundits bloviate about whether what a president comes up with matters. This year it has been fashionable to say the President Obama was delivering the long form of his re-election stump speech or that nothing ever changed because of what was in a presidential speech. Presidential jawboning runs into the checks and balances in the system and we shouldn't expect anything to come of it ...

But did anything ever change because of what was not in a presidential speech? If our more rational political figures never speak honestly about human-induced global warming and our less rational ones denounce the concept and scientific understanding itself, is it any wonder that a huge fraction of the U.S. population denies climate change is happening?

The most intriguing bit of pre-speech punditry I ran across was from Steve Benen:

… if you want to know what Obama’s prepared to fight for, look no further than what he has to say tonight.

Really? Only time will tell.


Kay Dennison said...

I thought it pretty good for the most part. We'll see, won't we?

Ronni Bennett said...

The scary part of the speech for elders was when the president said he is "prepared to work with Republicans to REFORM Social Security and Medicare."

"Reform" of these programs in Congress, especially on the Republican side, is ALWAYS bad news for the people who use them.

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