Everything that’s wrong with our politics and media is encapsulated in this single story in the Guardian.
Obama, like recent US presidents, has been a disaster for the environment. But he can give a good speech, and he has finally done so on climate change. Environmentalists in the US are in ecstasy, and the media are buying every word it. The first pars in the Guardian could be from a White House press handout (as could the rest of their report):
Barack Obama has taken an historic step forward in confronting climate change, asserting his power as US president to cut carbon pollution and protect future generations from catastrophic global warming.
In a speech on Tuesday at Georgetown University, delivered outdoors on a sweltering hot day, Obama went further than any previous US president in outlining a comprehensive strategy for dealing with climate change. He also said he would continue to press the issue as a priority of his second term even in the face of implacable opposition from Republicans in Congress.
What a guy! Except if we search deep into the report we find that on the key issues needed to make this plan work, Obama is on the side of the corporations that are destroying the planet. He believes the disastrous practice of fracking should continue, and that the US should increase its reliance on nuclear power.
And his current “indecision” on the Keystone pipeline, which will release massive quantities of carbon from Canada’s tar sands, is clearly cover for his later approval. He said the effects on the environment would determine whether the project goes ahead – and yet everyone already knows that the pipeline will signal the death knell for the climate.
US environmentalists, frustrated by government inaction for decades, are lapping up this tinkering at the margins, collaborating in presenting it as a revolution in US policy. “This is the change Americans have been waiting for on climate. President Obama is finally putting action behind his words,” said one.
When will we learn?