This explains why Obama is headed to New York.
But he must know that all he’ll be able to accomplish, even in the best case, will simply be lip service to his urgings.
First, where “taking the lead” on climate change has been tried in developed countries, politicians responsible for it often find themselves seeking other employment. When the Democrat‐controlled U.S. House of Representative tried to take the lead and passed cap‐and‐trade legislation during the summer of 2009, its make‐up turned over in the succeeding 2010 election. In Australia, since 2009, three political leaders, including two Prime Ministers were ousted over their support of schemes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the latest being Julia Gillard, who just this past June was voted out over her carbon tax (the Australian Parliament repealed the carbon tax in July.)
Second, current‐generation renewable technologies are insufficient to meet the energy needs at the pace that developing countries (like China and India) would like to develop. Considering that opinion polls show that “climate change” ranks low among priorities of the U.S. populous, imagine where it must rank in countries with large populations with little to no access to electricity.
So even if the President sees heads nodding along when he is speaking at the climate summit, it is unlikely that anything concrete—with lasting and demonstrable effects on the climate—will (or can) result.
So where does that leave us?
Leading on an issue which increasingly science says is overblown, one with few willing and able followers, and one that will produce few tangible results—results that, as far as the U.S. economy is concerned, may even prove negative.
Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. President.