Archive for the ‘Obama and climate change’ category

The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first

June 2, 2017

The president keeps a solemn promise to put America first, Washington Times, Wesley Pruden, June 1, 2017

President Donald Trump arrives in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, June 1, 2017, to speak about the US role in the Paris climate change accord. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Whatever new agreement Mr. Trump can make will be a treaty, and must, as the Constitution makes clear, be ratified by the Senate. Barack Obama, the famous professor of constitutional law, wouldn’t do that because he knew that the Paris agreement would never have made it through the Senate. Climate does change sometimes. Thursday was a sunny day in Washington.

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Uncle Sugar doesn’t live here any more, and he didn’t leave a forwarding address. This is the message, spoken loud and clear by Donald Trump Thursday in the White House Rose Garden, and it’s just now getting through to the easy riders out there.

“As of today,” he said, “the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. We’re getting out but we’ll start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”

This was exactly what the 196 signers needed to hear, and the president told them without heat, bombast or blather. Just the facts, ma’am, and that means Madame Merkel. Before all the news from Washington was in, Madame Merkel, with France and Italy tagging along in the lady’s considerable wake, said in haughty voice that the Paris accord “will not be renegotiated.” So the lady says, subject to invoking the feminine privilege of changing her mind.

The president thus makes good on one of his most important campaign promises, mocking the holy writ of global warming, or “climate change” as it’s called now because the globe refuses to warm as promised and all the dead polar bears are still not dead and the ocean that was supposed to have inundated the financial district of lower Manhattan by now, has still not obeyed Al Gore.

The president sounds like the reasonable one now. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris accord for an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States.” He identified several sectors of the American economy that would lose jobs and paychecks if the United States stays in the accord — 2.7 million jobs by 2025. Fair is fair, after all, even for Uncle Sugar.

This puts a large dent in Barack Obama’s legacy, about which he can’t stop talking. He was first in line to cavil Thursday, presumably caviling from his walled mansion behind a moat of security a quarter of a mile long, where he leads what he imagines the U.S. Government in more or less permanent exile, or at least until he gets bored with exile and goes home, like presidents before him, and comes to term with the fact that his day is done.

“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” he said, trying to remember how to affect a presidential tone. “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership, even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future, I’m confident that our states, cities and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.” This was a stunning exercise in disrespect for the one president we currently have, and for the office as well.

Pittsburgh and Peoria with a foreign policy. Who knew? But several cities with Democratic administrations have vowed to remain in the Paris accord, as if they could. Several tycoons of finance and industry seem to regard their companies as sovereign, too, and were quick to take the president to task. It seems not to have occurred to these cities and tycoons that if they want to clean up their act and eliminate pollution, nobody, least of all Donald Trump, will stop them.

Mr. Trump’s critics are eager now to play holier than thou — even the pope, who had said earlier that if Mr. Trump withdrew from Paris the Vatican would take it as “a slap in the face.” Leonardo DiCaprio was disappointed, too, because he had earlier urged Mr. Trump to “make the moral position.” Moral tutelage from the Vatican and Hollywood on the very same day. Religiosity reigns, if only for the day.

But back where it counts, the president’s decision won praise from Republicans in Congress. “I applaud President Trump and his administration for dealing with yet another blow to the Obama administration’s assault on domestic energy production and jobs,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican majority leader. Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming, chairman of the Senate Committee on the Environment, observed that “the Paris climate agreement set unworkable targets that put America at a competitive disadvantage.”

Whatever new agreement Mr. Trump can make will be a treaty, and must, as the Constitution makes clear, be ratified by the Senate. Barack Obama, the famous professor of constitutional law, wouldn’t do that because he knew that the Paris agreement would never have made it through the Senate. Climate does change sometimes. Thursday was a sunny day in Washington.

Obama lashes at Trump as climate legacy slips away

June 1, 2017

Obama lashes at Trump as climate legacy slips away, Washington TimesStephen Dinan, June 1, 2016

(Of dear. Woe is me Obama. Dirty rat President Trump has rejected President Reject Obama’s legacy of leading the world from behind and does what’s best for America. Tsk. Tsk. — – DM)

Former US President waves before he is awarded the German Media Prize 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany, Thursday, May 25, 2017.(AP Photo/Michael Probst)

A frustrated former President Obama chided President Trump Thursday for canceling U.S. involvement in the Paris climate agreement, and insisted the rest of the world is still headed toward lower greenhouse gas emissions even without American leadership.

Even as Mr. Trump was still speaking in the White House Rose Garden, announcing his decision, Mr. Obama issued a statement accusing his successor of isolating the U.S. by joining “a small handful of nations that reject the future.”

Mr. Trump announced he was withdrawing from the deal but said he would try to negotiate a better agreement that’s more fair to the U.S. His decision, in one swoop, eviscerated Mr. Obama’s top foreign policy accomplishment from his eight years in office.

Mr. Obama, who has been more forthright than previous presidents in criticizing his successor, issued a statement saying the new president was botching America’s leadership role.

But the former president said even without the U.S. government, businesses and other countries won’t back away.

“Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale,” Mr. Obama said.

Mr. Obama negotiated the deal in 2015 and officially committed the U.S. last year.

He promised that by 2025 the U.S. would achieve a reduction of greenhouse gases between 26 percent and 28 percent below the 2005 level.

Though the agreement had many of the features of an international treaty, the former president declined to submit it to the Senate for ratification, where it would have almost certainly been defeated either by vote or by inaction.

Obama backers tried to argue the deal wasn’t binding and that the U.S. could ignore its goals without penalty, though legal analysts warned that remaining part of the deal could create avenues for environmentalists to go to court to force compliance.

How Team Trump plans to kill Obama’s Paris climate deal by declaring it a treaty

April 27, 2017

How Team Trump plans to kill Obama’s Paris climate deal by declaring it a treaty, Washington timesStephen Dinan, April 26, 2017

President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

A briefing paper circulated among Republican senators this week said the deal should have been sent to Capitol Hill by Mr. Obama, but he “knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent.”

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As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed.

The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact.

Mr. Trump’s principal advisers are slated to meet Thursday to hash out a final set of recommendations for the president, with several deadlines looming next month.

At an initial meeting of top staffers Tuesday, several memos and letters that were circulated laid out the options, including the treaty proposal put forth by Christopher C. Horner and Marlo Lewis Jr., senior fellows at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

Under their vision, Mr. Trump could toss out Mr. Obama’s decision that the Paris accord was an executive agreement, declare it a treaty and send it to the Senate, where it would need a two-thirds vote for ratification.

Given Republican control of the chamber, the agreement’s opponents say senators would either shelve the deal or outright defeat it. Either option would derail the deal, the memo suggested.

“That option affirms that we are a nation of laws, not men and, importantly, discourages both our negotiating partners and future U.S. officials against attempting to circumvent our system,” the memo says.

A briefing paper circulated among Republican senators this week said the deal should have been sent to Capitol Hill by Mr. Obama, but he “knew that Congress would never approve such a flawed deal, so he refused to seek the Senate’s advice and consent.”

Supporters of the Paris accord have their own memo drafted by lawyers in the State Department. That memo says that by sending the agreement to the Senate, the president would be giving up important powers and leave Mr. Trump and his successors open to congressional meddling.

“Because the large majority of international agreements concluded by the United States are concluded as executive agreements, this could have far-reaching implications for our conduct of foreign affairs,” the State Department document says.

The Paris agreement is the main international vehicle for trying to combat climate change. Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to the deal in 2015 but never submitted it for ratification, saying it was an extension of a U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which the Senate ratified in 1992.

The State Department memo says there are few risks to remaining part of the Paris deal. It says the “legal obligations are relatively few and are generally process-oriented [and] discretionary in their application or repeat existing obligations already contained in the Framework Convention.”

Michael McKenna, a Republican energy strategist, said anything short of withdrawal would leave the U.S. open to legal challenges, with judges potentially attempting to enforce strict climate limits based on the commitments.

“The president is being asked to travel a path that leads him — ultimately — to continue the Obama administration policies on climate change,” said Mr. McKenna, who has authored his own memo calling for withdrawal.

He blamed Obama administration “holdovers” at the State Department for trying to preserve their former boss’ plans.

Mr. Obama committed the U.S. to cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The former president tried to enforce the commitment through a series of executive and administration actions, imposing tight limits on power plants and auto emissions.

Federal courts have halted some of those plans, and Mr. Trump and Congress have nixed others, easing the pressure on American industry. During the campaign, Mr. Trump also pledged to cancel the Paris deal.

As a decision nears, the sides among Mr. Trump’s top advisers have become clear.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Tuesday appeared to join the remainers, though he said the deal should be renegotiated.

“I’m not going to tell the president of the United States to walk away from the Paris accord,” Mr. Perry said at a conference sponsored by Bloomberg. “I will say that we need to renegotiate it.”

Mr. Perry said other countries are breaking their self-imposed commitments, giving the U.S. an opportunity to insist on changes.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson is a remainer, as are perhaps Mr. Trump’s closest advisers, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump. The White House general counsel’s office also appears to be leaning toward remain, sources familiar with the negotiations said.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt is pushing for withdrawal, and he is joined by U.N. Ambassador Nikki R. Haley, analysts said. Top presidential strategist Stephen K. Bannon is also a withdrawal advocate.

Exxon Mobil Corp. has written a letter urging the administration to stick with the Paris agreement, and the National Mining Association said this week, after its leaders met with Mr. Pruitt, that it will push for withdrawal, Politico reported.

The next test for the Paris accord will be in the middle of May, when finance ministers of the Group of Seven major economies meet in Italy. The heads of state meet at the end of the month.

The leaders are hoping for a communique reaffirming the Paris agreement, while opponents within the U.S. are hoping to prevent that, saying it would tie Mr. Trump’s hands going forward.

Climate “Science” Rocked by Another Scandal

February 5, 2017

Climate “Science” Rocked by Another Scandal, Power LineJohn Hinderaker, February 5, 2017

A just-retired scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has blown the whistle on a scandal of epic proportions involving fake news ginned up by climate “scientists.” Dr. John Bates, who until the end of 2016 was one of NOAA’s top scientists, told the story to the Daily Mail:

The Mail on Sunday today reveals astonishing evidence that the organisation that is the world’s leading source of climate data rushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

A high-level whistleblower has told this newspaper that America’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) breached its own rules on scientific integrity when it published the sensational but flawed report, aimed at making the maximum possible impact on world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron at the UN climate conference in Paris in 2015.

The report claimed that the ‘pause’ or ‘slowdown’ in global warming in the period since 1998 – revealed by UN scientists in 2013 – never existed, and that world temperatures had been rising faster than scientists expected. Launched by NOAA with a public relations fanfare, it was splashed across the world’s media, and cited repeatedly by politicians and policy makers.

But the whistleblower, Dr John Bates, a top NOAA scientist with an impeccable reputation, has shown The Mail on Sunday irrefutable evidence that the paper was based on misleading, ‘unverified’ data.

NOAA violated its own rules by publishing the report without subjecting it to required verification procedures–procedures that were designed by Dr. Bates himself.

His vehement objections to the publication of the faulty data were overridden by his NOAA superiors in what he describes as a ‘blatant attempt to intensify the impact’ of what became known as the Pausebuster paper.

Of all the “fake news” stories that emerged in the last two years, this is undoubtedly the most important. More:

NOAA’s 2015 ‘Pausebuster’ paper was based on two new temperature sets of data – one containing measurements of temperatures at the planet’s surface on land, the other at the surface of the seas.

Both datasets were flawed. This newspaper has learnt that NOAA has now decided that the sea dataset will have to be replaced and substantially revised just 18 months after it was issued, because it used unreliable methods which overstated the speed of warming. The revised data will show both lower temperatures and a slower rate in the recent warming trend.

The land temperature dataset used by the study was afflicted by devastating bugs in its software that rendered its findings ‘unstable’.

This is just one of the tricks the NOAA “scientists” employed to exaggerate warming:

The sea dataset used by Thomas Karl and his colleagues – known as Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperatures version 4, or ERSSTv4, tripled the warming trend over the sea during the years 2000 to 2014 from just 0.036C per decade – as stated in version 3 – to 0.099C per decade. Individual measurements in some parts of the globe had increased by about 0.1C and this resulted in the dramatic increase of the overall global trend published by the Pausebuster paper. But Dr Bates said this increase in temperatures was achieved by dubious means. Its key error was an upwards ‘adjustment’ of readings from fixed and floating buoys, which are generally reliable, to bring them into line with readings from a much more doubtful source – water taken in by ships. This, Dr Bates explained, has long been known to be questionable: ships are themselves sources of heat, readings will vary from ship to ship, and the depth of water intake will vary according to how heavily a ship is laden – so affecting temperature readings.

Dr Bates said: ‘They had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and “corrected” it by using the bad data from ships. You never change good data to agree with bad, but that’s what they did – so as to make it look as if the sea was warmer.’

The Earth’s surface temperature record has been so hopelessly corrupted by “adjustments” made for political purposes by NOAA and other agencies that it likely can never be accurately reconstructed. This is a great loss to science. The Mail story suggests that evidence may have been destroyed to cover the tracks of NOAA’s activists:

Then came the final bombshell. Dr Bates said: ‘I learned that the computer used to process the software had suffered a complete failure.’

The reason for the failure is unknown, but it means the Pausebuster paper can never be replicated or verified by other scientists.

Sounds like they borrowed the computer from the IRS.

NOAA is a rogue, politicized agency, like so many others. It has defied a Congressional committee’s subpoena, and apparently lied to the committee:

NOAA not only failed, but it effectively mounted a cover-up when challenged over its data. After the paper was published, the US House of Representatives Science Committee launched an inquiry into its Pausebuster claims. NOAA refused to comply with subpoenas demanding internal emails from the committee chairman, the Texas Republican Lamar Smith, and falsely claimed that no one had raised concerns about the paper internally.

Heads need to roll. Donald Trump has his work cut out for him, to put it mildly.

Senate Must Act Now to Stop Obama’s Climate Change Treaty

October 6, 2016

Senate Must Act Now to Stop Obama’s Climate Change Treaty, Front Page MagazineJoseph Klein, October 6, 2016

(Obama calls it an “executive agreement” but the UN — with Obama’s connivance– calls it a treaty. How does that make it a treaty? — DM)

barack-obama-in-a-stern-stance

The United States Senate must act urgently to save its treaty approval authority from irreversible damage inflicted by President Obama with the complicity of the United Nations. Congress has already allowed President Obama to get away with putting in force his Iran nuclear deal with no more than a pro forma review. His administration considered it a “political” arrangement, not a treaty. Now the Obama administration has doubled down with the Paris Agreement on climate change, which was negotiated last December and signed by President Obama in April. For domestic consumption, the administration contends that the Paris Agreement on climate change is no more than an “executive agreement,” which does not require Senate concurrence. However, for the purposes of making it legally binding on the United States under international law, the Obama administration has colluded with the United Nations Secretariat to designate the Paris Agreement as a treaty. In fact, in her October 5th press release regarding the latest developments of the agreement, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power referred to the accord as a “treaty” that is on the verge of being enacted. Aside from legally binding requirements to periodically report on each state party’s progress in meeting individual country’s greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments previously submitted in writing to the UN, the Paris Agreement contains provisions that appear to impose additional legally binding financial commitments.

The Paris Agreement on climate change will go into legal effect thirty days after at least 55 countries, whose greenhouse gas emissions represent at least 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have presented the legal instruments necessary under their domestic laws to become formal parties. Once the Paris Agreement goes into legal force, a state party can only withdraw upon at least three years notice. With India and the European Union countries added to the United States and China as well as scores of other countries, the thresholds are about to be met – but only if U.S. greenhouse gas emissions are included in calculating the 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions total. In order for the U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to be counted, and the U.S. to be bound legally to the Paris Agreement after the thresholds are met, Obama had to find a way around submitting the Paris Agreement to the U.S. Senate for approval while still having it deemed a treaty under international law. His scheme was to enlist the help of the United Nations Secretariat, which has placed a universal climate change agreement at the top of its agenda.

With an eye on the upcoming U.S. presidential election and the possibility that Donald Trump, who opposes the climate agreement, would win, the Obama administration and UN officials worked feverishly to accelerate the member state ratification process necessary to allow the Paris Agreement to go into legal effect.  Patricia Espinosa, the UN’s climate chief, said it wouldn’t be “feasible” for Trump to change the terms of the Paris Agreement once it did go into effect. So it was a race against the clock.

President Obama presented his instrument of “acceptance” of the Paris Agreement to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon while attending the G-20 meeting in China last month. He did so alongside China’s President Xi Jinping, who presented his instrument of “ratification.” President Obama said that he and President Xi decided to “commit formally to joining the agreement ahead of schedule.”  By sleight of hand, President Obama sought to transform his “executive agreement,” now deposited as a treaty with the UN and listed as such in the United Nations’ Treaty Collection under the heading “Multilateral Treaties Deposited with the Secretary-General,” into a treaty without Senate approval.

The United Nations Office of Legal Affairs is complicit in this shell game. The chief of its Treaty Section told me that “what the United States calls an executive agreement we call a treaty.” He cited as a precedent an obscure treaty known as the Minamata Convention on Mercury, to which President Obama had also bound the United States through executive action without any consideration by the Senate.

Executive agreements are not binding on successor presidents, who can simply void them.  Obama knows this very well. He is not worried about Hillary Clinton, who is all in with inflicting a critical blow against the fossil fuel industry while giving away many more billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money in wealth redistribution to developing countries. However, he wants desperately to try and cut off Donald Trump, if he is elected as the next president, from taking such an executive action.  Thus, taking no chances, President Obama worked overtime to cement his “legacy” on climate change by imposing treaty obligations on the next president without having gone through the constitutional treaty legislative approval process pursuant to Article II, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution. His administration connived with the UN Secretariat to end run the Senate, an executive overreach that not even Mexico’s president dared to attempt. Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto submitted the Paris Agreement to Mexico’s Senate for approval before presenting Mexico’s instrument of ratification to the United Nations. Other democracies have followed their own constitutional processes for treaty approval, including involvement of their legislative bodies.  But not Barack Obama!

The United States Senate should convene at the earliest opportune time to consider the Paris Agreement as having been deemed submitted to it as a treaty, since it is branded as such by the United Nations. The Senate can then deliberate and formally disavow Obama’s action in depositing the Paris Agreement with the UN as a treaty if the Senate decides not to approve it with the requisite two-thirds vote. This is important not only because of the problems with the Paris Agreement itself, most notably the huge redistribution of wealth it imposes, taking from the United States and other developed countries and giving without any accountability to developing countries. It is also important for the Senate to act so that it sets a clear marker to deter future presidents from proceeding without regard to the Constitution’s separation of powers.

DiCaprio Calls for “Deniers” to be Banned from Public Office: President Obama Stays Silent

October 5, 2016

DiCaprio Calls for “Deniers” to be Banned from Public Office: President Obama Stays Silent, Watts up with that, October 4, 2016

(Please see also, Reviving Religious Tests for Public Office. — DM)

obama_dicaprioScreenshot of President Obama Listening while DiCaprio Calls for “Deniers” to be banned from public office.

It is one thing for a hypocritical jetset climate clown like DiCaprio to say something outrageous and anti-democratic. But it is an entirely different issue, when the serving President of the United States, who took an oath to defend the US constitution, fails to discharge his duty by speaking up against a high profile verbal attack against the liberty of the people he swore to protect.

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Climate advocate Leonardo DiCaprio has called for climate “deniers” to be banned from public office. President Obama, sharing a stage with DiCaprio, did not object – Obama’s words in my opinion appear to actually lend some support to DiCaprio’s outrageous demand, for limiting the US people’s freedom to choose leaders who represent their views.

DiCaprio: Climate change doubters shouldn’t hold public office

Politicians who don’t believe in climate change should not hold public office, said actor Leonardo DiCaprio Monday at the White House before the screening of his new climate documentary.

“The scientific consensus is in and the argument is now over,” DiCaprio said at the White House’s South By South Lawn event.

If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in facts or in science or empirical truths and therefore, in my humble opinion, should not be allowed to hold public office.

“Climate change is almost perversely designed to be really hard to solve politically. It is a problem that creeps up on you,” Obama said.

“The political system in every country is not well-designed to do something tough now to solve a problem that people will really feel the impact of in the future.”

Read more (includes a video): http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/leonardo-dicaprio-barack-obama-sxsl-climate-change

How many tyrants and dictators through history have used the pretext of an imminent disaster to seize control, to deprive people of their freedom?

It is one thing for a hypocritical jetset climate clown like DiCaprio to say something outrageous and anti-democratic. But it is an entirely different issue, when the serving President of the United States, who took an oath to defend the US constitution, fails to discharge his duty by speaking up against a high profile verbal attack against the liberty of the people he swore to protect.

The Obama Narrative Goes to Midway

September 2, 2016

The Obama Narrative Goes to Midway, PJ MediaClaudia Rosett, September 2, 2016

midway on golf cartPresident Barack Obama tours Midway Atoll in the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, on a golf cart with Marine National Monuments Superintendent Matt Brown, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Before we get to this latest frolic in the Obama Narrative, let’s take a moment to remember the Battle of Midway, fought from June 4-7, 1942. It was a huge World War II naval victory over Japan that tipped the advantage decisively toward America in the Pacific.

World War II naval historian Samuel Eliot Morison, in his book “The Two Ocean War,” described Midway as “a victory not only of courage, determination and excellent bombing technique, but of intelligence, bravely and wisely applied.” That victory came at a terrible cost. Morison describes the bravery of American dive-bomber pilots, the initial squadrons massacred by anti-aircraft fire before the rest succeeded in destroying four Japanese carriers. Morison reminds us of “the threescore young aviators who met flaming death that day in reversing the verdict of battle” and urges, “Think of them, reader, every Fourth of June. They and their comrades who survived changed the whole course of the Pacific War.”

That was Midway.

Now comes President Obama, who enroute to a G-20 summit in China stopped Thursday on the Midway Atoll for some climate-change grandstanding, a golf-cart motorcade tour and some snorkeling.

According to the New York Times, Obama did make brief mention of the Americans who died defending Midway in World War II, praising their “courage and bravery” and calling Midway “hallowed ground.” But that part of the visit was apparently so perfunctory that the Associated Press reporter missed the message (or did he?), and instead described Obama’s mention of “hallowed ground” as a reference to the place Midway Atoll occupies “in Native Hawaiian tradition.”

Obama’s main purpose in traveling to Midway, according to a White House fact sheet, was to “mark the significance” of his own “historic conservation action” (has Obama done anything during his presidency that the White House has not described as “historic”?) in creating, off the coast of Hawaii, “the world’s largest marine protected area” — and to “highlight firsthand how the threat of climate change makes protecting our public lands and waters more important than ever.”

By all means let’s do our part to clean up crud on land and sea. But what in the name of Solyndra does that actually have to do with “climate change”? What Obama’s really highlighting firsthand is his own extravagant diktat that the climate change debate “is settled” (which it is not); and his dictum that man-made climate change is both “a fact” and a threat so monumental that it towers over all others (never mind a disintegrating post-World War II order, a rotten Iran nuclear deal, global proliferation of Islamic terrorist attacks, an expansionist Russia and China, and North Korea’s preparations for a fifth nuclear test).

In the world of the Obama narrative, it follows that almost any government controls, regulations, caps, licenses, subsidies and other instruments of state planning are richly justified by promises that the result will be to fine-tune the climate of the planet. On such grounds did Obama last December subordinate the U.S. Constitution to the United Nations-fostered climate change agenda, by entering into the Paris climate accord via “executive agreement,” without submitting it as a treaty for ratification by the Senate. During Obama’s visit to China this weekend, we can expect plenty of “climate change” common cause with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose ecological projects include transforming reefs in the South China Sea into military installations.

When American men fought and died for victory at Midway in 1942, they were defending America, a free country — a place of free speech and free markets. That system is the best hope of adapting to whatever change of climate might come along, man-made or otherwise. Capitalist democracy leaves room for innovation and offers incentives for inventions that genuinely work and are wanted. That is not true of intricate and overbearing climate deals, ginned up by governments, imposed by bureaucrats and endowed with no mechanism that ensures the link Obama loves to proclaim between climate-change central planning and economic growth.

In other words, Obama’s choice of Midway as a poster atoll for his latest climate-change riff was not just a snub to the heroes of World War II or the freedom they fought for. It was a travesty.

Of course, Obama did invite us all to appreciate the natural beauty of Midway, where he said he looks forward “to knowing that 20 years from now, 40 years from now, 100 years from now, this is a place where people can still come to and see what a place like this looks like when it’s not overcrowded and destroyed by human populations.”

That’s nice, except what it seems to mean right now (and presumably for the next century) is that unless you’re the president, or a government employee with work that takes you to Midway, you probably can’t visit the atoll at all. Under the management of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Midway has become a place where visitor services are “reduced.” According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, they’ve actually been suspended since 2012.

According to this blog site, what was once a well-tended atoll maintained by a private outfit in cooperation with the Department of the Interior has fallen into ruin since the government bureaucracy took over all services. I don’t know how much credence to give that story, but it would hardly be the first time that government has set out to improve something, and instead managed to wreck it. The GAO report says the Fish and Wildlife service has been accelerating the ruin by tearing down historic properties without giving any public notice.

Not that the local scene is utterly off-limits to the likes of ordinary Americans — whose presence, unlike Obama’s golfcart motorcade, would spoil the magic of these islands. The Fish and Wildlife service offers a virtual, historical tour. If Obama wants to reduce carbon emissions, maybe he should have set us all an example by settling for that.

Not Satire | Manpower-challenged U.S. Army sets new priority: ‘Mitigate climate change’

April 21, 2016

Manpower-challenged U.S. Army sets new priority: ‘Mitigate climate change’ Washington Times

The U.S. Army on Thursday pledged to honor “Earth Day” by “reasserting its pledge to address the implications of climate change and assess associated risks to national security.”

In a special message to soldiers, the Army, which faces deep cuts in the ranks of active duty soldiers, said it is focused on “the role the land plays in ensuring the Army remains ready and resilient.”

It urges soldiers to celebrate Earth Day on Friday. The Army also made Earth Day its “focus quote of the day.”

“As our Army celebrates Earth Day 2016, please join us in protecting the environment, enabling the Soldiers’ readiness and securing the environmental future for our citizens and our nation. We encourage everyone to join in these efforts by learning more about the Army’s environmental initiatives. Every day around the world, you can make a difference. Army Strong!”

The message also said, “The Army continues to seek and employ technological innovations and energy solutions that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change,” the statement said. “The Army is committed to leading the way in reducing energy consumption, repurposing and recycling, and enhancing the resiliency of the installations through energy efficiency and renewable energy use.”

“The Army will ‘Acknowledge the Past’ by restoring Army lands and preserving cultural and historical resources. TheArmy will ‘Engage the Present’ by meeting environmental standards while also enabling Army operations as well as protecting Soldiers, Families and civilians. The Army will ‘Chart the Future’ by bringing the best practices and technologies to bear.”

The statement was issued by Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.

Earlier this year, the office of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter sent out a directive ordering commanders to incorporate climate change into every thing they do, from testing and buying weapons, to planning wars, to conducting exercises.

“The DoD must be able to adapt current and future operations to address the impacts of climate change in order to maintain an effective and efficient U.S. military,” says the memo, “Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience.”

The Obama administration ranks climate change as one of the biggest threats to national security.

The Army top brass testified at recent congressional budget hearings that it cannot fight a major war on the schedule called for in the national military strategy because of years of funding cuts.