L'Air Up There
You’d think they’d suffered enough in Paris in the past two weeks. But there could be a few morecases of post traumatic stress in the City of Lights when the virtuous people of climate descend on the damaged city early in December.
You see, the army of earnest folk descending on Paris are less about Paris’ pain and more about… er, the sea levels of the Maldives in 2100. Their concerns are not for surviving the next month in Paris, but surviving a very distant time when (assuming ISIS hasn’t prevailed) the greatest threat will be too many rain clouds.
The lead voice in the “Change The Weather” choir will of course be the Empathetic One, Barack Obama, who when not altering the climate has a part-time job as president of the United States. Climate change, not the J-V team at ISIS, is the greatest threat facing his world, he told us back in the spring (He’s always been pals with Weathermen)
“Someday, our children, and our children’s children, will look at us in the eye and they’ll ask us, did we do all that we could when we had the chance to deal with this problem and leave them a cleaner, safe, more stable world?” Well, sign me up! You probably heard that even while Paris was burning, the deliberative Prez was still more concerned with the earth turning to ash from excessive carbon or CO2 or YooHoos.
Like almost every Obama crusade, this climate express has left the station with very few passengers. The problem for Obama and his ally, The Prince of Wales (“96 months to oblivion”), is that their Doomsday clock wasn’t convincing the common folk to cast their savings upon the waters of climate rehab.
So while they waited for the public to buy into their quest, the Prez and the Prince decided to link climate change to ISIS. His Royal Highness conflated a regional drought with the desire of Syrians to breathe free and came up with his Balmoral brain wave. The BBC predictably swooned at this shattering insight, but John Bull yawned.
In America, Obama was mocked for his climate obsession at the expense of security. If there’s one thing that Mr. Wonderful hates it’s being mocked. So now he’s changed his mantra. His visit to Paris will be the ultimate gotcha’ against ISIS! “What a powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be” if he comes swanning into Paris to talk climate, he said Tuesday. Apparently ISIS was so rebuked they only decapitated 75 percent of their victims that day.
Can Obama get any kind of deal in Paris to cement his legacy as America’s greatest cementer of legacies? It should be a slam dunk in a demographic where Hillary Clinton insists feeling is believing. But judging by the failure of his coat tails in other endeavors (the Copenhagen climate confab, the Chicago Olympic bid, almost all Democrats running on his record) hopes shouldn’t run high.
But no worry. In the end, the Paris pow-wow has always been more about the roll call of the soy latte/ fair trade/ cisgendered advocates, the photo ops for the virtuous, the vain and the vexed of the climate tribe. High on their wonderfulness they’ll happily commit trillions of other people’s dollars to burnish their bonafides as visionaries.
You got a whiff of this self-congratulation in the words on Monday of new Alberta premier Rachel Motley who trilled that she and her fellows in government could now finally hold their heads high at the latest international climate chin-wags. With the dread recidivist Harper vanquished, they now have their ticket punched to all the right dinner parties, the ones where chic people meet. And all they had to do was go along with the climate collapse menu. Imagine that.
With luck, newbie prime minister Justin Trudeau won’t let his enthusiasms for novel causes allow him to concede the farm. But judging by the Jonestown unanimity on climate matters at the premiers meeting, don’t expect anyone in Canadian public office to serve as a brake against him writing a big cheque with his pouting lips that Canadians will have to back up with their posteriors.
Enabling the entire self-empowerment enterprise will be the assembled might of Big Media who’ve decided that their obligation to inquiry stops at the front door of the climate-change temple. (Unsurprising, as their vanity equals that of the president.) For reporters who see their work as a crusade against the ugly people, the Obama/ Trudeau temperature tale is a perfect story: baffling science, no finite end point and a sexy Hollywood rat pack to enforce discipline.
Having surrendered their curiosity to the hockey-stick graph, they’ll be stumping for big climate to succeed. Oh, and for admission to the party room in Paris, too. Because nothing assuages a massacre like a party with all the swells.
Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy @NPBroadcaster