Following Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address, The New Yorker editor/writer Hendrik Hertzberg noted that the words “climate” and “warming” were entirely absent from the President’s speech, and that “global” was mentioned only once and as a reference to “global trade.”
Hertzberg later went on to submit, “Obama’s State of the Union address was a masterly exercise in rear-guard tactics disguised as visionary optimism. A section was devoted to fighting climate change, but under an assumed name: ‘clean-energy technology’…”
I had agreed with him on this point, but the recent flurry of editorials by columnists I greatly respect highlighting decisions that render Obama a sellout on clean energy and environmental policy makes me reconsider. (As The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein once posed, “Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming?”) The statistics about climate change that were cited and the potential consequences of these decisions make it all even more depressing.
It’s depressing, but I’ve concluded it’s important to know about. Because if you don’t know about it, how can you do anything about it?