Thursday, June 20, 2013

What Mr. Obama Believes

On his recent trip abroad Mr. Obama delivered himself of some very dubious assertions thereby giving us a glimpse into both his worldview and the regrettable superficiality of his thinking. In Berlin he informed a crowd of 4500 (down substantially from the 200,000 admirers at his 2008 appearance) that "the global threat of our time is climate change."

The Hill reports the relevant passage:
“With a global middle class consuming more energy every day, this must now be an effort of all nations, not just some. For the grim alternative affects all nations — more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise. This is the future we must avert,” Obama said.

“This is the global threat of our time. And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate before it is too late. That is our job. That is our task. We have to get to work,” he said, according to a White House transcript.
The greatest threat to the planet, Mr. Obama is evidently convinced, is not Islamic fanaticism. It's not nuclear weapons in the hands of psychopaths. It's not famine, disease or the breakdown of civilized behavior around the globe. It's climate change.

All the other threats are plainly visible every day to anyone who reads the news, but if any significant, permanent change is occurring in our climate it's happening with exquisite stealth.

Before Mr. Obama can expect anyone to give credence to his Gorean alarmism he needs to answer three questions: What is the actual evidence that the climate is changing significantly? How much change would it take to bring about the catastrophes he postulates? What are the geophysical, ecological, and social pros and cons of whatever change is occurring? Apart from a discussion of these questions his claim that global climate change is the greatest threat facing the planet is as vapid as the rest of his speech in Berlin.

In Northern Ireland Mr. Obama outraged the entire Catholic universe when he said this:
“If towns remain divided—if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can’t see ourselves in one another and fear or resentment are allowed to harden—that too encourages division and discourages cooperation.”
I'm sure his Irish listeners were wondering who is this man who presides over a nation whose public schools are declining into educational decrepitude to go to another nation and lecture them about how they arrange their education practices? Would Mr. Obama dream of criticizing Muslims, either here or abroad, for their madrassas which are undoubtedly the most divisive schools on the planet? Would he dream of telling black students at black colleges that their schools encourage division and stifle cooperation? Would he go to New York and tell Jews that their schools contribute to social mistrust and alienation?

Of course he wouldn't, but we learned some time ago that logical rigor is not prominent among the president's gifts. Like many another socialist, Mr. Obama pays lip service to diversity, but in fact desires bland uniformity. For the left diversity is good only to the extent that it serves as a thumb in the eye of traditional ways of arranging society - families, lifestyles, moral values, etc. When it's the tradition itself that's diverse, as in the tradition of having private parochial schools, then it's divisive and socially unhelpful.

Maybe Mr. Obama needs to spend a little less time in the company of his vice-president and more time honing his thinking skills.