Liberal news outlet Salon outdid itself on Monday with a piece about a quasi-apocalyptic future — in 2019 — which includes a huge recession, Arctic drilling by Shell Oil and, of course, Secretary of the Interior Donald Trump.
The writer, Jeff Stein, an Ivy League graduate, titles his piece “The climate nightmare we aren’t taking seriously enough: President Scott Walker.” Thereafter, Stein mentions Walker exactly twice, in each of his first two paragraphs — once to describe Walker as president of the United States and once to say Walker’s “base is furious that he has only eliminated half of all federal food stamp and welfare programs.”
In 769 words, Stein fails utterly to explain how the Republican governor of Wisconsin is in any way a threat to the environmental policy he favors.
In fact, the unambiguous villain in Stein’s Salon piece is President Barack Obama.
In the dystopian future of 2019, Stein imagines, Royal Dutch Shell “proposes a massive expansion of its existing drilling operation in the Arctic Ocean,” The foreign conglomerate boasts of no recent accidents and says it can save the U.S. economy from a deep recession with cheap oil.
President Walker orders Interior Secretary Trump “to immediately approve the project.”
“Liberals are aghast. Environmentalists threaten blockades. Bill McKibben again promises the biggest climate march in history.”
But wait! It turns out that Obama, “that great fighter of climate change,” authorized Arctic drilling back in May 2015.
Stein paints his scenario, he says, to demonstrate his contention that “the greatest danger in the Obama administration’s decision last week” was “to grant conditional authorization to Shell to drill in the Chukchi Sea off of northwest Alaska.”
The 2013 Cornell University graduate who “can recite almost every word on the Notorious B.I.G.’s 1994 album ‘Ready to Die’ from memory,” wants the Obama administration to create policy which forces the U.S. economy to move away from fossil fuels and “in new directions.”
He does not specify the new directions.
Also, federal government “approval is not yet final, and Shell could face other regulatory hurdles.”
But Stein remains deeply concerned.
“What’s truly worrisome, and devastatingly so, is that Obama has set a precedent for opening up a massive new frontier in gas production — one that could make our already bewildering carbon emissions math into an arithmetic impossibility,” the history major notes.
“The Arctic region is believed to contain 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its natural gas,” Stein says, citing a report from the people who run ThinkProgress.
“Meanwhile, if we have any chance of limiting global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (which itself would be disastrous), we have to leave more than two-thirds of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground,” he insists, citing a report from the International Energy Agency.