Is the establishment media finally getting tired of President Obama’s grandstanding on global warming? Some news outlets responded skeptically to Obama’s United Nations climate speech.
On Tuesday, Obama spoke before UN delegates in New York City, trying to rally countries to restrict fossil fuel use and cut carbon dioxide emissions. The speech was hailed by some in the media, but less warmly received by others.
An Associated Press “fact-check” of Obama’s speech found it to be a lot of “spin” on climate statistics, from his claims on U.S. emissions reductions to his supposedly “new” efforts to tackle global warming.
For example, Obama tried to claim his investments in green energy technology have already resulted in lowering U.S. carbon dioxide emissions and boosted economic growth — a claim the AP contested.
“About half of the 10 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions the U.S. has achieved in recent years can be attributed to the economic recession, not any specific actions from the Obama administration,” the AP noted. “Obama’s comments also left out that U.S. carbon emissions rose 2.9 percent from 2012 to 2013, the first increase since 2007, because higher natural gas prices spurred more coal use.”
Politico also seemed a little disappointed with Obama’s speech, running a story with the headline: “Obama offers few climate details.” The gist of the story: Obama’s speech was full of soaring rhetoric, but few details on how exactly he would help stem global warming.
“Perhaps the most interesting thing about President Barack Obama’s climate change speech at the United Nations is what he didn’t say,” Politico reported. “Obama didn’t promise $1 billion to help poor countries adapt to the dire effects of climate change, like France did. And he didn’t offer any hints about how sharply greenhouse gas emissions would be cut in the years after 2020, like the European Union and several other countries did.”
“Instead, the president on Tuesday delivered a forceful but largely detail-free speech that sought to reassure the world about the United States’ commitment to reaching a global climate change agreement at crucial talks in Paris at the end of 2015, while leaving the specifics for later,” Politico added.
More surprisingly, the liberal outlet The New Republic ran with the headline: “For Obama, Cheerleading on Climate Change Is Easier Than Leading.”
The article tried to explain away the reasons why Obama stressed global warming actions his administration had already taken, rather than what he planned on doing in the future. TNR argues that Obama had to consider domestic politics in his speech, meaning he left our new regulations planned by his administration to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
“Obama had to consider several audiences with his speech,” TNR noted. “One is the domestic political crowd. That certainly includes environmentalists, but Republicans and other interest groups will be on the attack too, and are looking to use this against Democrats on the campaign trail.”
“Then there is the international audience, and Obama wants to send a strong message to leaders of big polluters like China, India, and Europe that the U.S. isn’t backing away from a commitment to act,” TNR reported.
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