The New York Times’ multi-part series profiling President Barack Obama’s legacy on global warming reveals the president is a fan of a book on how “climate change and overpopulation” could cause modern civilization to collapse.
Obama was apparently a fan of Jared Diamond’s 2005 book “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed,” which “explored the environmental changes that wiped out ancient societies like Easter Island and discussed how modern equivalents like climate change and overpopulation could yield the same destruction,” according to NYT.
An Obama aide told NYT he “recalled” the president mentioning Diamond’s book. Diamond is also the author of the controversial book “Guns, Germs and Steel,” focusing on the natural factors of why certain civilizations eclipsed others, and his later book “Collapse” focuses on why civilizations failed.
Obama’s concern about potential global warming-induced doom didn’t end with Diamond’s book. NYT details Obama’s worries that global warming was making weather more extreme and sea levels rise faster — meaning millions of “climate refugees.”
NYT noted Obama “brought up an article in the journal Science on melting permafrost” when looking over the speech he was supposed to give last year, according to White House climate adviser Brian Deese.
Summoned to Obama’s office, Deese expected Obama to make last-minute changes to his speech announcing major global warming regulations. Instead the president pointed to a study that “not only documented faster increases in temperatures, but also drew direct links between fossil fuel emissions and extreme weather.”
“Mr. Obama scrutinized reports like the 2014 National Climate Assessment, which tied climate change to events like flooding in Miami and longer, hotter heat waves in the Southwest,” NYT reported.
“The president’s Pacific roots also came into play,” NYT reported. “In Honolulu last week, he told a meeting of Pacific Island leaders that few people understood the stakes of climate change better than residents of their part of the planet.”
“Crops are withering in the Marshall Islands,” Obama said, according to NYT. “Kiribati is buying property in another country for the day that its own land vanishes beneath the waves. And villagers in Fiji have been forced from their homes by high seas.”
“Shifting monsoon patterns in South Asia could affect a billion people who depend on low-lying agriculture,” Obama said, according to NYT.
“If you have even a portion of those billion people displaced,” he told NYT, “you now have the sorts of refugee crises and potential conflicts that we haven’t seen in our lifetimes.”
“That,” he said, “promises to make life a lot more difficult for our children and grandchildren.”
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