By Zhiwa Woodbury, Truthout | Op-Ed – Zhiwa Woodbury is an eco-psychologist and author of the forthcoming book, CLIMATE GRIEF: Changing the Way We Think & Feel About Our Climate in Crisis. He blogs at Heal the Planet!. Follow him on Facebook: Planetary Hospice.
As a climate activist who enthusiastically supported Obama’s historic run for the White House, it did not take long at all for myself or most progressives to realize that we’d been snookered. It may be hard to remember, but back then, we had a Democrat-controlled Congress, and the whole world was ready to follow President Obama’s lead. He had a once-in-a-generation opportunity to exercise that mandate at the global Climate Summit in Copenhagen in 2009, weeks after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, but instead of addressing global health, he chose to focus on reforming health care back home, in accordance with the insurance industry’s wishes. We now know that our delegation to Copenhagen included NSA spying on all other delegations, so as to control negotiations — and not for the better. Then, just two years later, Obama’s climate emissaries traveled to Durban, South Africa, and scuttled any chance of building on the expiring Kyoto Climate Treaty of 1997.
Instead, the marching orders from Obama were to extract concessions from all countries present that no enforceable commitments could kick in until after 2020 — after the IEA climate window would close shut on all future generations. Gushing with unanticipated gratitude, leading climate science denier Marc Morano effused:
Obama has carried on Bush’s legacy! So, as skeptics, we tip our hat to President Obama in helping crush and continue to defeat the United Nations process. Obama has been a great friend of global warming skeptics at these conferences!
Having succeeded in lowering the bar of expectations for climate action with Clintonian dispatch, President Obama finally sealed his lethal legacy with the empty rhetoric of the recently ballyhooed Paris Accord, which formalized the 2020 target date for inaction — and went even further to ensure that any “commitments” made would be completely unenforceable!