August 5, 2013
The Manhattan skyline -- now. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)
The Manhattan skyline — now. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

If you think your summer reading is deficient, maybe you could get your hands on an advance copy of the 2013 Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Its 2007 assessment report, AR4, weighed in at 20 pounds and was more than 3,000 pages long. I wonder if anyone in America, much less in the Obama administration, even read that report. And, apparently, this year’s report, which will be released in September, will be even longer and heavier.

The causes and consequences of global warming remain uncertain, but that’s not even the point. If all the dire predictions and the left’s wildest fantasies come true, it just might be President Obama’s failure as a diplomat that we’ll all reflect on as we’re standing in knee-deep water on the third floor of a high-rise in midtown Manhattan.

Instead of remembering Obama’s presidency by his own comical assertion that “we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment that … the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal,” we might look back at his two terms in office as the time when we missed an opportunity to do something because of his inability to lead an international effort on climate change. Even if the experts are wrong about the effects of carbon emissions, if all the big economies took collective action, perhaps the United States would not be disproportionately weakened. Instead Democrats, who never want the United States to act unilaterally, appear to be all for the president’s solo mission to have the U.S. government gratuitously and pointlessly raise energy prices for Americans.

President Obama has failed to provide international leadership. Instead, he insists on doing what America’s critics, competitors and enemies want us to do by undertaking punitive, unilateral initiatives that will strangle America’s economy, diminishing both our economic strength and whatever diplomatic leverage has survived the Obama presidency.

In a recent Financial Times piece, when trying to explain the inconvenient truth that the earth doesn’t appear to have gotten any warmer in more than a decade, the co-chair of the IPCC AR5 report Thomas Stocker stated that, “Fifteen years of slower warming is simply too short a timeframe on which to base a judgment.” So if he says that 15 years is not long enough to determine a trend and make any kind of judgment, why do Democrats insist on “proving” that man-made global warming is upon us because of a single storm, Sandy, that ravaged the northeast? They take one single storm and any cluster of tornadoes and use them as an “a-ha” moment when it suits them, but then bluster and belittle anyone who dares to suggest that data from the past 15 years showing that no warming has occurred might actually be significant.

This reveals President Obama’s and the Democrats’ strategy on climate change for what it is, even if they can’t admit it to themselves. They just want to undermine the free-market economy and enforce an anti-growth lifestyle that they find more suitable for the rest of us. But through perks in government and post-government high incomes, they effectively exempt themselves.

As I’ve said before, the hypocrisy on this issue is becoming clearer and it’s this hypocrisy that will drive voter sentiments in 2014 — and perhaps 2016 as well.

Ed Rogers is a contributor to the PostPartisan blog, a political consultant and a veteran of the White House and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour in 1991.