Biden Expands Oil Exploration in Bid to Slow Climate Change
Killing the climate to save it.
Before we begin, take a minute to read the text in the tweet above. It doesn't matter whether you start from the bottom, with the Washington Post headline, and read up, or from the top, with the comment, and read down. The absurdity is almost too on-the-nose to have come from the real world.
The Post article says what you think it says: new drilling ahead. "The proposed program for offshore drilling between 2023 and 2028 would ban exploration off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. But by leaving the possibility for new drilling in parts of the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska, the announcement falls short of Biden’s campaign promise to end federal fossil fuel leasing for good." (emphasis added)
There are several things to note in this article.
First, John Podesta, head of the 2016 Clinton campaign, wants us to appreciate the powerlessness of the (Democratic) president:
“The Supreme Court just put a lead ball around his ankle with regard to his executive authority,” said John Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton and a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama. “If you don’t get reconciliation, together with the constraints that the Supreme Court has put on, I think there’s no way you can get the [U.N.-pledged] 50 percent reduction by the end of the decade.”
Second, the Post writers, while acknowledging that the consequences of continued global warming are "enormous for humanity," define those consequences this way: "If left unchecked, global warming may stall headway on combating hunger, poverty and disease worldwide."
"Stall headway on combating hunger"? For starters, there is no headway. Global hunger is increasing, not decreasing:
The number of people affected by hunger globally rose to as many as 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic (1), according to a United Nations report that provides fresh evidence that the world is moving further away from its goal of ending hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. (emphasis added)
One can guess at the reason: The world's super-wealthy are too busy adding to their own happiness to worry about the misery of others, or in many cases, worry about causing it:
“This report repeatedly highlights the intensification of these major drivers of food insecurity and malnutrition: conflict, climate extremes and economic shocks, combined with growing inequalities,” the heads of the five UN agencies (2) wrote in this year's Foreword. (emphasis added)
But more importantly, the consequences of global warming are "enormous" because it will collapse humanity's 5,000-year-old greatest accomplishment (or its original sin) — civilization, stable cities supported by agriculture. Is the Post afraid to acknowledge this fact? Perhaps it is, considering that its owner is Jeff Bezos, America's predator-in-chief.
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Third, the person who gets to execute this plan is Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, a Native American and progressive whose appointment was widely hailed as a victory for "the good guys":
President-elect Joe Biden intends to nominate Rep. Deb Haaland, D-N.M., to be his interior secretary, and Michael Regan to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, sources familiar with the decisions told NBC News.
If confirmed, Haaland, 60, would become the first Native American to serve as a Cabinet secretary. The pick is being cheered by progressives and would add to what Biden calls his “barrier-breaking” Cabinet.
I thought at the time she should never have taken the post. The question was always, “Who was using whom?” Were progressives taking advantage of Biden's need for diversity and “change,” especially at the department that contained the Bureau of Indian Affairs, to get “one of theirs” into his cabinet? Or was Biden taking advantage of Haaland by appointing someone who would put a progressive face on what were sure to be planet-killing policies?
Let's put it this way: If I were evil and Joe Biden in 2021, Haaland would be my first pick for that job. I'd get my oil-and-gas policies and trash progressive credibility in one swift move.
“A Proposed Program is not a decision to issue specific leases or to authorize any drilling or development,” Haaland said in a statement. “From Day One, President Biden and I have made clear our commitment to transition to a clean energy economy.”
She should pray every day that no one remembers that quote.
Finally, there's the never-gone Joe Manchin. The Post is pretending that Biden's goal is to give Joe Manchin the energy plan he wants — more oil and gas usage in the world — in exchange for more climate-friendly policies:
Manchin has long called for protecting the United States’ energy security and increasing its energy independence from foreign nations. But aides say negotiations over what the energy and climate components of the deal would look like are still underway and final decisions are probably weeks away.
That pretense may in fact be true; Biden may be doing this. Or, he might be waving Manchin like a flag in front of voters' faces as the reason he has to do what he wants to do anyway.
I'm not a fan of the "Biden is an easily fooled child" explanation, just as I wasn't a fan of the "Obama is a bad negotiator" explanation. Obama was an excellent negotiator — he won nearly every time his opponents were progressives.
Which brings me to a point I made earlier about Biden and Manchin. Most people think the image below shows Lucy as Joe Manchin, the football as Biden's progressive agenda, and Charlie Brown as the ever-fooled President.
But what if Lucy is the President and Manchin is the football? Who then is Charlie Brown?
(Last edited: July 17, 2022)