President Obama is in Paris at a United Nations summit, where nations hope to reach an international agreement on climate change. In response, conservative media figures have resorted to denial, dismissal, and mockery, while criticizing Obama as “simply stupid” and NASA scientists as “talentless low-lives.”
President Obama Attends U.N. Climate Change Summit
USA Today: At U.N. Climate Summit, “President Obama Urged His Fellow World Leaders ... To Curb Global Warming Before It Dooms The Planet.” Amid security concerns due to recent terror attacks in Paris, President Obama spoke to leaders of 196 countries during the United Nations climate summit aimed “to reach an accord for reducing man-made greenhouse gases that cause global warming:”
President Obama urged his fellow world leaders Monday to reach a landmark deal to curb global warming before it dooms the planet.
“I come here personally as the leader of the world's biggest economy and second-biggest emitter to say that America not only acknowledges its role in climate change but embraces doing something about it,” Obama said.
Speaking at the opening session of a United Nations conference attended by 196 nations, he said the old arguments for inaction on (climate change) had been broken.
The United Nations wants the conference to produce a legally binding accord that ensures the Earth's temperature does not increase above 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) from preindustrial levels, but some developing countries most exposed to climate impacts such as extreme weather and rising sea levels want a more ambitious target of 1.5. degrees Celsius.
Some developing nations also say that developed nations responsible for the majority of historic greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming should have to do more to reach that target. [USA Today, 11/30/15]
Right-Wing Media Attack Obama, World Leaders, And Climate Change Supporters During Climate Summit
Fox's Eric Bolling: Christians And Jews Aren't “Blowing People Up And Beheading People On The Basis Of Climate Change.” Fox host Eric Bolling argued that religion and “radical jihadists” play a greater role in terrorism than climate change, in order to criticize Obama's comments at the U.N. summit on climate change:
ERIC BOLLING: President Obama connected climate change to terror, yet I don't see Christians, I don't see Jews blowing people up and beheading people on the basis of climate change. I'm seeing radical jihadists doing it. [Fox News, The Five, 11/30/15]
Fox's Brit Hume: U.N. Climate Summit Merely A “Hoopla” Where Obama And World Leaders Will “Womp Up” A Nonbinding Agreement. Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume claimed that Obama's attendance is a part of his efforts to “drive the coal industry out of business and discourage the use of other fossil fuels.” He goes on to argue that while Americans oppose “principal actions proposed to combat it,” including higher taxes on gasoline and electricity:
BRIT HUME: Given the ghastly events of seventeen days ago in Paris, it makes sense that world leaders would gather there this week. But as you've heard, they're not there to discuss global terrorism, but global temperatures. The incongruity is only underscored by President Obama's assertion that this gathering to discuss a nonbinding climate accord is a, quote, rebuke to the terrorists. That's right folks, the Administration admits -- indeed insists -- that whatever agreement emerges from the conference will not bind the US. To be sure, President Obama will doubtless to continue his current efforts to drive the coal industry out of business and discourage the use of other fossil fuels. But that would be true with or without the Paris climate accord -- which by the way is not expected to contain any enforcement mechanisms. This will be a relief of a majority of Americans, who while saying climate change is a serious matter, draw that line at taking some of the principal action proposed to combat it. A CBS News poll this month found 60 percent oppose to paying higher taxes on gasoline and 79 percent opposed to paying higher taxes on electricity. So amid whatever hoopla the president and the other leaders can womp up at their Paris meeting, remember this, their deal will not be binding. And if it were, it would have to clear the senate, which it can't. [Fox News, Special Report, 11/30/15]
Breitbart News: NASA, NOAA Scientists Are “Talentless Low-Lives.” In a November 30 article, Breitbart News' James Delingpole wrote “twelve reasons why the Paris climate talks are a total waste.” One of the reasons Delingpole gave was that the “alarmist climate scientists are talentless low-lives who cannot be trusted,” citing NASA, NOAA, and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia as examples. [Breitbart, 11/30/15]
Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Member Calls Obama “A Climate Believer, Despite The Facts.” On the November 30 edition of Fox Business' Varney & Co., Wall Street Journal's Mary Kissel claimed Obama's efforts to reach an international agreement is an attempt to “satisfy the far-left side of his party,” asserting that “he is a climate believer, despite the facts:”
STUART VARNEY: He's going around the will of the people. He's going to do this by -- it's not going to be a treaty that he signs, because that would require the approval of congress. He's just going to make an agreement. That's all he's going to do.
MARY KISSEL: Well, remember, he couldn't even convince the Democratic-led, Nancy-Pelosi congress to sacrifice the kind of money and the tax hikes that you'd have to put in place to achieve the targets he's talking about, Stuart.
VARNEY: Okay, so it's just legacy building?
KISSEL: It's legacy building. Look, he -- ideologically, he's a climate believer, despite the facts. And he's also trying to satisfy the far left side of his party, the Tom Steyers of the world. That's where he has taken this party. You'll see Hillary Clinton, I would imagine, mouth the same kind of rhetoric, because she has to please those big donors. It's not the labor unions anymore, Stuart It's the environmentalists who run the left. [Fox Business, Varney & Co., 11/30/15]
Radio Host Mark Belling: Climate Change Summit Is A Response To An Invented Problem In Order “To Appear To Do Something.” While guest-hosting the November 30 edition of Premiere Radio Networks' The Rush Limbaugh Show, conservative radio host Mark Belling said leaders at the UN's climate summit in Paris are dealing with a problem they have “pretty much invent[ed]” to claim they're “doing something” (emphasis added):
MARK BELLING: You have got to admit that this conference in Paris is impressive. This is remarkable, spine tingling, the goosebumps. Only a few short weeks after Paris was attacked, brutally, as the planetary scourge of Islamist terrorism came home and saw innocent people slaughtered, you have the leaders of the entire world there in Paris, in a show of unity. We're going to do something about it, everybody's there. Not only do you have the French President Hollande there, Obama's there, Putin's there, the Chinese leadership is there, the leadership of the EU, the whole world is there in Paris, to deal with -- no no no no, I guess they're not there to deal with terrorism, they're there to deal with the real problem, climate change. Doesn't this really say it all? You have an existential threat to the planet that is creating violence everywhere. Not fifty years from now, not a hundred years from now, right now. Not some vague prediction about how oh, maybe the water is going to rise too much in Florida, right now. You have Muslim terrorists killing people; you have them attempting to take over an entire country, Syria. You have them operating with impunity in Libya. You have terror cells all over the world, you have hateful awful rhetoric, you have jihad -- advocates of jihad saying that the world will be brought down because that's what their god wants. But does that get this kind of response? No no no no no, The fact that they're doing it in Paris makes it just so perfect. It tells you everything. It isn't just liberalism, its institutionalism. Let's not deal with a problem that's serious, let's deal with a problem that we're going to pretty much invent, just so that we can claim that we're doing something. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Rush Limbaugh Show, 11/30/15]
Fox's Steve Doocy Falsely Claims Global Temperatures Have “For The Most Part Stabilized Or Gone Down.” On the November 30 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, during a segment on the climate summit, co-host Steve Doocy suggested that global temperatures have “stabilized or gone down a little bit.” When contributor Geraldo Rivera Doocy countered that “nine out of the ten hottest years” have happened since the year 2000," Doocy proceeded to baselessly insist that “global warming has slowed significantly” in the past twenty years.
STEVE DOOCY (HOST): You know, Geraldo, here's the question -- and we're not going to argue about climate change, although we do know that over the last couple of decades, you know, for the most part the temperature has for the most part has stabilized or gone down a little bit. Regardless of that, though, let's talk about the fact that when you look at polls though, the American people, where you look at their concerns, I think climate change -- 3% of the country says that climate change is their number one priority. And way in front of that are things like terrorism, and security and, of course, our economy.
GERALDO RIVERA (CONTRIBUTOR): Steve, let me just gently disagree, and you know I love you slightly. This will be, 2015, the hottest year on record. We've had nine out of the ten hottest years since the year 2000 in this century. So I think the planet is getting warmer. The question is, what's responsible? It's hard to be in a smoggy day in Beijing --
DOOCY: Geraldo, global warming has slowed significantly over the last two decades. And that brings up the question --
RIVERA: I am not going to debate climate change with you, buddy. I'm not going to debate climate change or religion or politics. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 11/30/15]
Fox's Bill Hemmer Pointed To Snow In Alaska To Diminish Importance Of UN Climate Change Negotiations. During coverage of the U.N. summit on the November 30 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, host Bill Hemmer asked contributor Byron York whether climate change is “man-made or not,” and “can we reverse it ?” Hemmer later pointed to the fact that cities like Anchorage and Fairbanks in Alaska recently experienced snowfall records to contrast the fact that “the president talked about his trip to Alaska” in his climate change remarks at the U.N.:
BILL HEMMER (HOST): You've got big issues though, Byron. I mean, is [climate change] manmade or not? Can we reverse it, if true, or not? What will countries demand? What will countries concede? It's not easy stuff, and there is a reason why they haven't been able to nail this down for 25 years working on it.
BYRON YORK (CONTRIBUTOR): Yeah and the biggest reason why right now are countries like China and India, as Kevin just mentioned, they are the biggest emitters along with the United States on the planet and they have been very very vague about how much they will cut their emissions and when. And that's not going to change in this deal. So President Obama certainly hoped he could come home from Paris with some big big climate deal but that's not going to happen, and the president as you know has instead penned a lot of his hopes for this on his own domestic unilateral executive actions which he announced in August. But those are the topic of a big fight in the courts and in Congress too.
HEMMER: So we went to the websites in Anchorage Alaska and Fairbanks this morning. Neither story had a story about Paris and climate change. Fairbanks newspaper online said this on November 27: “If Fairbanks residents feel like they've seen more snow than usual so far this winter, they're right. The city has had the third-most snowfall on record for this time of year. According to the National Weather Service, which measures snowfall at its hillside location at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, 50 inches of snow had officially fallen on the Golden Heart city through Thanksgiving day. Since records began that ranks below only 1970 and 1992 for any winter as of November 26.” The reason I point that out, in his opening remarks today, the president talked about his trip to Alaska just a few months ago. We are in a campaign season, Byron. Where do voters rank [these] issues? Do they care about them? What do you find?
YORK: Well, first of all the White House would dismiss all that as just anecdotal evidence. But you are absolutely right about the voters. [Fox News, America's Newsroom, 11/30/15]
Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro: Obama Is “Simply Stupid” For Prioritizing Climate Change Threat. Breitbart News' senior editor-at-large Ben Shapiro rebuked Obama for prioritizing climate change after the ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris:
President Obama is like a beautiful sunrise: each morning, he astonishes anew. Except that the sunrise is beautiful, and President Obama is simply stupid.
President Obama doesn't like the villain with which history has presented him, and so he's instead crafting a villain of his own from broadcloth, a sort of alien civilization that wants to stop us from signing leftist agreements. President Obama, in viewing ISIS, is like Jackie Kennedy in viewing the assassin of her husband, Lee Harvey Oswald: “He didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights...it had to be some silly little Communist.” Obama feels the same way about radical Islam: the people of Paris didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed by pro-oil right-wingers. Instead, it had to be some silly little Muslim fanatics. So he'll simply manufacture the enemies he wishes he had, and slap the label of ISIS on them. According to Obama, ISIS isn't Islamic, but they sure as hell hate climate treaties.
Obama's agenda isn't America's agenda in Paris. It's the left's agenda, which means ignoring America's true enemies in order to bring the West down a peg. And if he has to prop up the bodies of a few dead Frenchmen to make that agenda - well, that's just an act of defiance to the terrorists, right? [Breitbart, 11/30/15]
Sean Hannity: "We Call It Weather" But “To These Idiots It's Called Climate Change.” Fox News and radio host Hannity attacked Obama for attending the climate change summit, claiming that the president is just pushing a “political agenda” and “stupid argument” when “weather patterns” were the explanation:
SEAN HANNITY: You know the history of climate change, it never used to be called climate change, you know this. You can go back to the 1970's TIME magazine, front page cover, the same people, the same leftists the same agenda and they were telling the world that the new ice age is coming. Well that evolved into global warming is coming. Now Antarctica is literally accumulating more ice than we have seen in decades and decades and decades. So now they just have a generic term climate change. And climate change means if you get more snow than you normally would, that is climate change. If you don't get enough snow that you normally would get that's called climate change. If you get more tornadoes or less tornadoes, that's climate change. If you get fewer hurricanes or more hurricanes than usual, that's climate change. Everything fits into the narrative of climate change. Now to the rest of us it's called weather and weather patterns, but to these idiots it's called climate change.
HANNITY: You got a president who begins his presidency, he travels to the Middle East, offers a confessional tour for the United States of America -- telling world leaders, you know, gathered in Paris here today for this climate change -- not global cooling, not global warming -- climate change because that encompasses everything no matter what happens. If it rains, climate change. it doesn't rain, climate change. Tsunami, climate change, no tsunami, climate change. Everything -- snows, climate change, no snow, climate change. Hot, climate change. Cold, climate change. We call it weather. [Premiere Radio Networks, The Sean Hannity Show, 11/30/15]
*This post has been updated to more prominently highlight the worst conservative media reactions to the summit.