Barack Obama is eager to return to Copenhagen, where he couldn’t rescue the Olympics for Chicago, for a dramatic last-minute liberation of the world just before we all sink into a boiling sea with the polar bears.
Money is no object, of course. On Monday, the “developing countries” of the world - these countries were once called “the Third World” until someone came up with better marketing - demanded that “the rich countries” put more loot in their begging bowls.
The begging-bowl countries, led by “poor” China and booming India, fronting for a bloc of 135 not-so-booming nations, shut down the so-called climate talks unless they get what they want. What they want is much deeper cuts in greenhouse emissions by the West and for the Western countries to pay a ransom to the greedy have-nots by enabling their corrupt and incompetent governments to go on with their polluting ways. Nobody thinks the one-day boycott of the talks will last very long (no such luck), but it’s supposed to put the leaders of the West on the spot when they start arriving to play Santa Claus for what the Third World countries anticipate will be Christmas morning.
“Nothing is happening at the moment,” a delegate from Bangladesh said Monday, as if to report bad news. But he warned that the director of the Copenhagen carnival must put the demands of the begging bowl-countries “at the top of the agenda” or they might, well, it’s not quite clear what they might do. To go away is too much to hope for. This smacks of gross ingratitude, because with President Obama soon on the way, they’re assured of a wowser of a speech. But lest anyone gets his hopes up by the possibility of the collapse of Copenhagen, the director of the World Wildlife Fund says the begging-bowl countries are only making a point. “I don’t think the talks are falling apart.”
You can’t blame President Obama for fleeing to Copenhagen. Everything at home seems to be falling apart. Maybe things won’t be quite as rotten in Denmark. The recession at home is either over, or not over, depending on which White House economic adviser has the floor. Larry Summers, the director of the National Economic Council, told ABC News that “everybody agrees the recession is over.” But not quite everybody. When NBC News asked Christina Romer, the White House economic adviser, if the recession is really and truly over, she replied: “Of course not. For the people on Main Street and throughout the country, they are still suffering. The unemployment rate is still 10 percent.”
And even that’s not all. Harry Reid, the leader of the Democrats in the Senate, thought he had his 60 votes to assure passage of the health care “reform” the president expects by Christmas. But he doesn’t. Just in case the president finds something else to bail out, the Democrats lifted the nation’s debt ceiling by $2 trillion, give or take a few irrelevant billions, limiting how much the government can borrow or print. The president, who last week eliminated parties to celebrate Christmas and calls his receptions merely “holiday” parties, is enmeshed in new controversy over his Hanukkah party for Jewish friends and supporters. He is accused of inviting only about half as many guests as George W. Bush invited last year. And if that were not enough, Rasmussen reported Monday that his approval rating has dropped to 44 percent, record misery for a president in his first year and moving steadily toward George W. Bush country.
So how better to celebrate the season, whatever anyone wants to call it, than to hurry off to Copenhagen to bail out the world and solemnize the doctrines of environmentalism, the newly emerging world religion. The holiest doctrine of environmentalism is to transfer the wealth of the West to the begging-bowl countries through the global-warming scam, greening the world and ruining the economies of the West. Hence Copenhagen, which the environmentalists envision as their version of Vatican II.
The determination of the president and his party to impose by fiat the schemes they can’t sell with persuasion is breathtaking. Everybody’s polls show that his health care “reform” is a clunker with an angry public. Growing majorities of the American public are beginning to recognize, with similar anger, that global warming is a fright and a scam. The president and his party understand that opportunity, such as it may be, probably won’t knock again. As someone at the White House might say, you can’t let the chance for catastrophes like these to go to waste.
• Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.