President Barack Obama visited the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London last Wednesday, bearing an Al-Gore-like message to the assembled military troops. “Obama Stresses Security Threat Of Climate Change” read an editorial in a Hartford paper.
Shaken editorial writers proclaimed, “… Mr. Obama has an urgent alarm to sound. He's made climate change a top priority for the remainder of his second term. He's had trouble, however, bringing the Republican-led Congress onboard, so he's resorted to a series of executive orders. ‘Going forward,’ he said Wednesday, ‘I've committed to doubling the pace at which we cut carbon pollution’ on many fronts — more efficient buildings and power plants, renewables, energy research.
“The president doubtless had a sympathetic audience on the banks of the Thames River; all of the newly minted ensigns have studied climate change and many have served in the Arctic and seen its effects firsthand. New London understands the threat.”
Indeed, some of the ensigns may have read a recent report from NASA, which contained some up-beat news.
Forbes reports, “Updated data from NASA satellite instruments reveal the Earth’s polar ice caps have not receded at all since the satellite instruments began measuring the ice caps in 1979. Since the end of 2012, moreover, total polar ice extent has largely remained above the post-1979 average. The updated data contradict one of the most frequently asserted global warming claims – that global warming is causing the polar ice caps to recede.”
News from the Middle East is less encouraging. Many months after Mr. Obama had declared al Qaeda moribund, offshoots have bloomed in Northern Iraq, parts of Syria and Yemen. Sunni Saudi Arabia, once considered friendly to the United States, is now surrounded by Iranian supported Shia Muslims. Mr. Obama has entered into negotiations with Iran concerning the country’s development of nuclear weapons, sending shivers up the spines of both Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of Israel, and Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the recently installed King of Saudi Arabia who, along with three other leaders, declined to join Mr. Obama in a recent Persian Gulf Summit at Camp David. The With House cheerily refused to regard King Salman’s snub as a snub, but director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies Jon Alterman begged to differ.
Said Mr. Alterman,“The president tried very hard to personalize this meeting. It was not just meet at the White House, but come to my family retreat and we'll dress casually and talk as people… And the king of Saudi Arabia said, 'No, I'm busy that day.’”
Mr. Obama had best begin to pay some attention to the icecaps forming in Israel and Saudi Arabia. The message conveyed by the snub is simple, Mr. Alterman said, “There is a fair amount of anger at this administration in the gulf. And people feel that this president doesn't get it and they are facing a serious threat and he doesn't understand it."
One wonders what the Coast Guard troops addressed by Mr. Obama think of his absurd Middle East policy or the climactic change between friends and enemies in the strife torn Middle East.