Young People Don’t Need Climate Lectures From Barack Obama
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To paraphrase something the late Tony Judt once said of Tony Blair, there is nothing contrived about Barack Obama’s inauthenticity — he appears to come by it quite honestly. The former president’s brand of evangelical centrism has, after all, always seemed perfectly at ease with the marriage of progressive language and status quo politics. Thus, in Obama’s world, there is still nothing duplicitous about having once promised to stop the rising of the oceans and boastfully taking credit for America’s oil-and-gas boom after leaving office, just as there’s nothing hypocritical about the alumni network of what was once Hope and Change Inc. fanning out to lucrative corporate perches at the likes of McDonald’s, Uber, and Amazon.
Despite eight years of decidedly conservative and managerial governance, and several more worth of paid speeches to Wall Street and outings with billionaires, the former president has never ceased his habit of speaking in the register of idealism and progress — nor given up his tendency to direct appeals toward the young. Thus, at the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Obama returned to the same sweeping tones that first propelled his meteoric rise to the top of American politics, even urging younger generations to push their leaders into bold action:
Though perfectly emblematic, it’s nonetheless remarkable to hear the man who once appointed BP’s climate change–denying chief scientist to his Department of Energy — and who got on the phone to rally his party’s machinery against the most popular youth candidate in modern history — posture as an ally of the young in the fight against climate change. His appeals to the young notwithstanding, Obama also couldn’t resist a characteristic dig at those to his left: “Don’t think you can ignore politics. . . . You can’t be too pure for it. It’s part of the process that is going to deliver all of us.” It’s a line he’s taken up before, and one that’s particularly cynical in light of his own record.
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.....Martin Luther King '63
It takes all the technical proficiency our system can provide to make up for the woeful lack of popular support and political savvy of most of the regimes that the West has thus far sought to prop up.........Bernard Fall
November 19, 2021 at 3:48 PM #456150EarthartistParticipant
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My sister can’t understand why I hate this guy far more the t rump. All I ask is for him to go away and stfu
November 19, 2021 at 5:14 PM #456156Populist ProleParticipant
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Excellent skewering by Jacobin. Thumbs up, and thanks for the thread.
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