Rather than telling the world how sorry he is that we emit CO2, why isn’t President Obama bragging about the incredible strides we’ve made in creating more wealth with less energy?
In his remarks at the Paris “climate change” confab, Obama bowed the country’s collective head in shame, telling the assembled leaders from around the world that he’d “come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our role in creating this problem; we embrace our responsibility to do something about it.”
What he could have, and should have, said is that America is a model of success, a shining example of how free markets can produce incredible economic progress while improving the environment.
He could have bragged about the fact that U.S. carbon emissions are lower than they were in 1996, and how this decline came despite an 18% increase in population and a 51% climb in the nation’s real gross domestic product.
He could have explained how, over the past four decades, per-capita emissions of CO2 have steadily declined, to the point where they are a third less than they were in the early 1970s and 16% below 1990 levels.
And that the amount of CO2 the U.S. emits per dollar of GDP is 30% lower than it was in 1990.
Heck, Obama could have paid attention to his own opening remarks. If the U.S. is the “world’s largest economy” but its “second largest emitter,” that means we’re doing something right.
Obama could have also pointed out that a big driver in cutting U.S. CO2 emissions has been the discovery and widespread use of hydraulic fracturing by the oil and gas industry, which opened up vast amounts of natural gas, caused prices to tumble, and unleashed a substantial shift in the market away from coal.
In other words, the recent success came not from massive government mandates and regulations, but from free-market competition — which puts unending pressure on companies to operate more efficiently.
Obama could have said all those things. The only reason he didn’t is because he, like other leftists, view the U.S. as a problem to be avoided by the rest of the world, not a success to be modeled.