Obama Speech at UN Climate Change Summit: Another Demonstration of Why This System Is Incapable of Saving the Planet

September 29, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


President Obama spoke at the UN Climate Change summit in New York City on September 23. The climate crisis is accelerating and threatening to spin out of control. The U.S. is the largest contributor to climate change by far, historically—so what did Obama do? He tried to fool people into believing that the U.S. is already leading the world in addressing climate change, and to press China to do more! Obama's speech is yet another demonstration of why this system is not capable of saving the planet and why Obama is part of the problem, not the solution.

Obama made reference to the People's Climate March to try to give backing for his pitiful moves on climate and especially his new proposed EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) rules on cutting carbon emissions. He claimed these showed the seriousness of the U.S. in leading the world. As we said in the article "Obama EPA Rules on Pollution... On a Path to Earth's Destruction":

"But the truth is 1) what these rules aim to accomplish is puny in the face of the actual environmental crisis humanity faces; 2) even these rules will almost certainly be challenged in the courts, Congress, and at the state level, and powerful ruling class forces oppose such regulations; and 3) Obama's move is part of staying with—not moving away from—a whole energy program that is destroying the earth."

Further, under Obama the U.S. has vastly expanded oil and gas exploitation so that the U.S. is now a world leader in fossil fuel extraction. Expecting the U.S. to lead on climate change is like expecting the Nazis to have led on protecting the rights of Jewish people. (See "'The U.S. Must Lead' in Solving Climate Crisis? Excuse Us, But What Planet Do You Live On?")

As Obama spoke about the great things the U.S. is doing and his intention to do more on climate change, new studies in the scientific journals Nature Geoscience and Nature Climate Change showed that last year, more carbon pollution was poured into the air than ever before. The studies demonstrated that the world's leading carbon polluters—China, the U.S., and India—had jumps in carbon emissions, and no other countries even came close to these increases.

After trying to appear as the climate savior, Obama returned to the UN the next day to push for his brutal and unjust imperialist bombing in Syria.

Obama's UN climate speech again demonstrates that the U.S. and the other imperialist powers can only address the dangers of climate change from within the economics and politics of their system—and that these climate talks are just another form through which they pursue their imperialist interests, including to push forward their great power rivalry against competitors. None of this has anything to do with saving the planet. It's instead about saving and advancing the interests of the system that is destroying the planet.

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