President Obama made a fool of himself and of America by his fly-by visit to Copenhagen to plead Chicago’s bid to host the 2016 Olympics. Chicago, Obama’s home town and power base, was knocked out in the first round of voting. Rio emerged triumphant.
Obama was still out of the country when it was announced that the unemployment rate reached 9.8% in September, the worst since June 1983. Given the utter failure of his economic stimulus package, which we were promised would keep unemployment from rising above 8%, the president probably did himself a favor.
Obama did manage to give General McChrystal, his choice as his commander on the ground in Afghanistan, some face time on Air Force One. But evidently nothing of substance was decided. We are still adrift in Afghanistan.
But while the cable and radio talk show pundits who complained about Obama’s priorities in wasting his time on the Copenhagen visit are right, considering all of the big problems the country is facing, maybe we got a break since he only makes the problems worse when he sticks around. He could not even persuade the International Olympic Committee to see things his way. There is no chance that he will have any success where it counts.
What bothers me more about President Obama’s failed trip than his lack of judgment about the right priorities is the sheer hypocrisy he demonstrated in going to Copenhagen in the first place.
Ironically, the negotiations to finalize a new global warming treaty are set to take place in the very same city – Copenhagen - this December. Taking his usual swipe at the Bush administration, President Obama boasted at the United Nations Climate Summit meeting last week:
”I am proud to say that the United States has done more to promote clean energy and reduce carbon pollution in the last eight months than at any other time in our history…We understand the gravity of the climate threat. We are determined to act. And we will meet our responsibility to future generations.”
So what does Obama actually do? He flies to the host city of the negotiations on a global warming treaty for a frivolous purpose, leaving an enormous carbon footprint in his wake.
The distance from Washington D.C. to Copenhagen, Denmark and back is 8,100 miles. The total warming effect of CO2 for the president’s own flight on Air Force One (Boeing 747 / VC-25A) has been estimated by a researcher of climate change to be 2,785 tons of CO2, which must be multiplied by two since a spare plane accompanies the president on his Air Force One trips.
Then we have to add in the carbon emissions from (1) the First Lady’s separate flight plus (2) what we can assume would have been at least two cargo planes that fly ahead of Air Force One to provide the president with such items as vehicles for his motorcade. These three planes are estimated to have a warming effect of CO2 of 2,178 tons – a conservative estimate because it assumes the use of the more fuel efficient Boeing 737-800.
Using these estimated figures and conservative assumptions, the GRAND TOTAL FOR THIS ONE PRESIDENTIAL TRIP TO COPENHAGEN ALONE COMES TO 7749 TONS OF CO2 EMISSIONS.
To put this carbon fuel spewing extravangaza in perspective, the average family in the United States has an estimated carbon footprint of 19.5 tons of CO2 per year. This means that President Obama’s fruitless trip emitted as much carbon gas as nearly 400 American families do in an entire year!
Hypocrisy + Fecklessness: What a great combination we have serving as our president, not even counting his left-leaning policies and appointments.