When George W Bush declared war on an abstract noun – “Terror” – he was widely and inevitably mocked by the left for his foolishness. Not to be outdone, Barack Obama has used his second inaugural address to declare war on an even more nebulous threat to the security of the world: reality, itself.
Here’s how he put it in his inaugural address: (H/T Theo Spleenventer;Bishop Hill)
We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.
The first sentence is a blatant untruth. Concerted global action so far to deal with the threat of climate change has resulted in: higher energy prices; more deaths from fuel poverty; more intrusive regulation; the destruction of rainforests and the squandering of agricultural land on biofuels; higher food prices; famine and food riots – as a result partly of the drive for biofuels; the entrenchment of corporatism and rent-seeking to the detriment of free markets; the ravaging of the countryside with ugly solar farms and even uglier wind turbines; the deaths of millions of birds and bats; the great recession. How any of this has in any way benefited either our children (who are going to find it far harder to find a job) or future generations is a complete mystery.
The second sentence is a devious combination of the junk factoid and the non sequitur.
That “overwhelming judgement of science” is a reference to the comprehensively discredited Doran survey: the one where the “97 per cent of climate scientists” turned out to consist of just 75 out of 77 climate scientists who could be bothered to reply to two silly and dubious questions.