Last week, President Obama held a post-election press conference, where he finally touched on his unwavering “belief” in climate change, and his coming huge push for action. Wait, sorry — actually he said that he wouldn’t do shit about it if it might possibly threaten job growth and so on, and hinted that no one in Washington has any desire at all to confront the thing that will destroy the world. We sat down with the president (what are the odds, right?) to find out more.
EnvironRant: Thanks for your time Mr. President.
President Obama: No problem. Congress can’t get anything done even now, so I’ve got time to spare most days. Who are you again?
ER: Just some guy, doesn’t matter. So, could you explain your position on climate change action again?
BO: Sure. I believe in climate change. I believe the climate is changing. Humans are responsible. It is not a hoax. The seas are rising, acidifying. I believe something needs to be done to save the world for our children.
ER: That’s great. Just curious though — can we maybe stop discussing a series of facts with mountains of scientific evidence as a question of belief? It would save me some time on yelling “fuck” a lot online.
BO: The science is solid. I believe the science is solid.
ER: Fuck. Okay, let’s move on. You say something needs to be done: great, what will you do?
BO: Well, it can’t be at the expense of American families. I won’t go for that.
ER: Yeah, you mentioned that before. Why won’t you go for that? I mean, pretty much every family will end up screwed pretty soon without action, and especially poorer families around the world. So… maybe table the whole “economy must grow” thing for a bit?
BO: We need to lift this country out of tough economic times. We need the rich to pay a bit more. These are things that we can deal with right now.
ER: Um, okay? I think we’re off topic here. So, you’ll do nothing at all on climate change?
BO: I believe the science is solid on climate change, and that we should do something about it for our children. But people are hurting. If action on climate will hurt those people more, I won’t go for that.
ER: Okay, let’s do a hypothetical. Godzilla has just walked up out of the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll give him Boston this time, just ’cause New York always gets the monsters. It will cost a lot of money to send basically the entire military over there to try and stop him from destroying the city and moving inland, raping and pillaging as he goes.
BO: Raping and pillaging? Isn’t that the vikings?
ER: What are you, racist? The point is, do you go stop Godzilla?
BO: That’s a tough question. I believe the science is real on Godzilla. I believe —
ER: Wait, what?
BO: — that when our citizens are threatened we need to help them. I would dispatch FEMA to the site. But if sending the military meant an increase in taxes on the middle class? I won’t go for that.
ER: Okay. You won’t go for stopping Godzilla if it means hurting the middle class. FEMA is on its way though, so we’re all good. Got it. Let’s try another. North Korea has somehow made missiles that really work, and launches 20 of them at America’s 20 biggest cities. Maybe not including Phoenix, ’cause who gives a shit, but you get the idea. What do you do?
BO: I believe that North Korea is real.
ER: Great. I’m excited about that.
BO: These nuclear missiles heading our way are a real threat. They are not a hoax.
ER: I’m glad you’re getting into the hypothetical, but they kind of are.
BO: I would love to help the people who might be affected by these missiles, but if it means cutting into our gains in job growth, or making it tough for middle class families to get by? I don’t think anyone in Congress will go for that. I won’t go for that.
ER: Okay, so, so far we have destroyed America’s 20 biggest cities plus Boston (it’s 21st! Thanks Wikipedia!). But we have totally saved the middle class from any increase in taxes, which I’m sure will be appreciated by whoever in the country survives the coming holocaust of Godzilla plus North Korean nukes. Any last thoughts on dealing with climate change, Mr. President?
BO: I believe in climate change.