It is a post-apocalyptic world. The oceans are a grayish brown, not blue. No green vegetation. In fact, no life on the planet at all. Just heat, wind, and dust. The movie on how this happened could be called Terminator 5: Rise of the Republicans.
This is pretty much the scenario that Jonathan Freedland of the U.K. Guardian paints in his article laughably titled If Obama can't defeat the Republican headbangers, our planet is doomed. Yes, the future of the planet depends on ObamaCare passing which those wascally Wepublicans are blocking. Even Freedland admits he probably sounds quite hyperbolic:
Anyone who cares about the survival of our planet should start praying that Barack Obama gets his way on reforming US healthcare. That probably sounds hyperbolic, if not mildly deranged: even those who are adamant that 45 million uninsured Americans deserve basic medical cover would not claim that the future of the earth depends on it. But think again.
Only mildly deranged? I beg to differ. It sounds extremely deranged. And Freedland continues his Chicken Little act by invoking next week's climate change summit:
Next week, world leaders will attend the first UN summit dedicated entirely to climate change. Their aim will be to plunge a shot of adrenaline into stuttering efforts to draw up a new global agreement on carbon emissions. The plan is to replace the Kyoto treaty with a new one, to be agreed in Copenhagen in December. Trouble is, the prospects of getting a deal worthy of the name get bleaker every day.
And why is the sky about to fall? Because Barack Obama isn't quite the mystical Lightworker that liberals imagined him to be a year ago:
Which brings us to Obama. Last November, the sigh of relief among greens and diplomats could be heard around the world. While George Bush had ripped up Kyoto, Obama would surely lead the way to Copenhagen.
Now that early confidence is fading. Those same diplomats and negotiators have seen the president struggle to make what, to outsiders, look like pretty reasonable changes to US healthcare. They have seen a summer campaign demonise him as an amalgam of Stalin, Hitler and Big Brother, bent on sending America's frail grannies to their deaths in the name of a new socialism. If that's the response he gets when he suggests Americans should be covered even when they change jobs or get sick, imagine the monstering coming his way if he tells his compatriots they have to start cutting back on the 19 tonnes of CO2 each one of them emits per year (more than twice the amount belched out by the average Brit).
Of course, most of the blame for our imminent doom falls on the "evil" Republicans according to Freedland:
...Once again, if Obama cannot even get his healthcare reform through a Democratic-controlled senate, what chance a climate change treaty that goes beyond Kyoto? One European diplomat closely involved with the talks despairs at the "Republican headbangers who cannot resist a chance to damage Obama, believe global warming is based on junk science and regard action on climate change as ungodly because it will delay the second coming".
Freedland concludes his apocalyptic soap opera by urging non-Republican Americans to work without sleep for the next three months to save the planet from imminent doom:
...What's needed is for US campaigners to step up their efforts, starting now, and not letting up for three months: no sleep till Copenhagen. Their mission must be to build the public support for action on climate change that might act as a counterweight to those "Republican headbangers" and give Obama the space to act. Not for the first time, the fate of the world rests in the hands of US domestic politics. As it did a year ago, autumn begins with the world watching the Americans, holding its breath that they will do the right thing.
Although it seems that the liberals on the other side of the pond are every bit as loony as the ones here, Britain also has a fair share of level-headed types who laugh at the Chicken Little hysteria stirred up by those like Freedland as you can read in some of the comments on this doomsday story:
This article does sound hyperbolic and deranged. No ifs ands or buts about it.
This article is as stupid as the end of the world comments over Greenham Common a generation ago. Whatever happened to those folks, anyway?
Copenhagen will fail because, in their muddling way, the people of the world have far too much sense.
I'm getting seriously worried about the survival of the Guardian. Printing acres of mindless tripe and losing both authority and money appears to be a link the editors haven't yet made.
And for the next three months your humble correspondent will sleep quite soundly knowing that one Jonathan Freedland will remain sleepless while worrying about the sky falling all because of those darned "Republican headbangers."