Six days ago, Fat Al Gore (my shorthand for climate change) attacked the Philippines, killing as many 10,000 and leaving 250,000 homeless.
It was Fat Al Gore's most successful attack thus far.
With Fat Al Gore's growing success in mind, consider these data points.
Senate Homeland Security Committee doesn't recognize Fat Al Gore as a threat
The Senate Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing on "Threats to the Homeland." It is focused almost entirely on what witnesses describe a dispersed Al Qaeda threat (which doesn't have the ability to attack in the US), self-radicalized extremists who don't have the ability to conduct large-scale attacks, and cybersecurity (though Carl Levin did bring up corporate anonymity as a threat, and Republicans brought up Benghazi, which isn't the "Homeland" at all; also, Ron Johnson leaked that Secret Service officers have proven unable to keep their dick in their pants in 17 countries).
None of the three witnesses even mentioned climate change in their testimony.
Obama's Chief of Staff threatened to "kill" Steven Chu for admitting islands would disappear because of climate change
Meanwhile, the lead anecdote of this mostly interesting (but in parts obviously bullshit) profile of how Obama disempowered his cabinet ministers tells how Rahm went ballistic because Steven Chu (whose energy initiative created a bunch of jobs) publicly admitted that some islands will disappear because of climate change.
In April 2009, Chu joined Obama's entourage for one of the administration's first overseas trips, to Trinidad and Tobago for a Summit of the Americas focused on economic development. Chu was not scheduled to address the media, but reporters kept bugging Josh Earnest, a young staffer, who sheepishly approached his boss, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, with the ask. "No way," Gibbs told him. "Come on," Earnest said. "The guy came all the way down here. Why don't we just have him talk about all the stuff he's doing?" Gibbs reluctantly assented. Then Chu took the podium to tell the tiny island nation that it might soon, sorry to say, be underwater -- which not only insulted the good people of Trinidad and Tobago but also raised the climate issue at a time when the White House wanted the economy, and the economy only, on the front burner. "I think the Caribbean countries face rising oceans, and they face increase in the severity of hurricanes," Chu said. "This is something that is very, very scary to all of us. ... The island states ... some of them will disappear." Earnest slunk backstage. "OK, we'll never do that again," he said as Gibbs glared. A phone rang. It was White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel calling Messina to snarl, "If you don't kill [Chu], I'm going to."
Much later the story notes that Heather Zichal is on her way out too.
Even blue-chip West Wingers such as economic adviser Gene Sperling and climate czar Heather Zichal are heading for the exits.
Washington insiders applaud fracking while ignoring climate change
Meanwhile, also as part of its big new magazine spread, Politico has two related pieces on DC insiders views.
There's this "Real Game Changers" piece capturing the "big forces they see shaking up U.S. politics." David Petraeus talks about "the ongoing energy revolution in the U.S." Jeb Bush promises, "With natural gas as an exponentially growing source, we can re-industrialize." And while several thinkers describe the problem of economic inequality, only Al Gore talks about Fat Al Gore.
Carbon pollution from burning fossil fuels is changing our climate and transforming our world. From more destructive and more frequent climate-related extreme weather events, floods and droughts, melting ice and rising sea levels, to climate refugees, crop failure, higher asthma rates and water scarcity, the consequences are profound. As citizens, we're already paying the high costs. Billions of dollars to clean up after extreme weather events. Rising insurance bills. Lives lost.
Meanwhile, former respectable energy historian turned shill Daniel Yergin congratulates America on being almost energy independent.
Here's his only mention of the word "climate."
In a major climate speech this past June, he declared, "We should strengthen our position as the top natural gas producer because, in the medium term at least, it not only can provide safe, cheap power, but it can also help reduce our carbon emissions."
Yes, we're going to fight climate change by burning carbon (gas) instead of carbon (coal).
To be fair to the DC elite, the reason we're embracing fracking is to give ourselves space to ditch the terrorist funding Saudis. So there is a real national security purpose to it.
But of course, it's a purpose that addresses a far less urgent threat than that terrorist Fat Al Gore, who just killed 10,000 people.
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Photo: Flickr user simone.brunozzi, creative commons licensed.