Yesterday, I marveled at the laziness of Republican consultant and Washington Post blogger Ed Rogers, who wrote, “there is nothing [President Obama] can do in the 20 months he has left in office that will appreciably affect the climate,” apparently unaware that there is an international conference in Paris this year to conclude the first-ever international agreement to limit greenhouse-gas emissions. I conceded that Republicans will obviously dismiss the agreement if and (likely) when it is made, but it was telling that the Post published an opinion piece premised on a lack of awareness of an extremely important event.
Rogers replies today, and it’s amazing. Actually, every word of his reply is fantastic, starting with the first sentence — “This week I wrote a mostly thoughtful piece … ” — which is at once a damning admission and a gross overestimation. Much of Rogers short rebuttal is padded out with irrelevant points to the effect of, I am a liberal, Obama is a liberal, liberalism is terrible, Obama is terrible, and so on.
The relevant portion, though, is fantastic. Rogers explains, “I was going to wait until after the president was made to look foolish in Paris before I said anything.”
Ah, so the reason Rogers, in the course of claiming there was no possible event or action Obama could take that could affect the climate over the next 20 months, neglected to mention the major international conference to draw up the international greenhouse-gas limits that takes place in seven months, is that he wanted to wait until it happened first.
Rogers is implying that he knew about the 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and he knew it would fail, but he didn’t think it was right to specifically predict it would fail in the course of making a sweeping prediction that nothing would happen in 20 months. Apparently Rogers’s moral code allows him to make sweeping, general claims about the future but prevents him from making specific ones. As I noted, if Rogers was aware of the Paris conference, he probably would have added a line predicting it would fail to support his prediction that there was nothing Obama could conceivably do to affect climate policy. I should have considered the possibility that Rogers’s journalistic ethics forbade this.