The New York Times ran a rather peculiar story last week titled “Disillusioned Environmentalists Turn on Obama as Compromiser.” Initially, I was suprised that the Times would note such a trend among the more hardcore of environmentalists. But by about a third of the way through it becomes clear that the Times is mostly mocking them and their idealism.
Few politicians make the transition from campaign trail to White House without sacrificing a few starry-eyed supporters along the way, of course.
Granted, I never expected Obama or Congress to address climate change in any meaningful way either. But that’s me. When did the Times become such political nihilists? Oh wait, nevermind. They’re just apologists.
Mr. Obama’s early record on environmental issues suggests that he is more aggressive than any of his predecessors in supporting causes like combating global warming and shifting to renewable energy sources.
Hear that nature? Obama’s trying. Why aren’t you? Ever hear of the phrase “You gotta give a little to get a little”?
Seriously, though, what a strange comment to find in a supposedly objective piece of journalism. It’s not like this is an op-ed written by some mainstream environmental group like the NRDC–which, by the way, supports a potentially disastrous climate bill over no climate bill.
The New York Times is essentially telling us that activists are dumb for wanting more than incremental meaningless legislation. They even refer to fact-based gripes, such as handouts to coal companies and the stripping of EPA authority to regulate carbon emissions as “perceived shortcomings.”
Of course, final word went to NRDC climate center director Daniel Lashof, who gave a classic better-than-nothing-esque quote.
“We are not saying this is perfect,” Mr. Lashof said, “but we cannot hope for stronger environmental champions in Congress. If not now, when?”
A more worthy final word would have been the one Greenpeace painted (shown above) on a coal ship near Rome last week after the G8 meetings came to a close: FAILED.