Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, September 30, 2016

CNBC anchor Joe Kernen is apparently furious that President Obama made a speech about addressing the greatest long-term threat humanity likely faces — climate change.

Kernen and former Shell executive John Hofmeister were praising the Saudis for the innovative ways they are extracting oil when Kernen broke into a rant about the president:

KERNEN: John, you know, better just set your alarm clock for three years from now. You’re not going to get a speech about natural gas and energy independence. You got a climate change speech. That’s what you got and a big one.
HOFMEISTER: That’s what I call foolishness. We’re not dealing with the real problems. Let’s face climate change over time.
KERNEN: That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have a house on the coast that will get swept in to — New York is going to be under 32 feet of water, Hofmeister, you better get with the program. [laughter]

He went on to call those who believe in climate change “enviro-socialists” and a “cult.” Apparently he isn’t convinced by the alarmists — including 97 percent of climate scientists — who warn that manmade carbon pollution is leading to an irreversible crisis of such magnitude that the question isn’t if the city of Miami will drown, but when.

Coincidentally, the hottest temperature ever recorded in the United States — 129 degrees — occurred on Wednesday.

Climate change denial by the business community has effectively paralyzed the government’s ability to do anything to avert it, reports The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer:

Fossil fuel magnates Charles and David Koch have, through Americans for Prosperity, a conservative group they back, succeeded in persuading many members of Congress to sign a little-known pledge in which they have promised to vote against legislation relating to climate change unless it is accompanied by an equivalent amount of tax cuts.

This beautifully illuminates a point Bill McKibben — the eminent climate change activist and founder of 350.org — made in a stirring sermon at New York City’s Riverside Church in late April.

“But we don’t act, and for a particular reason, one that will be clear to those who read the Gospels. Our richest people don’t want to, because it would reduce their wealth somewhat,” he said.

Ironically, a new study says the president’s climate plan would create jobs — just not for carbon polluters like the Kochs.

Screen Shot 2013-07-05 at 4.55.06 PM

  • charleo1

    Sure. Deny everything but that taxes are too high for the corporations, and the
    rich. And the welfare lines are too long. Because the Democratic Socialists, are
    carrying out their plans of enslavement. Of course, the, “Enviro-Socialists, are
    out to wreck Capitalism. The Femi-Nazis are out to kill as many unborn as possible.
    And the Muslim in the White House, is busy building his Caliphate. and installing
    Sharia Law. And we’re supposed to worry about Al Gore’s get rich quick scheme?
    Well, the joke’s on them. This world is not my home. And Jesus is coming any day.
    Now, if you can unravel that mess, and nail this Congress down to pass any carbon
    legislation, before the ocean rolls in, and drowns Washington D.C. you’ve got my
    vote!

    • sigrid28

      So I got this phrase into my head and checked it out on Google. What turned up is like a microcosm of our situation re: climate change legislation, in a nutshell; so I shall just cite my source and rest my case:

      11th February 2007, 11:27 PM#1

      geve Senior Member

      Join DateSep 2005LocationFrance, ParisNative languageFrance, FrenchPosts6,717

      Hello, forum

      “Après moi, le déluge” is a set phrase used to denigrate the attitude of someone who acts irresponsibly, without worrying on the consequences that his/her acts could have. Something like: “I don’t care what happens next, I’ll be gone”, “The world could collapse after I’m gone, no big deal”.

      I have actually just discovered that the French sentence is attributed to Louis XV or Madame de Pompadour – More details here.
      However what I’m interested in here is not to find the best translation for the historical quote, but to know if there’s a set phrase in English to express the same idea, used in the situation I described.

      Thanks!

      … she said, with a gallic shrug.

      Reply With Quote

      Ads by Google

      Invest in OIl & Gas Wells
      Monthly Income & 80% Tax Write-off Earn Monthly Income for 10-30 yrs

      • RobertCHastings

        My French is rusty, but it says, basically, “After me, the deluge”, which is more a statement by a doomed ruler that when he/she is killed, the shit will hit the fan. And that is what happened in the French Revolution. When the aristocracy and the king were killed, the shit – hit – the – fan. This could very readily be applied to the current issue.

        • sigrid28

          I mentioned the famous phrase because it does express the attitude of the GOP climate deniers: their noblesse oblige, a sense of entitlement to have everything for themselves and leave nothing for others, or those who follow after. It is more a statement of greed about the present, in my view, than armageddon.

          • RobertCHastings

            You deal with several very different and very interesting issues. However, central to what you are saying is, I feel, the concept that the Republicans (especially conservatives and Christian fundamentalists) operate on the principle of greed. I love Oprah and so does my wife, and we were both disappointed when she got on Joel Osteen’s bandwagon of Christian entitlement to the better things in life, to wealth and all its trappings, and the conviction that God has made this available to those who want it and if you DON’T want it, then you must not be a Christian. Believing in the life of Jesus and the validity of the New Testament has nothing to do with the greed Osteen and others promote. I believe that your understanding of “noblesse oblige” is a little skewed.

          • sigrid28

            By noblesse oblige I refer to the GOP’s sense of entitlement, their idea that they deserve their wealth and are therefore free to look down upon the other “47% who won’t look after themselves,” to cite Mitt Romney in the famous video that scuttled his chance to be elected president. This sense of entitlement is, to me, secular or perhaps psychological, based on living with extreme wealth from an early age. They do not think of themselves as being lucky–they think they have their wealth and advantages because they DESERVE them. Think of Mitt Romney’s feeling that he deserved to be president just to add it to his trophy shelf, not because he had an agenda he wanted to bring about for the good of the country. Though he is a devout Mormon, he does not think of his wealth as being connected to his beliefs; I think because, in many significant ways, he inherited his Mormon beliefs along with his fame and fortune. I think Republicans who legislate as though the future has nothing to do with them, the climate change deniers, for example, make claims of religious orientation but in fact have none; they are hypocrites who think evangelicals are too stupid to see through their cynical act.

          • RobertCHastings

            I have been a great fan of Oprah Winfrey for years. She has given people around the country and around the world alternatives to religious thought and spirituality since her show began almost 30 years ago. However, one thing I cannot agree with her about is the gospel of prosperity advocated by some of the people she supports(like Joel Osteen). That Mr. Osteen (like Mr. Romney and others) could see their prosperity as God-sent and as a sign of their being saved is reprehensible and totally against any reasonable reading of the words of Jesus. I agree with you totally. Excellent analysis of this pervasive thought pattern of fundamentalists and evangelicals and how its has impacted public policy.

          • sigrid28

            Good Morning, Robert. Thanks. As the Bible school song goes, “This is my Father’s world . . . “

    • RobertCHastings

      Obama is doing some things on his own with executive orders. This particular Congress will NOT support him, but hopefully the next one will. Nice rant there Charlie, you really had me going.

      • charleo1

        Thanks Robert. Not everyone respects a rant. However, on the very
        inconvenient subject of global warming, no one wants to talk about.
        It might be the way to go. Here’s why. When a climate scientist tells us we pumped 9 thousand more metric tons of carbon into the atmosphere last year, than the year before. What does it mean to
        the average person? What would it have meant to Mr. and Mrs.
        average American, if the scientist had said, 900,000 cubic yards?
        He’s thinking, I’m just keeping my head above water now. So, if you’re telling me this is going to cause another round of gas hikes…The fossil fuel guys decided look, they don’t want to hear it. We don’t want them to hear it. So, what are we doing here? Tell ’em it’s a big ol lie! No, you’ve got to get in that Father’s face! (I’m a Father.) And rant! Then, bring out the scientists. And, have some common sense viable solutions. Otherwise, we know Congress. If we were attacked right now, by nuclear weapons. Big old, ICBMs are on the way, and Congress had to act, to put the mutual in our MAD strategy? We’d already be dead probably. Because, they are gaining quite a world wide reputation. And, not a very good one. So, yes! I say RANT! Like the little Jewish lady says about chicken soup? It couldn’t hurt!

        • RobertCHastings

          Ever since Harry Truman used the first nuclear strike to force Japan into surrender, the President of the US has had the authority to initiate a retaliatory strike without the consent of Congress. You are absolutely right about the issue of climate change. The fossil fuel industry floods us with commercials about how many jobs they create and how much they contribute in taxes to the economy, and on and on about the benefits of cheap, “safe” fossil fuel energy. But absolutely nothing about the effect on the climate or the myriad health issues involved. Duke Energy, our local provider of electricity, has received legal clearance to dump tens of thousands of gallons of polluted water from their energy-producing plants into the local sources of ground water in this area, doing basically the same thing the natural gas companies in the west and Midwest are doing with fracking – polluting the drinking water of millions of Americans. It is not just climate change, it is the entire panoply of activities that degrade our environment, our clean water, our “clean” air, etc. that is being just shoved under the carpet or being pushed down the road for someone else to deal with. Rant on, brother, rant on!

          • Mike Maricle

            That’s the plan. Destroy your water supply, so you have to buy clean water from them.

  • Mark Forsyth

    These dolts are running out of sand to bury their heads in. They could lose their homes and loved ones to wild weather and still say that it was an act of God.Not surprising,as it clearly states on that printed piece of paper that they just can’t get enough of ” In GOD we trust.

  • midway54

    Kernan has been giving us his rightwinger rant for years. He is from Cincinnati, and is as goofy as Boehner and Chabot, who also have never met a fatcat or corporate CEO they wouldn’t serve and defend.

  • Lynda Groom

    The man is a perfect example of why science is so important in schools.

    • RobertCHastings

      No, he is a perfect example of why abortion must NOT be made illegal.

  • Landsende

    The greatest threat to the United States is not terrorism or the debt ceiling the teapublicans claim we are leaving our children but climate change. We are seeing more and more extreme weather with massive flooding, record droughts, wildfires, and tornados. The cost of all these disasters is astronomical which is paid for by the government in the form of aid which is funded by the taxpayers and insurance companies which then raise everyone’s insurance rates to cover the cost of their losses. Under GWB he had scientists reports of the effects of climate change reworded to make it seem like there was not a consensus among them. And now the Koch brothers and their organization ALEC along with other big corporations are spending billions of dollars to get candidates elected who will vote against any regulations to prevent more carbon emissions and gut agencies like OSHA, EPA, and the FDA that protect all of us by making sure companies follow health and safety standards.

    • RobertCHastings

      If you are trying to influence some of our guest conservatives on this site, forget it – you are beating a dead horse. I personally know of no Republicans, including my own son, who believe in the theory of Climate Change. For one thing, it depends too much on science and provable research. For another, it just makes sense that those who would lose so much if we were to abandon fossil fuel would be Climate Change’s most vocal opponents. The fossil fuel industry has enough carbon laced raw product in the ground to supply the world’s energy needs for over 200 years, and they have spent trillions in staging their product for the market. IF all of this fossil fuel is indeed used and it releases its carbon and compounds into the atmosphere, this planet will look like Venus, with daytime temperatures over 600 F. By the time all that fossil fuel is consumed, the coastal cities will not matter, and the “preppers” will be roasted in their underground bunkers.

  • howa4x

    This is why the Koch’s fund the tea party that is pushing an anti science agenda. The goal is to get a mass of people who can’t understand the science, and use them politically as a weapon. This is what happened in the health care debate. Get a mass of uninformed people, feed them lies and send out to crush educational forums. The republicans haven’t always been against nature. Teddy Roosevelt founded the national park system. It is just recently that the party has gone into high gear on the issue. This is because the big money in the republican donor machine is big oil, coal and natural gas. these companies and people have a live for today philosophy or Shut up I’m making too much money to care. this is what is wrong in the debate. it’s the wealth of the few or the health of generations to come.

  • itsfun

    Hasn’t the world temperature stayed the same for the last 15 years?

    • RobertCHastings

      Uh, you ARE kidding, aren’t you? Sure you are. Just playing the Devil’s Advocate.

    • mrbeenie

      Nope.

    • Lynda Groom

      Look to the ocean.

      • RobertCHastings

        Have you ever noticed how staring at something long enough makes it appear to be closer? In a couple decades, the beach will be close enough that I can make the trip in 2 fewer hours, except when I get to the beach, it won’t be there.

  • Allan Richardson

    Hollywood made some bucks a few years ago with a film adaptation of the Dr. Seuss classic “The Lorax,” but they downplayed its serious message and marketed the flick as a children’s fantasy. When you cut down the last tree, there are no more. And when the oil runs out, there will be no more until long after humanity is gone. The mining and oil industries knew this all along on a “micro” scale, which is why the tax laws allow for mining land to depreciate over time. They just never think about it on a “macro” scale.

    To an evolutionary scientist, the current inventory of “fossil fuels” was built up hundreds of millions of years ago and each “batch” took millions of years underground to form, and the next “batch” will take millions of more years to form, so intelligent thinking on the part of humans leads to the conclusion that it is best for humanity to replace it with something more sustainable.

    But even from a creationist viewpoint, it is obvious that God put these fuels into the ground so that humanity would have a “starter set” of fuels to build an industrial civilization, and God gave us just enough to get to the next stage in energy, with SOME extra, but not much. Of course, since some creationists believe that God is coming back soon anyway, they must figure there is no point in inventing something that lasts longer. Sort of like a person who expects to die at 40 not bothering to save for retirement. But what if they are wrong?

    • charleo1

      I think the pace, and scale of this, second industrial revolution is pressing
      the issue. Perhaps beyond our capacity to address it, collectively as a specie. We are dealing now, with a lot of issues that are impacting our own economy, as the billions of people previously trapped in third world agrarian existences. Are now mimicking on a grand scale, our own path forward, last century. And while it is appealing on one level to witness an entire population lift themselves out of the perilous state of subsistence farming, and by their own labor, create a consumer economy. Or sell to ours, right? They are now driving automobiles, and shopping at malls! And they represent just the first one billion, in a line more than five billion humans long, determined to have their turn at bat, in their own version of an industrial revolution, on a nearly unimaginable scale. So, this is the challenge. Perhaps the first truly global challenge man has faced. So far, it seems to me, we have not really gotten our heads around it. It is daunting. And we don’t have all the time we would like to think we do. We all know the nature of those problems, that if we don’t deal with them, they deal with us? Right? If it’s drinking, or gambling, or the women just won’t leave us alone, so we can concentrate on a committed relationship. We deal with them, or they eventually deal with us.
      Such is the nature of this, “inconvenient truth,” as Al Gore so aptly called it. But, I’m just very very concerned, it is already dealing with us. And we’re still
      trying to work our way through the denial stage.

      • RobertCHastings

        Except while you and I are possibly beyond the denial stage and recognize what is happening is not sustainable, those who are making public policy are already making decisions based on their End of Days scenario.

        • charleo1

          Amazingly, I doesn’t seem they see themselves responsible
          for affecting public policy in ways that don’t promote what
          they see as their primary job of increasing company profits.
          I would really like to climb inside the heads of those owners
          of corporations, with the wherewithal of a Charles, and David
          Koch, or the Walton Family. Who to a greater extent run their
          own shows. Rather than the greater number of CEOs who see their jobs in the narrowest of terms, of simply increasing dividends to shareholders. Could it be they are all these singularly motivated individuals, without concern for the world
          they are leaving for their children? Or, must they still be convinced? Because this issue should transcend beyond
          the purely monetary to logical men.

          • RobertCHastings

            By George, I think he’s got it. It is not a question of convincing the Koch brothers, Grover Norquist, of the importance of the issues we are discussing. It is a question of getting their attention so they can engage in the discussion with us. They have heard our arguments all too often for their liking, and are willing to shut down all avenues of communication if we continue to harp. When these people begin to lose large amounts of money because of their policies, and their control of the policy process, then perhaps they will listen. Their focus is not on more ephemeral things like the future and the environment, but upon more solid and tangible things, like the bottom line.

          • RobertCHastings

            You have seen and read enough to not even see the need to ask that question. It is the large corporations and their leaders, in ALL areas, who have usurped our country and our Constitution, and corrupted the Bible so that the term “Christianity” would have no meaning to a true Christian of 1900 years ago. As a society of “Christians”, we are worshipping Christ, when we should be following Jesus.

  • Urbane_Gorilla

    Kernan is a waste of time..Between him and Santelli, I inevitably change channels. I watch the show for Stock market News and Mr. Potato Head Kernan seems to really want his own Conservative talk show….So go! Dump him and get someone that wants to talk market! …BTW, tell Santelli that his girlish outbursts demean him and the channel.

  • Brandon Roberts

    o.k what dimwit thought that was a good idea and isn’t cnbc supposed to be fox news for liberals