The man who said that electing him would cause the oceans to start to recede has been working overtime to help the extractive industry.
First, he greenwashed fracking, buying into the gas industry bullshit that it would end up emitting less C02. Under him, the EPA has suppressed negative evidence about fracking, from underestimating methane emissions to covering up water contamination in Dimock, PA and elsewhere.
Now, as other diaries have covered, he's poised to approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The State Department's environmental impact report that came out today was a travesty.
But an even bigger scandal isn't getting any coverage that I've seen. It comes at the nexus between surveillance and pollution, between spying and corporate dominance: the use of NSA spying to scuttle the Copenhagen Climate Change talks.
We've long known that Obama's goal at the talks was to keep a deal from being reached; that was reported on when the talks were still happening (and predictably ignored by those desperate to believe Obama cared about them). However, thanks to Laura Poitras and Edward Snowden, we now know how extensive and illegal those efforts were:
At the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, the world's nations were supposed to reach an agreement that would protect future generations against catastrophic climate change. But not everyone was playing by the rules. A leaked document now reveals that the US employed the NSA, its signals intelligence agency, to intercept information about other countries' views on the climate negotiations before and during the summit. According to observers, the spying may have contributed to the Americans getting their way in the negotiationsI can already hear the gears grinding in some of the more robotic Obama supporter's heads: "Hey, wait a minute! Maybe he was using the NSA to get a BETTER deal!" First of all, I think we need to go visit the Wizard so he can do something about your debilitating naivety, tinman. Secondly, though, no, the evidence suggests the direct opposite:
Several officials from the COP15 office have told Information that they believe advance American knowledge of the Danish proposal may help explain US positioning in the months leading up to the summit. While many other countries formulated promises that were increasingly ambitious, the Obama administration never moderated its position that it would not accept any agreement resembling the Kyoto protocol. Also, the Americans only offered a 4-6 percent reduction in CO2 emissions as compared to 1990 levels, despite the fact that the UN recommendation for developed nations was 25-40 percent.Bill McKibben of 350.org calls the revelations: "insane and disgusting." He's not wrong.
As one government official says: »They simply sat back, just as we had feared they would if they knew about our document. They made no constructive statements. Obviously, if they had known about our plans since the fall of 2009, it was in their interest to simply wait for our draft proposal to be brought to the table at the summit.«
Spying is not about protecting us. Spying is about power. And this President has made it clear through his actions, from banking to the environment to healthcare, that he will use power to protect and extend the interests of the wealthy.
Obama is not just a traitor to his own words, or his base. He is a traitor to every living thing on this planet.