Congratulations to Obama

Obama wins.


As election day drew closer it became clearer to me that, whatever Obama’s flaws, I did want him to win. You can’t have someone who habitually lies about his marathon times as vice-POTUS, and I agree fairly well with the Economist on Romney, and overall America could do better than Barack Obama; sadly, Mitt Romney does not fit the bill. I don’t get the impression that America deserves better than Obama, though: many of the obvious flaws in their politicking system derive directly from the laziness and self-deception of the electorate.

[Update: so, what about GW in the election? Hardly there at all, eh? Agreed. But why? Because neither candidate thought mentioning it was a good idea. Why not? Well, Romney must have known at heart that his position was insane, so keeping quiet makes sense. And Obama knew he was vulnerable to “well you haven’t done much, if this is supposed to be so important”, so quiet ditto. And both knew that the electorate wasn’t asking. So once again: leadership is nice, but this comes down to the People.]


* A Huge Victory for Science, Too – P3
* Trying to shoot the messenger – RC
* Plumbum

43 thoughts on “Congratulations to Obama”

  1. Isn’t the result at least a partial victory of Keynes over Hayek? *
    * Supporter of Pinochet’s economic policy as well as his dictatorship. A close friend of Popper, but one who was not well known for admitting his mistakes (see Wikipedia).


  2. How could America do better than Obama? He’s the politician that climbed to the top of the Democratic party, so who else would you rather have? And how?


  3. Anyone with good knowledge of the US political system wanna comment on the chances of a national ets, carbon tax?

    I know almost all repubs deny acc, and they have a majority in the HoReps, but is it still possible within obamas 2nd term?


  4. well more to the point of this blog – I found it notable that climate change was barely mentioned as an issue, up through Obama’s winning address last night. His ’08 inaugural speech famously mentioned it (“this is the point when the oceans started receding”). So while I am happy with the win, mainly because the Repubs in the USA are further to the right & crazier than the British National Party – I think overall the IPCC has “lost” this issue in the US.


  5. Matt:

    I’d say almost no chance. The only chance would be 1) Dems in the Senate change Senate rules to greatly weaken the filibuster over Republican opposition and 2) Dems gain the House in 2014 while holding on to their Senate majority. I don’t believe there’s any realistic chance of their getting a filibuster-proof majority in 2014 (if they fail to reform the filibuster rules).

    On the other hand, Obama will continue to take incremental steps in the right direction, the CAFE standards already agreed to will remain in place (and are quite agressive), EPA having a say will remain in place, focus on wind, solar, etc will remain in place …


  6. “I think overall the IPCC has “lost” this issue in the US” – you’ll see it come back to life as an issue if the economy continues to recover.


  7. @Matt: Democrats taking the House in the 2014 midterms is a necessary but not sufficient condition. It’s also unlikely, because (1) the party in the White House generally does not fare well in a midterm Congressional election and (2) many House districts have been gerrymandered to favor Republicans. Any revenue bill has to originate in the House. The Senate is not a barrier because there are ways (budget reconciliation, for instance) to get around any filibuster.

    @Carl: There is a good chance that Sandy was a major game changer here. The storm hit metro New York, the financial and media elite capital of the US. People who have the ability to influence Congress, and who previously might have been indifferent, have had a firsthand demonstration that they cannot continue to ignore the problem. It’s too early to tell for sure, but when people like Michael Bloomberg (hardly a political lefty) start talking in terms of global warming, people notice.


  8. According to today’s (London) Times, Obama travelled 22,896 miles in the last month. Romney: 17,742 miles. I doubt that they did this on banana-powered bicycles.

    No wonder they didn’t mention global warming.


  9. Vinny Burgoo, are your comments usually this inane? Nearly everyone in the US, regardless of their views about climate change, travels regularly by automobile and occasionally by airplane.


  10. But this cannot be, according to a British citizen, who says:
    Win or lose, Obama was not and is not the president.

    ‘In very simple language, the affidavit explains how mathematicians apply probability theory to determine the probability that suspect documents are genuine. ‘

    He says in his affadavit:

    ”I have a degree in Classical
    Architecture from Cambridge University. The course included instruction in mathematics. I am the Director of
    Monckton Enterprises Ltd., a consultancy corporation which, inter alia, specializes in investigating scientific frauds at government level, on which I advised Margaret Thatcher from 19821986 at 10 Downing Street during her time as Prime Minister. I have experience in the use of certain mathematical techniques which allow rigorous assessment of probabilities including the probability that a document has been forged. I have published papers in the reviewed literature on climate science and economics and am an appointed expert reviewer for the forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report (2013) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I was this year’s Nerenberg Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.’

    His logo has changed, albeit not much.
    H/T thingsbreak

    As for the Nerenberg Lecture 2012, one should know that Christopher Essex (of Essex&McKitrick(2002) Taken by Storm) helps arrange these, as he did with Fred Singer in 2001.


  11. Ahh, good old Mockton. Funny how someone who has failed to be selected so many times for the unelected (yet disturbingly useful in curbing the insane tendencies of the elected chamber) has a bee in his bonnet about a foreign election which, despite the backwards way they run these things, was still a democratic one.
    Of course it was won by someone he irrationally hates, so that’ll explain it.
    I note on the WND article that it says:

    “Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, high priest of climate skepticism, advised Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, wrote leaders for the Yorkshire Post, was editor of the Catholic paper The Universe, ”
    at the top, beside his smiling face. Calling him the high priest of climate scepticism is ab embarassing own goal if anyone with a properly functioning sense of humour is reading it. So denialism is a religion after all!


  12. obama must definitely abstain from green hallucinations like agw and renewable energies as these mental deviations terribly harm the economy and the general welfare everywhere where this disease prevails.

    [That Romney and his ilk had to pander to the far-out folks like you who hold attitudes like that is part of the reason they lost when they had to appeal to the populace as a whole, I agree -W]


  13. Matt et al

    I don’t think the odds are good for any new agw law with a republican controlled house. What the re-election means that the regulatory work that has already started under the Clean Air Act will continue.

    If I recall correctly that means that powerplants will be the next group subject to agw regulations.


  14. “well you haven’t done much, if this is supposed to be so important”,

    You’d have to be fairly ignorant to say that, though. The administration has done what it could, on its own – raising the fuel economy standards that much is a pretty big deal. As for getting cap/trade through Congress, they came as close as they ever were going to, under the political conditions. It did pass one chamber, after all.


  15. Obama’s avoidance of the climate issue was a consequence of the conflict with his advocacy of energy independence by all available means on the one hand and concern about the effect on the electorally key coal-producing states of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia on the other.

    Re the need to get legislation through the House, my understanding is that regulatory authority under the Clean Air Act is sweeping enough to allow for cap-and-trade or a tax. The drawback to such an approach is that a subsequent president could unravel it fairly quickly, but that would only be somewhat less true for legislation and as with the health care law the regulation perhaps could be designed to make unraveling too painful.

    IMHO it’s going to take a couple more climate disasters before Obama goes as far as that, however.


  16. steve bloom: correction: you meant certainly “weather disasters” instead of “climate disasters”.

    please be more careful with your wording because people may get confused that sandy had nothing to do with faked agw but was just normal weather. like it or not.


  17. eli rabbett, also you, like steve bloom, are wrong: sandy was weather. don’t you kow the definition of climate? you should read the ipcc ar4 report for your instruction


  18. I didn’t see Monckton as a birther, but it makes complete sense.

    The hard part for Obama is that anything he does on climate will raise energy prices and dems will lose seats. Tough environment.



  19. Frontline’s “Climate of Doubt” shows how the denier machine under Heritage has successfully made AGW/ACC a political third rail (much like what the NRA did for gun control) in the US. Obama won because he did nothing on Climate Change in office and because he said nothing about Climate Change until after he won the election.

    Now, it becomes a bargaining chip with the House and the Senate Repubs on energy policy. It will be interesting to see what he might be willing to trade for a carbon tax. A nuke push? Easing of Fracking approvals? Keystone pipeline?


  20. “bama won because he did nothing on Climate Change in office”

    seriously? a cap/trade bill was actually passed by the House. Do people have zero memories?


  21. carrot eater:

    …and the Senate defeated it, thereby saving Obama’s re-election chances. Remember, the Senate, as characterized by Thom. Jefferson, is the saucer that cools the hot tea from the House. Obama was shielded from this sticky wicket.

    This is Realpolitik, not ideology.


  22. I don’t know how much it would have changed his re-election chances, but in any case, saying he did nothing about it, or didn’t try to do anything about it, is just obviously wrong on the face of it. Especially considering the increases in fuel economy standards.


  23. carrot eater:

    You are right. Obama wants to accomplish something on CC, has made some inroads and wants to do more. Much more. However, his CC action was not done overtly and did not speak of it until he won his final campaign. I see that as important evidence of the divisiveness of the issue and the real power of the Tea-Bag Deniers.

    What was your impression of the Frontline story on deniers? I took away that the Heritage Foundation-Tea Bagger alliance has a lock on the Republican House which echo’s up through the Senate to the White House. They have real power and influence in the Federal Government, no?

    The House is pretty set because of how and where they are elected. It will be really tough to knock the Republicans off that perch. Since Obama wants to do something about CC, what will he give to accomplish something “real”? Or do you think he is willing to continue his strategy of just nibbling around the edges like Cafe Standards, which Ed Dolan of Yale contends do little for CC or the environment in general?


  24. That Monckton affidavit is a remarkable document. But not in a good way. Is it a crime to represent oneself to a US court as an expert on probability when one hasn’t got a clue?


  25. “his CC action was not done overtly”

    how can getting a bill passed by the House possibly be considered “not overt”?

    It’s been quiet since that bill died in the Senate, yes, but you aren’t qualifying your words in that way.

    I haven’t had a chance to watch the frontline thing yet. But yes, those types do have a pretty firm grip on the house republicans, and enough GOP senators too (though not all of them – remember that when the bill sent to the Senate, it had bipartisan sponsors). but this extends to more than just climate – you’ve got a movement that makes a fetish out of orthodoxy and inflexibility, and their voters demand nothing less. too bad for them, those voters aren’t numerous enough to win national elections without drawing in anybody else under the tent.


  26. #John Mashey
    “But this cannot be, according to a British citizen, who says:
    Win or lose, Obama was not and is not the president.”
    If I read him correctly, he is predicting that many people will be lining up for the electric chair before too long. Nothing succeeds like excess.


  27. @kai
    “eli rabbett, also you, like steve bloom, are wrong: sandy was weather. don’t you kow the definition of climate? you should read the ipcc ar4 report for your instruction”

    A good description of this I saw explained it like this. Sandy is weather on steroids. Just like you can’t say an elite sportsman on steroids won any one game because he was using them, you know he had an advantage in every game.


  28. Involuntary or not, USA CO2 emissions during the Obama presidency have decreased more than any other country’s. That cannot be a bad thing.


  29. harry: “Sandy is weather on steroids”: wrong

    this is only an untested hypothesis or just speculation by warmists.

    try to be honest about this and resist the undecent tendency to elicit a picture of not science-proven facts


  30. @- kai Re:- “Sandy is weather on steroids”:
    this is only an untested hypothesis or just speculation by warmists.”

    Its a metaphorical description derived from logicaL inference and basic physics.

    Sandy is weather, there is no direct causation from AGW, but it is impossible to reject the physical influence of higher sea sur4face temperature, higher moisture content of the atmosphere, higher baseline sea levels and even the higher instabil;ity of the jet stream all unequivacally altered the extent, intensity and path of the storm.

    Many arguements can be made about the weight each of these factors might have in altering the nature of Sandy. those that assert zero influnce are not credible.

    @- “try to be honest about this and resist the undecent tendency to elicit a picture of not science-proven facts”

    I honestly don’t know what a ‘science-proven fact’ is, but that the factual changes in physical conditions must have had SOME effect on the storm is scientifically credible. I would leave proof for mathematicians and liquor, but a Lance Armstrong climate has the potential to turn a major weather event into something exceptional.


  31. Kai,
    Every storm is by definition weather, right? So what would have to happen for you to think that storm-related damage could be related to climate?

    If there was an ice-age, would you be saying “that snow storm is just weather!”


  32. @gator: instruction to you:

    1) one storm is weather

    2) two storms are weather

    3) three storms are weather

    4) storm-related damage due to one storm is weather

    5) storm-related damage due to two storms is weather

    6) storm-related damage due to three storms is weather

    did you try to understand the lessons???


  33. Oh goody, the unskewing the weather guy shows up after his fifteen minutes on the national scene instructing everyone on polling.

    Dearest Kai, in keeping with Eli’s new policy, let the bunny point out that he as scientist takes great umbrage of being told such a load of crap from a bullshit shill like you. You are the most anti-science person imaginable and has no interest in talking to you or giving the appearance that anything you say or write has worth. However, telling you this repeatedly has its attractions.

    All together now.


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