He no longer says he’ll do anything about it. Since his climate-change bill died in the summer of 2009, Obama has not pushed any legislation to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions. He’s decided it’s a loser, apparently, and for good reason. Polls show that people are willing to fight global warming, but not really if it means paying more.
So instead of calling for sacrifice to save the planet, Obama in Charlotte decided to hit the sweet spot between ignoring climate change and calling for action: he acknowledged climate change, and suggested his opponents didn’t.
This is Jon Hunstman-type identity-politics signaling. Huntsman famously tweeted, “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.” I wrote:
“trust[ing] scientists on global warming,” taken literally isn’t actually agreement with Al Gore’s fevered warnings of 20-foot sea-level rises or endorsement of Democrats’ big-government energy proposals.
Science involves detail, nuance, and acknowledgment of uncertainty. Bluster about “believing in science” is just a self-congratulatory liberal trope meant to denigrate conservative rubes from the red states clinging bitterly to their guns and religion.
Obama’s professed faith in the existence of climate change, paired with no promise of action, pleased the liberal base by hammering home the conceit that the Left is somehow pro-science.
The irony is that Romney was mocking Obama exactly for the unscientific fantasy he had promised in 2008.