UPDATE: Biden did not announce a “climate emergency” in Maui today, we dodged that bullet – for now.
Content of speech follows this introduction.
As you may know, after a week of terrible optics after the Maui wildfire, President Biden was excoriated in news and social media for sitting on the beach, on vacation and making “no comment” to reporters regarding the fire. Even though major news outlets like the LA Times are backing down on the idea that the fire was “climate caused,” and of course there’s no climate component whatsoever, much of the left is still using it as their talking point for why a “climate emergency” should be declared and putting pressure on the White House to do so.
The previous week, Biden had said he “practically declared a climate emergency” in response to hot temperatures in July and other factors, but was excoriated by the left for not actually declaring a climate emergency.
Then there has been the insane pronouncements of “global boiling” from the UN and the fact that their Secretary General has gone off the rails on the “climate emergency” issue. However, once again there appears to be no climate component to our hotter than normal summer, but instead seems have been caused by a lack of clouds, leading to increased sunlight reaching the ground according to this analysis by climatologist Dr. Judith Curry.
But, the left’s mantra has been “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Facts simply don’t matter to them.
Biden made a surprise announcement last week, cutting short his planned vacation in Lake Tahoe with an announcement he’d fly to Maui on Monday the 21st. Thus, it wouldn’t be a surprise to have Biden declare a “climate emergency” on Monday, with the burned ruins of Lahaina, Maui as the backdrop. The optics are perfect for him, and we know how much the White House is all about optics rather than substance.
Biden has already issued a preliminary statement here.
But it seems some Maui residents don’t want him there according to this article in Townhall:
Several residents expressed frustration to the New York Post, saying they would rather Biden not bother visiting after waiting so long to address the fires.
“I don’t want him here,” Lahaina resident Jay Awan said. “He’s just coming to Maui to look good in front of the cameras.”
We’ll see what happens.
What follows is a likely speech (if Biden decides to do it), preemptively written by Anthony Watts and Charles Rotter.
Remarks by President Biden to Tackle the Climate Crisis by Declaring a Climate Emergency
Location: Lahaina, Maui
Date: Monday, August 21, 2023
Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, and most importantly, the brave residents of Maui,
I stand before you today in the historic town of Lahaina, a place that was once the heart of Hawaiian culture, now tragically scarred by the inferno that nature unleashed. The tragic events here on Maui have not just affected a town or an island but have touched the very soul of our nation. The loss of at least 110 lives, homes destroyed, history erased, and memories turned to ash; these are not just headlines or statistics. These are the heart-wrenching stories of your neighbors, your friends, and your family.
Unusually dry conditions, primed by the unprecedented effects of climate change, laid the groundwork for the wildfires we see today. Our people were left scrambling into the ocean, a desperate act of survival, because land – the very ground beneath their feet – betrayed them in the most horrifying manner. And while the fires may have been contained for now, the broader flame, the burning issue of climate change, rages on unchecked.
For years, scientists and climate advocates have been sounding the alarm. The continuous extraction and use of fossil fuels is not just an environmental issue, but a ticking time bomb that threatens our way of life, our safety, and our very existence. Today, right here in Lahaina, we’ve seen the devastation that this ticking bomb can unleash.
Kaniela Ing, a voice of this community, poignantly stated, “My island is on fire.” This sentiment is echoed across the world, as wildfires choke regions from Canada to Australia, heatwaves suffocate places like Texas, and extreme flooding drowns parts of Europe. It’s not just an island or a town; it’s a planet that’s crying out for help.
It is easy to revert to partisanship in moments of crisis. But the flames that tore through Lahaina did not discriminate based on political affiliation. They consumed indiscriminately. And that’s the nature of the climate crisis we face today – it respects no borders, no parties, no ideologies.
I’ve taken steps to protect public lands, rejoined the Paris climate agreement, and have pushed for a progressive environmental agenda. But the scenes here, as economist Umair Haque pointed out, signify that “practically” declaring a climate emergency is not enough. I’m here today to declare that it’s time for action, not just words.
Today, I want to make a commitment to the people of Maui and to all Americans: I will declare a national climate emergency. We will marshal every resource, every piece of legislation, every ounce of innovation and spirit this nation possesses to fight the looming threat of climate change.
To the skeptics and deniers, I urge you to come here, to see the devastation, to look into the eyes of those who’ve lost everything. This is not a theoretical debate for future generations. This is here. This is now. We can no longer afford to be on the sidelines, we must act now.
I call on Congress, on leaders at every level, and on every American: let’s invest in clean energy, let’s reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and let’s make a future where our children won’t have to flee into the oceans to escape wildfires.
Thank you, and God bless the resilient people of Maui and the United States of America.
Note: This entire post, including the posited speech and header image, is entirely political commentary, representing our opinion, not actual events. IF Biden chooses to announce a climate emergency, we expect this will be very close to what he will say.