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Government & Politics

Global Climate Disruption of the Constitution

The administration wants a climate change treaty without the consent of the Senate.

Aug. 28, 2014
Obama's hot weather fun

The Obama administration is seeking an international treaty regulating climate change without the consent of the Senate. Of course he blames “dysfunction in Congress.” Clearly, this move is diversionary. Ahead of this year’s midterm elections, Obama has returned from his golf vacation to focus on what is perceived to be a populist cause – global warming – in order to distract from his domestic and foreign policy failures.

After all, to quote John Kerry, global warming is perhaps “the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.”

Obama’s latest gambit is to sidestep Congress once again with something his administration calls “politically binding” instead of legally binding. According to The New York Times, “In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate.”

The White House knows such a treaty has no shot in the Senate, even though the chamber is controlled by Democrats – control that could be lost in November. As The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto writes, “Senate ratification is no more in the cards now than it was in 1997, when the world’s greatest deliberative body voted 95-0 in favor of a nonbinding resolution ‘expressing the sense of the Senate’ that the now-expired Kyoto Protocol was unacceptable.”

So Obama plans to simply “update” the legally binding provisions of a 1992 treaty known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Control and mix them with political arm-twisting to avoid the need for a new vote of ratification.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained, “We would not want to enter a situation where we did try to broker an agreement that did require some sort of Senate ratification and then have that fall victim once again, as so many other priorities have, to dysfunction in Congress.”

Translation: If Obama can’t get Congress to acquiesce to his demands he will just bypass Congress. And the administration has no problem letting everyone know they consider the Constitution an obstruction to be avoided.

Obama is basing his unlawful actions on this assertion when unveiling his “climate action plan” last summer: “[W]e know that the 12 warmest years in recorded history have all come in the last 15, and that last year was the warmest in American history. … [I]n a world that’s getting warmer than it used to be, all weather events are affected by it – more extreme droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes.”

In reality, global warming is largely a phantom menace. Which is why the Left now religiously calls it climate change, or, a new favorite, “global climate disruption.”

As far as other nations are concerned, the administration also knows the world’s largest emitters, like China and India, are not going to be easily persuaded to handcuff their economies to fight global warming. So The New York Times says the deal “would ‘name and shame’ countries into cutting their emissions,” thus supposedly enforcing political accountability.

But political analyst Charles Krauthammer called that “the dumbest idea since the Russian reset.” He said that’s because it’s “based on the same assumptions that the Russians and the Chinese and others act the way Obama does – with adolescent idealism when it comes to foreign policy.”

Domestically, the administration is already working to enact its agenda on global warming. In June, the EPA announced new rules targeting energy producers who aren’t favored politically. Obama and his minions always explain their efforts as coming from a “moral obligation” as a way to undercut any opposition as greedy, ignorant or evil. But by his own admission, his energy rules mean “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Check your latest bill and thank the president.

The real climate change agenda is a political strategy to subjugate free enterprise under statist regulation – de facto socialism under the aegis of “saving us from ourselves.” Obama will pursue it using whatever means he deems necessary. As for naming and shaming, well, this administration is most worthy of it.

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