Obama’s Secret Formula

Barack Obama is a wholesalesman of promises. An early withdrawal from Iraq, health insurance for all Americans and more public inspection of the financial sector to give some examples.

This week he added a new promise. This time Obama made a statement about the sensitive policy of the climate change in the U.S. The senator from Illinois promised that Washington under his leadership will again play a major role in the international negotiations about climate change. He even promised that the U.S. “will help the world to lead” in this area.

On what bases Obama uses the word ‘again’ seems a mystery. Usually the U.S. are the the most notable- or even were stonewalling- the international attempts for example to get a reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases. The decision of president Bush to distance himself in 2001 of the Kyoto protocol, that is an agreement about the reduction of CO2-emission, is probably the most visible proof of that.

The basis for the promise that America will help to lead the world at the negotiations about climate change, seems to be an even bigger mystery.This type of leadership does not fit a country where the majority of the cars use more then 10 liters in 100 kilometers and where the industrial lobby has a significant share in politics and austerity is not in the dictionary. In that respect the U.S. has a lot of catching up to do internally, before they can lead internationally.

President Bush at least was honest about that. The compliance of the Kyoto agreements was according to the president too costly for the American economy. It depends on what your priorities are. The war in Iraq untill now has cost more then 3000 billion dollars. This is still out of proportion compared to the 15 billion dollars that Obama wants to invest in durable renewable energy sources.

Obama is not only whole selling promises but also words. And it has to be admitted that he has some kind of eloquence. But at the end there will a settlement of his actions. In this respect they are not very hopeful. The elected president made his promises in the area of climate change in a video message without being present at a climate conference that was organised by the Californian governor Schwarzenegger. And more important: next month he will also not be present at a major United Nations climate summit in Poznan.

The reason? “The United States can have only one president at a time,” according to a statement that Obama made. That is true of course. But when he was asked if he as head of state could prove his promises in the environmental field, Obama answered: “A president can not do everything.” That is true also. And it is hoped that this statement also applies to his commitments to broaden the possibilities for abortion and stem cell research, for example.

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