Sunday, November 23, 2014
Go Ahead Insult Your Hosts
Despite warnings from his own embassy Obama ripped into the Australian administration for walking back their climate change policies.
From "The Australian":
Despite repeated Australian requests, White House officials refused to provide a text of the speech to their Australian hosts in advance, and did not provide a summary of what would be contained in the speech.
Mr Obama’s repeated references to the climate change debate in Australia, his accusation that Australia was an inefficient user of energy and his repeated references to the Great Barrier Reef, which has figured heavily in the climate change debate, have led observers to conclude that the speech was a deliberate swipe at the Abbott government.
Historians of the US-Australia relationship are unable to nominate a case of a visiting president making such a hostile speech for the host government.
And the pushback courtesy Radio Australia:
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has criticised US president Barack Obama for a speech in Brisbane last weekend in which he claimed climate change threatened the Great Barrier Reef.
Speaking to 7.30 from New York, where she is attending a meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Ms Bishop said "there was an issue regarding [Mr Obama's] statement" and she could "understand the Queensland Government's concern".
In a speech at University of Queensland, Mr Obama had said that: "Here, a climate that increases in temperature will mean more extreme and frequent storms, more flooding, rising seas that submerge Pacific islands ... The incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened."
Ms Bishop told 7.30: "We are demonstrating world's best practice in working with the World Heritage Committee to ensure that the Great Barrier Reef is preserved for generations to come.
"I think that President Obama might have overlooked that aspect of our commitment to conserving the Great Barrier Reef."
I understand the dynamics of a failed Presidency but I don't understand the seeming deliberate attempts to destroy the institution in the process.