With President Obama's re-election now a lock, international pressure is beginning to ratchet up on the President to abandon what small vestige of political self-preservation he'd managed and go full Leftist.
The latest instance comes from U.N. Climate Chief Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica, who recently characterized Hurricane Sandy as a "wakeup call" for the United States on climate change and lamented our apparent unwillingness to begin penalizing carbon emissions with zeal.
The Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog explains:
“Yes, I certainly do think that this is yet another wake-up call,” Figueres said of Hurricane Sandy to Yale Environment 360 in an interview published by The Guardian.”I did hear President Obama say quite categorically in his acceptance speech that he is not going to have a future that is threatened by increasing warming . . . I do think that this mirrors the growing awareness in the United States. So I do think that Sandy has contributed to this. Is it the tipping point? That remains to be seen.”
Figueres also spoke if international frustration with the United States for failing to sign onto UN global warming initiatives such as the Kyoto Protocol.
“[I]f the United States does not strengthen its participation in the global climate regime under the newly re-elected president I think there will be increased frustration with the United States,” she said.
Cap and Trade, President Obama's previous preferred method of dealing with climate change, has been stalled in Congress pretty much since the start of his first term, and Obama likely lacks the political capital to pass it, even in the aftermath of his election. This instance of gloating by the U.N. is deeply unlikely to change that. In fact, Chief Figueres might have given the President's critics more ammunition if he pursues the policy in the face of this kind of pressure. The idea of the President bowing to criticism from foreign entities could be a potent political toxin, even for a lame duck.