President Obama’s trip to Africa took another interesting turn with his announcement of a new energy initiative – Power Africa – that will seek to bring reliable energy to the continent. While the policy may be noble in theory, the president’s choice of words when introducing his plan was anything but.
Speaking at a town hall event in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday, President Obama claimed that “the planet will boil over” if everyone has access to air conditioning, automobiles, and big houses. That is, unless the world finds “new ways of producing energy.”
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Ultimately you think you about all the youth that everybody’s mentioned here in Africa, if everybody’s raising living standards to the point where everybody’s got a car, and everybody’s got air conditioning, and everybody’s got a big house the planet will boil over – unless we find new ways of producing energy. And tomorrow, or the next day when I visit Tanzania, I’m actually going to be going to a power plant to focus on electrification.
“There’s your key,” Pat asked. “The Tanzanian power plant is our key to world energy and tomorrow he’s going to figure that out? How about a guy so egomaniacal that he [says]… ‘We already have the market cornered on big homes and cars. Sorry. You’re out of luck until we figure this thing out in Tanzania.’ Come on.”
The speech is classic Obama – scolding ‘evil’ Americans for driving SUVs and having large homes. The elitist left in the U.S. eat this nonsense up as they fly around the world in their private planes, but given the audience for this particular speech, President Obama comes across as aloof, insensitive, and tone deaf.
“He’s saying [this] to people who are living in squalor, who are living in nothing,” Glenn said. “‘Pay no attention to the airplane the size of your neighborhood that’s sitting on the tarmac that we probably had to put down so we could land our stupid plane here. You can’t have a big house. Pay no attention to that big white house that I happen to live in.’ It is absolutely insane.”
“It’s embarrassing,” Pat continued. “It’s embarrassing for the president of the United States to stand with people who have nothing and tell them they can’t have anything either.”
Instead of telling the people of Africa that they should not have access to any of the amenities we enjoy in the United States, President Obama should have reminded the people of Africa who are living in poverty that they are not alone, and we are working hard to find new, innovative, and sustainable ways to improve their quality of life.
“Instead what [he] should be saying is: We’re working hard in America and the whole world is working hard because you see what we have and you might say, ‘I don’t agree with their lifestyle. I don’t agree with what they believe in, et cetera, et cetera. But I’d like to have air conditioning. I’d like to have a great job. I’d like to have a car. I’d like to have that.’ And that’s what our goal is,” Glenn explained. “Our goal is to find ways to create energy so we can all enjoy the splendor and the wonderment of today’s world.”
“Exactly right,” Pat added. “You’re talking to people who don’t have mosquito nets. Two million of them are dying every year because they don’t have mosquito nets, or they can’t use DDT. I mean, it’s unbelievable.”