President Obama concluded his historic Alaska trip yesterday by visiting the remote village of Kotzebuein, a community in the Arctic circle struggling with the effects of climate change and contending with coastal erosion caused by rising sea levels. He called their predicament a wake-up call to the world on rapidly escalating temperatures, and pledged a series of clean energy initiatives to help wean Alaska off of fossil fuels. He told the audience:
I’ve been trying to make the rest of the country more aware of the changing climate but you’re already living it. What’s happening here is America’s wake-up call….If there’s one thing that threatens opportunity and prosperity for all of us … it’s the threat of a changing climate….Longer, more dangerous fire seasons. Thawing permafrost that threatens homes and infrastructure. Whether we live in the Arctic circle or the Hawaiian islands, big cities or small towns, we’re one people.
Of course the controlling Alaskan Republican Party has been falling over itself to make the President feel unwelcome, tweeting the following after Obama made a speech scolding climate-change deniers:
Obama is going back to Columbia University after his presidency. The lecturing has already begun. #ObamaAK
— Alaska GOP (@akgop) September 1, 2015
When he visited melting glaciers on Tuesday, the party had the following to say about Obama’s attempts to bring attention to the severe effects of global warming:
#Obama wilderness hike to Exit Glacier. Alaskans are falling over laughing.
— Alaska GOP (@akgop) September 2, 2015
And finally this after Obama left Alaska:
Elvis has left. They'll be talking about this day for years in Kotzebue.
— Alaska GOP (@akgop) September 3, 2015
Remember, this is an actual political party in control of the state government.
Thank God there are grown ups in the White House.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.