Obama and Showtime Admit to Exploiting Extreme Weather Events to ‘Shift’ Public Opinion

President laughs as Times’ Friedman looks forward to storm ‘big enough to end the debate.’

If you suspected that Showtime had a liberal agenda, the June 9 finale of “Years of Living Dangerously” confirmed it.

The finale of Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” wrapped up a long effort to push climate alarmism with an interview between New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and President Barack Obama. Friedman and Obama agreed on the need to connect extreme weather events to climate change in order to sway public opinion, showcasing the partisan political goal of the Showtime series.

After hyping extreme weather events for “Years of Living Dangerously,” Obama stressed the need to emphasize extreme weather because “the more we can make the climate issue something that is here and now, that’s how public opinion’s gonna shift.” He also called opposition to his agenda “frustrating” and threatened energy companies with extra fines.

These remarks came at the end of nine episodes discussing the alleged impact of man-made climate change on extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, droughts and wildfires.

Obama’s endorsement of stressing extreme weather to make climate change “something that is here and now” emphasized the liberal agenda behind “Years of Living Dangerously.” Showtime pushed this agenda by focusing on the effects of weather on specific communities in California, Texas and Syria, among others.

A quick search of the series' website reveals how blatant this agenda was. The “Years of Living Dangerously” website linked directly to Obama’s “Organizing for Action” campaign against climate change. In addition, Joe Romm, one of the series’ science advisors also led the climate alarmism division of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress.

The media have also pushed a similar message. Between March 2014 and June 2014, the broadcast networks regularly connected climate change with droughts and wildfires. The networks also pushed the claim that hurricanes are becoming more frequent, consistently linking Hurricane Sandy to climate change.

But scientific and historical evidence contradictions these connections to hurricanes, droughts and wildfires. Droughts and wildfires have decreased in recent years, especially in comparison to geological evidence going back millennia. There have also been fewer hurricanes. Roger Pielke Jr., an environmental studies professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, wrote in USA Today that hurricane intensity and frequency are at their lowest point since “the turn of the last century,” decreasing by more than 20%.”

Both Obama and Friedman leveled harsh criticism against those skeptical of man-made catastrophic climate change. Friedman asked “do you ever, once in a while, you just want to go off on them?” Obama, laughing, responded “absolutely” and explained “it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us.”

Obama elaborated on the specifics of own agenda during the interview, praising the future of renewable energy and attacking traditional energy sources. He said “there is no doubt that if we burn all the fossil fuel that’s in the ground right now, that the planet’s gonna get too hot, and the consequences could be dire.”

“We’re gonna have to basically build a ramp from how we currently use energy to where we need to use energy,” he added, before emphasizing progress in renewable energy development. Friedman failed to address what a radical economic change this approach would require.

 In 2013, according to the Energy Information Administration, over two thirds of U.S. electrical generation was derived from natural gas and coal. Less than 13 percent of US electrical generation came from renewable energy sources in 2013, and more than half of that depended on hydroelectric dams.

He made clear how he would accomplish his goals, saying “We’re gonna charge you if you’re releasing this stuff in the atmosphere.” Obama made it clear that he wants to increase the price of fossil fuels with a fee on carbon emissions. He declared “if there’s one thing I would like to see, it’d be for us to be able to price the cost of carbon emissions.”

— Sean Long is Staff Writer at the Media Research Center. Follow Sean Long on Twitter.