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At the third and final presidential debate, finally heeding the global scientific community's warning that drastic action is required from major carbon emitters, Governor Mitt Romney pledged to work with all Americans “to maintain America as the hope of the earth.”
Environmentalists like Bill McKibben of 350.org were astounded. “I couldn’t believe my ears,” said McKibben, “I mean, this was the guy who made fun of Obama for pledging to slow rising sea levels. And here he is, telling us he’s ready work collectively with all of us to fight climate change. America will be the hope of the earth. That means the Keystone XL pipeline is finally dead. We’ll stop fracking and coal extraction at home, and end our wars for oil abroad.”
Conservative pundits were quick to try and walk back the presidential candidate’s statement. Ann Coulter suggested that Governor Romney was simply making fun of Obama. “He doesn’t want America to be the hope of the earth,” she claimed. “He’s just making fun of the retard [President Obama] who said he’d slow rising sea levels.”
Rush Limbaugh said “That whole ‘hope of the earth’ thing is just empty rhetoric. It doesn’t mean anything. Just like when Obama said it back in 2008.”
Empty rhetoric or an obvious reference to the immediate existential threat faced by the planet? Voters will decide which of those two explanations make the most sense when they go to the polls on November 6, 2012.
David Bernans is a Québec-based writer and translator. Follow him on twitter @dbernans.
Author's note: This article is satire. While Romney did say he wanted America to be the "hope of the earth" he has consistently ignored the global scientific community's warnings about climate change. Your guess about what "hope of the earth" means is as good as mine.