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Biden Skips COP28: Secret Illness or Hidden Agenda?


Like a soldier abandoning his post, President Biden has turned tail and fled from the pivotal COP28 climate summit. His withdrawal from the frontlines of global climate leadership raises grave doubts – both at home and abroad – about his dedication to confronting the climate crisis. 

But even more troubling than this abdication of duty is the veil of secrecy surrounding his decision. What does Biden know that he’s not telling us? What is he so desperate to hide by dodging COP28? 

His vague excuses ring hollow while his silence on the real reasons speaks volumes. Is he trying to conceal failure, illness, or a cynical political ploy? 

Until the President comes clean, the shadow over American climate commitment will only grow darker. The world is watching and waiting for answers Biden seems unwilling to provide. 

His shrouding of COP28 in mystery calls into question the transparency of the White House. What skeletons in his closet is Biden desperate to conceal by avoiding the major summit?

President Biden’s announcement that he will not attend the upcoming COP28 climate conference in Dubai has sparked strong criticism from climate advocates and youth activists alike. His absence risks weakening American leadership on climate change cooperation and intensifying partisan divisions over US climate policy.

Biden has offered no clear justification for skipping the summit. Given its timing just before the 2024 election, this looks like a political decision to avoid the international spotlight on climate action. 

Despite his insisting over the years on making climate a top priority, Biden suspiciously appears unwilling to take the actions that would demonstrate bold leadership on the global stage. This casts doubt on his commitment to genuinely ambitious climate progress and casts many questions on what is causing his mysterious absence.

The COP summits are vital venues for building global cooperation in the fight against climate change. They allow world leaders to coordinate policies, hold each other accountable, demonstrate commitment, and send signals about their nation’s priorities. COPs have led to landmark agreements like the Paris Accord. 

They spur action by creating political momentum and public pressure. Having Biden sit out the major summit severely undermines that momentum. It slows urgent progress and breeds cynicism about empty promises not being matched by the action COPs are designed to catalyze. 

The implications of Biden’s non-attendance are manifold. First, it represents a major snub of developing nations who were expecting strong shows of support from a major leader. 

They have long called for increased climate financing from wealthy countries like the US. Biden’s missing COP28 undermines cooperation with the Global South on equitable climate solutions.

Second, Biden’s absence cedes influence to rival powers like China and Russia when it comes to steering global climate goals. Xi and Putin have already declined to attend COP28 as well. With none of the major players present, hopes for significant breakthroughs or new ambitious pledges at COP28 are diminished.

This reflects a general pattern of disengagement and isolationism in Biden’s foreign policy approach. He has failed to restore America’s standing as a trusted multilateral partner. On several critical issues, allies feel let down by Biden’s lack of leadership. COP28 was a chance to reverse this slide and reassert US climate commitment, an opportunity which Biden has fumbled.

Domestically, Biden’s skipping COP28 also plays into partisan politics and climate delay tactics. His absence will be portrayed as proof climate policy is not really an administration priority and used to resist passing further national climate legislation Biden has called for. 

Young climate activists who helped elect Biden are also voicing frustration. 

“Biden and previous presidents haven’t taken seriously the need to lead on the international stage on climate change,” Stevie O’Hanlon, a spokesperson for youth climate group the Sunrise Movement, told CNN.

O’Hanlon’s critique highlights how President Biden is repeating the same mistakes of his predecessors by downplaying the importance of US leadership at international gatherings like COP28. This demonstrates a lack of urgency from Biden when it comes to asserting America’s role in spurring global climate progress.

The Sunrise Movement does have valid concerns about COP28 itself being hosted by a major oil-producing nation – the UAE. However, as O’Hanlon notes, that does not justify America dodging the summit entirely. Biden had an opportunity to participate and push for more ambitious climate goals and call out greenwashing. His absence means sidestepping vital dialogue and accountability on the world stage.

His absence at COP28 seems like a brush-off of youth climate concerns on the international stage. It may depress turnout of these voters in the 2024 election when climate will be a major issue for Gen Z and Millennials.

A recent poll from the Washington Post and University of Maryland painted a concerning picture of public sentiment around President Biden’s handling of climate change. The poll found that 57% of Americans disapprove of how Biden has addressed climate policy so far in his term.

Breaking it down demographically, the disapproval was highest among young voters aged 18-29 – with 59% unhappy with Biden’s climate leadership. This suggests Biden is failing to connect with a key constituency that cares deeply about climate action.

The partisan divide on climate approval ratings is also troubling. While 74% of Democrats support Biden’s climate efforts, only 40% of Independents and a mere 8% of Republicans are satisfied. This indicates Biden has not successfully persuaded voters outside his own party on his climate record.

Additionally, 71% of respondents admitted knowing little about Biden’s major climate legislation – the Inflation Reduction Act. This startling lack of awareness reveals failures by the administration to effectively promote its signature climate achievement in a way that resonates broadly.

Overall, the poll aligns with Biden’s chronically low approval ratings across issues heading into the 2024 election cycle. On climate specifically, he has clearly struggled to convey his accomplishments despite enacting unprecedented investments.

This context makes his decision to avoid the international spotlight of the COP28 summit even more concerning.

In summary, Biden’s refusal to attend COP28 weakens trust in US climate leadership, hands gains to geopolitical rivals, divides climate advocates domestically, and risks alienating youth voters, but more importantly it raises serious questions that demand answers from the White House. 

Why exactly is Biden missing such a major climate summit? What is the real reason behind this baffling decision?

The first thing that comes to mind is that Biden may be ill and wish to avoid the global spotlight and scrutiny. If true, this raises troubling concerns about his health and fitness to lead. The people deserve to know if the president they elected can fully carry out his duties on the world stage in this presidential term, nevermind running for another.

Others may wonder if Biden is preoccupied handling domestic crises he fears would be exposed under the glare of international attention. Is his absence an implicit admission that his leadership has failed to adequately address multiple unfolding disasters? What dire situation requires Biden to avoid COP28?

Some could also suggest Biden is deliberately snubbing COP28 to signal the US will not be bound by global climate commitments. If true, this arrogance and isolationism represent a major abdication of climate leadership.

Biden owes the American public full transparency regarding his shocking decision to abandon COP28. Something is clearly preventing him from attending this vital summit. Until we have honest answers, doubt will grow over his fitness to lead the US and the world in tackling the climate crisis.

The dubious excuses offered by the administration ring hollow. Ongoing conflicts in Israel and Ukraine, while serious, need not preclude Biden’s participation in a pivotal multilateral climate forum.

Biden’s absence also represents a snub of vital allies and partners. Key leaders like King Charles III and Pope Francis will be attending COP28 to spur more climate ambition. Biden missing the chance to stand alongside them is a failure of solidarity and moral purpose.

At home, this risks aggravating partisan divides over climate policy. Biden has tried promoting legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act as achievements. But his COP absence exposes a half-hearted approach on delivering promised international climate action.

Other nations are exerting growing influence as America grows idle under Biden’s lethargic stewardship. The recent US-China climate agreement, while positive, is hollow without engaged presidential-level follow through like COP28 provides. Global climate networks are moving on without Biden.

The timing of Biden skipping this particular COP is especially concerning given it is likely the last such summit before the 2024 elections. 

Climate change is already shaping up to be a major issue decided at the ballot box. Biden’s absence represents a squandered opportunity to showcase US climate leadership and build momentum going into that pivotal campaign. 

It implies climate will not be an administration priority as election season heats up. The world is watching closely for signs of faltering American commitment as the window for transformative action narrows. 

Biden has just sent an extremely troubling signal by avoiding the international spotlight and scrutiny on US climate policy so close to the next presidential race. 

The dubious secrecy and vague justifications surrounding President Biden’s choice to avoid COP28 set off alarm bells. What is he hiding from the global community and American people? His seeming indifference toward explaining this baffling snub of climate leadership raises troubling questions. 

Is Biden trying to conceal incompetence, indifference, or infirmity when it comes to fulfilling his duties? His silence speaks volumes. The public deserves honest answers when the stakes are this high. Until there is full transparency regarding his questionable COP28 decision, suspicions will grow over Biden’s fitness to steer humanity’s climate fight. 

He must confront the storm of criticism head on, with facts not spin, if trust in American climate commitment is to be restored. One thing’s for certain – dodging accountability on the world stage only fan the flames of doubt at home and abroad. Biden underestimates the fallout from shrouding his climate priorities in mystery.

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