Jimmy Carter had his faults as president, the main one being his decision to implement what they must have thought was a clever plan to destabilize Afghanistan so as to covertly draw the Soviet Union, its Cold War adversary, into that country and get bogged down so as to create for them their own Vietnam. That set in motion a train of horrific conflict under which the Afghan people still suffer. [IPDATE: See the interview that Zbigniew Bzerzinski, Carter's National Security Advisor, gave in 1998.]
But on the positive side, Carter also has had a long-standing interest in energy conservation, perhaps because of the gas lines triggered by the oil embargo implemented by the Arab states during his presidency. He set up the Department of Energy (the department that Rick Perry famously forgot in his ‘Oops’ moment in the 2012 Republican debates) and has been a tireless promoter of energy conservation and alternative energy.
One of the privileges of getting old is that you tend to call a spade a spade and not worry too much about the consequences and at the age of 89, Carter seems to be enjoying doing so. Yesterday he called climate change deniers ‘nutcases’, infuriating them. However since Republicans have long been unjustly accusing Carter of being the worst president ever, I doubt that Carter cares that much and I suspect probably enjoys stirring them up.
Interestingly, this has been a really cool summer in Cleveland, with the normal sweltering July and August seeing much lower temperatures and downright chilly nights. I have been looking out for letters to the editor in the local paper using this fact to scoff at global warming, similar to those that appeared like clockwork whenever there was a major snowstorm in winter. But there have been none so far, making me hope that the editors of the paper have begun to realize what an idiotic argument that is and not worth publishing.