News & Politics

President of the U.S. Gets Gonged at 'Klimate-Change' Summit

All heads of state are equal, but some are more equal than others:

President Barack Obama was met with what appeared to be the U.N.’s version of the Oscars’ “wrap-it-up” music Monday after he significantly overran his allotted time to speak at a global climate change summit. Obama was one of 147 world leaders given a three-minute slot at the COP21 conference to outline their vision for the future of the planet.

The president of the free world, however, had other ideas. More than eight and a half minutes into Obama’s address — and with no sign he was stopping soon — three beeps sounded across the auditorium, clearly audible to everyone present and watching on TV. Organizers did not respond to NBC News’ requests for comment on the beeps, but the punctuating sounds appeared to be the conference’s not-so-subtle attempt to get Obama to wrap it up.

“I’ve come here personally, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and the second-largest emitter, to say that the United States of America not only recognizes our responsibility in creating this problem, we embrace our responsibility to do something about it,” Obama told the summit. The beeps continued every 30 seconds, but the president plowed on.

Of course he did. Leaders had been asked to limit their remarks to three minutes, but Barry droned on for fourteen minutes. You can see video at the link, or listen to the gonging here.

By the time he was done, he had spoken for nearly the length of time set aside for four world leaders. If all 147 speakers had taken as long as Obama, their combined addresses would have lasted more than 33 hours.

Words may not fail our president, but they fail me at this moment.