I’ll be appearing on the live Meet the Bloggers webcast this Friday, September 19, at 1 PM: meetthebloggers.org.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, Sen. John McCain’s “I’m a Ph.D. economist” adviser, is evidently having a mental meltdown, perhaps brought on by the collapse in the financial markets engineered by McCain’s other “economic brain,” Phil Gramm.
Although his comment giving Sen. McCain credit for the miraculous invention of the Blackberry is meriting deserved ridicule, Holtz-Eakin’s column in yesterday’s Financial Times on climate change includes unambiguous lies to defend McCain’s polluter-friendly climate plan. Holtz-Eakin lies about McCain’s cap and trade plan:
His policy would reduce emissions to 2005 levels by 2012 and ultimately 66 per cent below 2005 levels by 2050, and would cover sectors responsible for just below 90 per cent of all emissions. These targets are consistent with the international scientific consensus and reflect the balance between environmental objectives and the need for economic growth. . . . Despite this, Mr Obama has chosen an unrealistic target for emissions reductions, and opposes measures to ease the transition.
The numbers are accurate, but everything else is a lie. The international scientific consensus in 2007, as clearly defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report (Working Group III, Chapter 13, Box 13.7), calls for the United States and other industrialized nations to reduce emissions 25 to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
McCain’s targets are totally inconsistent with the international scientific consensus, and Obama’s are also insufficient, though less so. Holtz-Eakin’s claim that Obama’s targets are “unrealistic” is bizarre, considering that McCain and Obama have proposed the same emissions target for the year 2020.
McCain’s plan has major loopholes which would make achieving such targets unlikely. Furthermore, McCain supports giveaways of pollution credits to industry, guaranteeing massive windfall profits for polluters at the expense of American families.
But this analysis is likely giving too much credence to the words of Holtz-Eakin directed to the international audience of the Financial Times. Speaking to the American public, McCain surrogates like Steve Forbes and Tim Pawlenty have denigrated cap-and-trade legislation. In 2000, candidate Bush claimed he’d regulate carbon dioxide pollution, but put Dick Cheney in charge of energy policy. In an eerie replay, McCain today has tapped Sarah Palin — who doesn’t believe in global warming — to be in charge of energy policy.