Tumblr Icon RSS Icon

Graham Claims McCain Has Done ˜Even More Than Al Gore On Global Warming

By Joe Romm

"Graham Claims McCain Has Done ˜Even More Than Al Gore On Global Warming"

Share:

google plus icon

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) said of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):

“Climate change is the road less traveled but he’s traveled it even more than Al Gore,” Graham said. “Al Gore has talked about it and deserves great recognition but he was around here a long time and never introduced a bill.”

Let’s see. McCain got 43 votes the first time he pushed his bill with Lieberman. He added some nuclear subsidies for the second go-round and got 38 votes. So I’m not sure he can lay claim to great achievements.

The key point for me is that unlike Gore — and unlike Clinton and ObamaMcCain doesn’t support the policies needed to successfully address catastrophic climate change without devastating the economy (and without an absurd over-reliance on nuclear power):

Heck — McCain ramped down his talk about climate recently, even as Gore ramps up his communications effort. For the full statement by Graham, and a full rebuttal, see ThinkProgress, which has a great post that I’ll just reprint below :

An online ABC News article on the “surrogate wars” of this year’s presidential election quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an ardent supporter of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) candidacy, saying that McCain has “earned a reputation…of doing things that put the country ahead of party.” As an example, Graham cited McCain’s environmental record, claiming that it’s stronger that former Vice President Al Gore’s:

“He’s not going to run away from President Bush but at the end of the day, John McCain has earned a reputation, and has the scars to show it, of doing things that put the country ahead of party,” Graham said, noting McCain has differed with the party on immigration, his desire to close Guantanamo Bay, and enacting robust climate change policies.

“Climate change is the road less traveled but he’s traveled it even more than Al Gore,” Graham said. “Al Gore has talked about it and deserves great recognition but he was around here a long time and never introduced a bill.”

On its face, Graham’s claim is laughable. But digging deeper into the substance, it rings of pure absurdity. In fact, Gore held the first congressional hearings on climate change in the late 1970s, well before McCain was even elected to Congress.

In 1997, Gore helped broker the Kyoto Protocol which called for nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the passing of a Senate resolution stating that the U.S should not join Kyoto, Gore symbolically signed the protocol in November, 1998. While McCain voted for the resolution, he claims today that “we have an obligation” to cut greenhouse gases but still thinks the U.S. “did the right thing by not joining the Kyoto treaty.”

Moreover, the evidence shows that McCain is confused on environmental issues. He now supports ethanol despite previously criticizing it. McCain has talked tough on capping carbon emissions but failed to even vote on key Senate legislation addressing the issue. Furhermore, he doesn’t seem to understand his own position on cap-and-trade:

In the Republican debate in Florida, he denied that his cap-and-trade program included a mandatory cap on carbon. (One wonders what he thought that first word was doing in there.) He has said he won’t support a cap-and-trade bill unless it includes extra support for nuclear power (because nuclear power is low-carbon), not seeming to grok the fact that the whole point of a cap-and-trade program is to raise prices on carbon, offering a de facto subsidy to all low-carbon options.

While Gore was starring in the Oscar winning global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, McCain has been trying to build an environmental record that is just strong enough to anger conservatives and fool the media into continuing to call him a “maverick.” But the reality is that McCain’s record falls well short of the leadership Gore has shown on the issue.
An online ABC News article on the “surrogate wars” of this year’s presidential election quoted Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), an ardent supporter of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) candidacy, saying that McCain has “earned a reputation…of doing things that put the country ahead of party.” As an example, Graham cited McCain’s environmental record, claiming that it’s stronger that former Vice President Al Gore’s:

“He’s not going to run away from President Bush but at the end of the day, John McCain has earned a reputation, and has the scars to show it, of doing things that put the country ahead of party,” Graham said, noting McCain has differed with the party on immigration, his desire to close Guantanamo Bay, and enacting robust climate change policies.

“Climate change is the road less traveled but he’s traveled it even more than Al Gore,” Graham said. “Al Gore has talked about it and deserves great recognition but he was around here a long time and never introduced a bill.”

On its face, Graham’s claim is laughable. But digging deeper into the substance, it rings of pure absurdity. In fact, Gore held the first congressional hearings on climate change in the late 1970s, well before McCain was even elected to Congress.

In 1997, Gore helped broker the Kyoto Protocol which called for nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Despite the passing of a Senate resolution stating that the U.S should not join Kyoto, Gore symbolically signed the protocol in November, 1998. While McCain voted for the resolution, he claims today that “we have an obligation” to cut greenhouse gases but still thinks the U.S. “did the right thing by not joining the Kyoto treaty.”

Moreover, the evidence shows that McCain is confused on environmental issues. He now supports ethanol despite previously criticizing it. McCain has talked tough on capping carbon emissions but failed to even vote on key Senate legislation addressing the issue. Furhermore, he doesn’t seem to understand his own position on cap-and-trade:

In the Republican debate in Florida, he denied that his cap-and-trade program included a mandatory cap on carbon. (One wonders what he thought that first word was doing in there.) He has said he won’t support a cap-and-trade bill unless it includes extra support for nuclear power (because nuclear power is low-carbon), not seeming to grok the fact that the whole point of a cap-and-trade program is to raise prices on carbon, offering a de facto subsidy to all low-carbon options.

While Gore was starring in the Oscar winning global warming documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” and being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change, McCain has been trying to build an environmental record that is just strong enough to anger conservatives and fool the media into continuing to call him a “maverick.” But the reality is that McCain’s record falls well short of the leadership Gore has shown on the issue.

‹ Burning Bush 2.0

Bush-Exxon Flak Claims Global Warming Debate Is ‘Environment Vs. Economy’ ›

8 Responses to Graham Claims McCain Has Done ˜Even More Than Al Gore On Global Warming

  1. Robert says:

    Its a shame Gore does not walk the walk. You could power a small town with his personal quota of electricity and air miles. Great DVD, but definitely not leadship by example.

  2. Robert says:

    “The average household in America consumes 10,656 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year, according to the Department of Energy. In 2006, Gore devoured nearly 221,000 kWh—more than 20 times the national average.”

    http://www.businessweek.com/innovate/NussbaumOnDesign/archives/2007/02/gores_carbon_fo.html

    We live in a 4-bed detached house in the UK. Having made a certain amount of efforts to reduce our carbon footprint it is now running at about 7,000 kwh/year. That works out to 65% of the US average and just 3% of Al Gore’s!

  3. Jay Alt says:

    Robert -
    Good on the energy efficiency, but here in the US we follow our own news. Yours is 9 months late and a euro short.

    http://www.knoxnews.com/kns/state/article/0,1406,KNS_348_5579134,00.html

    Check with Gore’s website, they have lots of energy saving tips for novices such as yourself.

  4. Paul K says:

    Yes, Gore has a great record of leadership. Eight years as vice-president. Here is a list of his climate accomplishments and initiatives. [insert here ] His lifestyle, as Robert notes, is rather carbon intensive. He is now enriching himself via the carbon offset racket.

  5. Robert says:

    Jay Alt – this blog just sounds more and more like a Democratic party propaganda machine. It doesn’t really matter what Gore does, he is always going to be your hero.

    What makes you think I am the “novice” you label me? I have made huge changes in our house over the last 2 or 3 years and cut gas to 30% and electricty to 60% of where we started. More big changes are in the pipeline, including solar hot water, a boiler in the stove and several other things. Also, one of the biggest things is that we both work from home, so no commuting and our energy use reflects full time occupation.

    Gore has been lecturing on climate change for decades. He must have realised his own carbon footprint was quite extraordinary, even by US standards. Why did he wait until he was “exposed” before taking action? Maybe energy saving is just for little, unimportant, poor people. And as Paul says, he is making a small forture from the “green bidness” so its an essential marketing strategy, probably even tax deductible I shouldn’t wonder.

    Even with all Gore’s green improvements his actual carbon footprint will still be massive. It is impossible to live in a mansion with a swimming pool and fly all over the world without this being true. Think of the maintenance of so much property and the manufacturing impact of the green technology alone. But with all that money would he really be prepared to live like an average citizen of the world? I don’t think so.

  6. Nick says:

    Here we go… same old talking points about Gore. Read this first before you talk about how much energy he’s using. http://socialitereport.com/2008/03/al_gore_talks_about_his_new_ca.html

    Secondly, how can McCain’s serrogate claim that he’s done more with the environment when McCain himself admitted that he knew nothing of climate change until after the 2001 Primary? “Mr. McCain, who acknowledges that he knew little about the climate problem when he sought his party’s presidential nomination eight years ago…” http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/17/us/politics/17climate.html?pagewanted=2&ei=5088&en=fbc8f193d4ac334f&ex=1350273600&partner=msnbcpolitics&emc=rss

  7. Nick says:

    How can one say he’s good for the environment?

    Look at his voting record on big oil, ala thinkprogress:

    http://thinkprogress.org/wonkroom/2008/03/27/mccain-oil-contributions/

  8. Robert says:

    Nick – I guess after following the climate change thing for a few years I’m just getting very cynical about the whole subject. Lots of words and no action.

    It is a fact that Gore’s personal and professional life require a massive carbon footprint. It is also a fact that he has made a bundle of cash out of the subject – cash used to finance his carbon-extravagent personal lifestyle, including the purchase of his energy-guzzling mansion. Eveything else is pure conjecture, including his real motives.

    I would be less negative if the “elites” that run our world were actually doing anything to reduce emissions. They are not. In fact the problem is accelerating all the time.

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html