On his radio show this week, climate change denier Glenn Beck asked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) if “a new peer reviewed study,” which he says shows that global warming “looks like it’s going to be on hold for ten years,” gives America “time to not spend the money on global warming and maybe concentrate on things like Social Security.” “Yes,” replied McCain:
BECK: You know, there’s a new peer reviewed study out today that says global warming now looks like it’s going to be on hold for ten years. Does that buy us any time to not spend the money on global warming and maybe concentrate on things like Social Security and fix some of those things that are right around the corner?
SENATOR McCAIN: Yes, Glenn, but where we may have a disagreement, I believe that the development of green technologies such as General Electric, the world’s largest corporation, has dedicated to the development of nuclear energy as the French are able to generate 80% of their electricity with nuclear power. There’s no reason why America shouldn’t.
UPDATE: As Joe Romm explains at Climate Progress, Glenn Beck is misinterpreting a new paper in Nature that modeled the effects of interdecadal oceanic cycles on global surface temperature. In one sentence, the authors used the phrase “next decade” to refer to the period from 2005-2015 versus 2000-2010, instead of the common-sense definition of 2010-2020. The study in fact provides evidence to support that the next decade — 2010-2020 — will be the warmest on record and “is poised to see faster temperature rise than any decade since the authors’ calculations began in 1960.”
UPDATE II: Joe Romm also calculates what McCain’s nuclear goal means:
To satisfy McCain’s odd desire to be like the French and get 80% of our electricity from nuclear power in the coming decades would require building more than 700 (GW-sized) nuclear power plants by midcentury — more than one a month.