Turns out McCain doesn’t care about global warming, the greatest threat we face

All you need to know about McCain’s core beliefs on climate change:

  1. The 72-year-old McCain named a global warming denying, Big Oil Super-Shill as his Vice President
  2. His much anticipated acceptance speech never once mentioned the gravest threat facing the health and well-being of the nation and the world.
  3. After walking away from a mandatory cap-and-trade system, he is now running an ad that appears to attack the very idea of cap-and-trade.

I have long argued McCain isn’t the candidate to stop global warming. Every recent speech and action makes clear he does not understand the dire nature of the problem (see McCain climate plan = Rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic) or the clean energy solution (see The real, Luddite McCain: “The truly clean technologies don’t work”).

In his first major decision, he chose exactly the wrong person to succeed him in the not-unlikely event he dies in office (see “The moral implications of the Palin pick?“). Amazingly, on MSNBC Monday, McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker cited McCain’s position on “climate change” as evidence he had broken with his party, as Think Progress noted. When Andrea Mitchell pointed out that B.O.S.S. Palin disagrees with McCain on this issue, Hazelbaker replied “Andrea, Andrea. You don’t expect the running mates to agree on every single issue.” No. Just the ones the candidate think are important.

In the single most important speech of his career, when the whole world was watching to hear his priorities, the words “global warming” or “climate change” never passed his lips. His words were identical to a dozen Bush speeches.

And then we have this McCain ad, which is a staggering abandonment of principle:

It attacks liberals for promising higher taxes on electricity — which liberals haven’t done, unless you are treating cap-and-trade as a tax AND unless you yourself are walking away from it. This is one of the most cynical campaign ads in U.S. history –and that’s saying a lot.

I’m not certain how you can claim to be interested in protecting Americans when you abandon all pretense of concern for what is certainly the greatest preventable threat to the health and well-being of Americans. Indeed, the head of the Nobel Prize-winning IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, hand-picked by President Bush recently said:

The cities, power plants and factories we build in the next seven years will shape our climate in mid-century. We have to act now to price carbon and create incentives to change the way we use energy and spread technology — and thereby avert nothing less than an existential threat to civilization.

This is the election of the century.

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11 Responses to Turns out McCain doesn’t care about global warming, the greatest threat we face

  1. Ronald says:

    I think that Obama didn’t mention Climate Change, Global Warming or Cap and Trade in his acceptance/nomination speack, but Obama did have Nobel Prize winner Al Gore speak before him which more of a message.

    [JR: Obama did mention “climate change” — and of course he picked an advocate not a denier for VP. And, as you say, he had Gore precede him.]

    McCain is just another politician who is a weather vane and is pointing the way the wind is blowing, a Maverick only in using the name when he clearly is not. He might be better once he is elected, but who knows, if he has to make this many compromises to get elected, he’ll just make the compromises to govern.

    McCain is bad for a country that wants to do something about Global Warming. I got that. That idea is very clear and obvious. That one is easy. What is it though that could change the views of people about climate change and its present and especially future problems? That would be a political question that would be harder to answer. Because unless the public opinion on Global Warming changes, it’ll be hard for even those politicians who want to do something about it.

  2. Robert says:

    Its not about “protecting Americans” and its not about “The cities, power plants and factories we build…”.

    America can do what it likes but it wouldn’t fix climate change even if the whole country went zero-carbon.

    What I was waiting for in the DNC and RDC speeches was a recognition that the rest of the world exists and that the US must cooperate with it on climate change. The only two people that made this point were Hillary and Bill. Maybe the Dems got the wrong person.

  3. hapa says:

    not cities, power plants, factories…?

    i mean, those are the durable goods. good money thrown after the alba-noose around our necks. the rest is process change, retooling, honest labor.

  4. Robert says:

    The central reason for the global lack of progress on climate change over the last 20 years is US obstruction. US delegates have repeatedly derailed the IPCC negotiations and the US stands alone in failing to ratify Kyoto.

    As a non-US citizen I want to hear your presidential candidates own up to this failure and commit to rectifying it. What chance does the IPCC have when the world’s biggest economy with the world’s biggest carbon footprint won’t play? None.

    Instead all I picked up from the conferences was how the US would get off foreign oil (as an economic issue not a climate change issue). Very disappointing, especially if the solution turns out to be making oil from domestic coal, oil sands and oil shale.

  5. paulm says:

    We now have an election up here in Canada too.

    Climate Change has always been on a back burner up here. Now Harper has called an early election because he knows that further down the road, apart from the failing economy, there are looming climate issues.

    The rhetoric and ads that are popping up are just not on. Instead of alerting the electorate to the climate issue and debating it, they are playing it like it does not exist. Extremely Frustrating!

    Where has the informed electorate gone? Why is it that Climate Change isn’t the big issue it should be at this stage?

    It seems only bygones can raise the issue seriously….

    Four former prime minister’s join call for climate change action

    TORONTO — Four of Canada’s former prime ministers have joined business leaders, environmentalists and academics in demanding that the country do more to tackle climate change.

  6. Brewster says:

    Paul, that’s interesting that those PM’s have signed the call,
    but three of the four are from WAY back before GW was an issue,
    and so did nothing.

    The one relatively recent signee, Paul Martin, did next to nothing
    except make speeches when he was in office.

    I also find it interesting to see who DIDN’T sign it.

    Not being political here – both parties are equally guilty.

  7. paulm says:

    Hey, I am going to vote for the green party this time.

  8. Rick C says:

    Let’s just cut to the chase and start building the Soylent factories now.

  9. Brewster…

    My 2 cents on the Canadian election…

    I agree that in Canada, the Liberals had a piss-poor record in office. But they also tamed our deficit, turned it into a huge surplus, and gave Canada the healthiest economy in the G8. If Dion had taken over while the Liberals still held power, I like to think that we’d be doing much better at combatting climate change.

    But the Conservatives, under Harper, have frittered away our surplus, promoted Tar Sands development above all else, and they seem to be making all the wrong decisions (including putting big money into biofuels and CCS).

    The Sierra Club recently rated the environmental platforms of all five parties; here’s how they scored: Green Party (A -); Liberals (B+); NDP (B); BQ (B); and the Conservatives (F). After all, our current government won’t impose any hard CO2 caps until after 2020.

    I’m trying to do my bit. I’m launching Project ABC tomorrow — Anything But Conservative (at because I can’t sit on my hands any longer and do nothing.

    I know that I’m naive, but I still like to think that together, we are mighty.

  10. Robert says:

    Ah…Canada. What a stunning record on CO2 reduction since signing Kyoto.

  11. Tim Hagen says:

    I haven’t made up my mind yet on this election, but the most important issue to me is climate change. When I read your article, I was surprised at John McCain’s vote on the 2005 energy plan. I looked at the record – sure enough, he voted against it. I was tempted to say that McCain lost my vote right there, but then I asked myself “Why did he vote against it???” It only took about five minutes to find that out, and by the way, Hillary Clinton didn’t vote for it either. Just look here:

    I am still making up my mind on who to vote for, but I will be needing balanced reports of the facts instead of overly biased articles like yours.