McCain drinks the Kool-Aid [iced tea?] and becomes a climate conspiracy theorist

The main (though not only) reason the climate and clean energy jobs bill died this year was that anti-science, pro-pollution ideologues killed it.  Until Senate rules change, any such bill would have required at least three Senate Republican votes and probably five.

In a semi-rational world, heck, even a semi-hemi-demi-rational world, that was imaginable, but not on on planet Eaarth.  Who could have imagined that just 18 months after campaigning for President on a platform of climate action, the strongest conservative voice in the Senate for action on global warming would demagogue and campaign against policies that were weaker than the ones he had spent years advocating?

But McCain hasn’t merely drunk the flip-flop inducing Kool-Aid served by those who oppose even modest, centrist, business-friendly, Republican designed climate strategies (see “Republicans demagogue against market-oriented climate measures they once supported“).

Now he has sipped from the frosty, globally-cooled beverage made from the water of the river Lethe and served by the Tea Party climate zombies and the rest of the anti-science, pro-pollution crowd.  Brad Johnson just re-posted this video from McCain campaigning in New Hampshire with Senate candidate (and fellow denier) Kelly Ayotte.

Watch it and weep for homo ‘sapiens’ sapiens:

Here is the rest of Brad’s Wonk Room post:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), once a champion of strong action to fight global warming pollution, has joined the rest of the Republican Senate caucus in questioning the overwhelming science. From 2003 to 2007, McCain pressed for Congress to pass comprehensive cap-and-trade legislation to ratchet down greenhouse gas pollution, because, he said, global warming is “such a threat to our planet and our future and our children.” Now, like every other GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate this year, he opposes the climate policy he once supported. In a little-noted appearance stumping for Senate candidate (and fellow denier) Kelly Ayotte in Nashua, NH, this March, McCain gave credence to the outlandish Climategate smear campaign against climate science:

“I think it’s an inexact science, and there has been more and more questioning about some of the conclusions that were reached concerning climate change. And I believe that everybody in the world deserves correct answers whether the scientific conclusions were flawed by outside influences. There’s great questions about it that need to be resolved.”

McCain went on to argue, in video captured by contributor David Anderson, that it’s only possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with nuclear power, his personal, scientifically unfounded obsession.

In 2007, McCain said of global warming: “unequivocally I believe that it’s real.” He also accurately predicted that global warming means “much more violent weather patterns that are going to””and then of course that increases the disasters that befall countries like Bangladesh.” Sadly, now that Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh have faced catastrophic floods of an unprecedented scale during the hottest year ever recorded, McCain is a global warming skeptic. The Straight Talk Express has derailed into the Tea Party abyss.

(HT New Hampshire Primary)

We have re-entered an anti-science Dark Ages, abetted by a status quo media that is turning off what little light it once illuminated science with (see With science journalism “basically going out of existence,” how should climate scientists deal with well-funded, anti-science disinformation campaign? and Journalism professor Jay Rosen on why climate science reporting is so bad).

It is the moral obligation of scientists and environmentalists and progressives to shine whatever light we can on the scientific issue that will ultimately determine the health and well-being of our children and many billions of people in the coming century and beyond (see NOAA stunner: Climate change “largely irreversible for 1000 years,” with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe).

UPDATE:  This graphic shows what Arizona will look like if the Tea-Party-led Republican Party has its way.  It’s from a terrific March presentation, Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what staying on the business as usual emissions path (A1F1 or 1000 ppm) would mean (derived from the NOAA-led report):

Not a place many folks are going to be living in:

Arizona 2100

Related Post:

33 Responses to McCain drinks the Kool-Aid [iced tea?] and becomes a climate conspiracy theorist

  1. The WSJ posted a story about McDonalds dropping insurance coverage for 30,000 employees because of rules in the new health care package.
    The story is false

    But the damage is done.
    The same holds true whenever a leader, a person who supposed to be looking out for us, casts doubt on any issue that endangers the public… and no issue endangers the public more than climate change.

    McCain is a bad Samaritan

  2. Politics and science are like oil and water – and we all know how well that goes.

  3. mike roddy says:

    McCain is actually the same guy he was in 2006, when he finished first in the Buffalo Beast’s 50 Most Loathsome Americans:

  4. Mark says:

    Here in Massachusetts, our republican candidate for Governor, Charlie Baker, has stated that he is not smart enough to know whether climate change is occurring or not.

    I advocated making bumper stickers for him that say “Baker – Not Smart Enough”.

    One of my friends pointed out that Baker went to Harvard, was the CEO of a large health care company and was plenty smart.

    So I’ve changed my mind, the bumper stickers should say “Baker – Not Honest Enough”

    Same goes for McCain.

  5. This guy has now gone from national hero to traitor to his country.

  6. Pete Dunkelberg says:

    It’s homo misnomer.

  7. Bob Doublin says:

    More and more I think these republicans are proving they were NEVER sincere and on the up and up TO BEGIN WITH. What better way to waste time and energy we don’t have than to feign caring concern and a desire for bipartisanship and cooperation and then stab you in the back and commit a total derail when it gets down to the real nitty gritty. I’m willing to entertain the possibility that I’m wrong but the way things have played out over the past few months I think the probability of my being correct has ZOOMED over 50%.Just one more reason to hold all republicans in complete contempt.

  8. Sasparilla says:

    Sad with regards to McCain…although totally expected based on what we’ve seen (in the GOP) over these last years. Tragic for all our futures (especially future generations).

    Its hard to see a good way out of this sink hole the GOP has backed itself into (and hence the US Federal government on climate change action) with the help of groups funded by the Kochs etc. guiding them and funding candidates to eliminate moderate Republicans in each primary cycle (which they’ve been very successful in picking off each cycle). The GOP has made this such a platform hard core issue, its difficult seeing them backing off of it (ice free arctic or not).

  9. caerbannog says:

    So this former POW who courageously stood up to his commie North Vietnamese captors is now wetting his pants in fear of the tea-partiers?

    The tea-partiers managed to do what the North Vietnamese couldn’t — they broke John McCain.

  10. Artful Dodger says:

    Politics and science are like oil and water – and we all know how well that goes.

    Hey, nothing a few thousand barrels of Corexit wouldn’t fix, right? ;)

  11. Abe says:

    So climate science is an inexact science, but McCain’s opinions are an exact one?

    Just want to make sure I’m getting this right.

  12. So the questions now are:

    What is the responsibility of leadership?

    Is it that easy to fool the electorate?

  13. Sime says:

    Feeling depressed, hate the anti-science nonsense, shaking head in disbelief, worried, worried, worried.

    So get their attention organize all the non anti-science bods and er… take away their scientifically created toys and see how long it takes for them to get it.

    We all live in an incredible global society, in unparalleled luxury in first world countries with convenience at our finger tips, never have humans had it so good and it’s all because of science and technology, not magic, witchcraft and superstition.

    Ergo organize the geeks and thinking people and er turn it all off, let the anti-science people live without the toys of science for a bit, bet they won’t like it for five minutes never mind any serious length of time…

    Politicians work for YOU the American people and your children, not for big business and their own self-interest and should they choose not to do so then replace them.

  14. Dean says:

    Some are expecting a knock-down fight inside the Rs after the Nov 2 election based mostly on who will hold the hand for the 2012 nomination. If the Tea Party candidates are seen to have cost the Rs a chance at taking one or both houses, their litmus test control will be weakened or gone, and the Rs then may again have a few mavericks who are free to support the science. But will these same folks be able to then switch back, or will they have switched one too many times for credibility?

  15. Peter M says:

    John Mc Cain can believe what he wants

    in 20 years Phoenix & Tucson will likely be uninhabitable, unless you live in a domed and gated community- with walls around it- and water that is shipped into the ‘community’ and stored underneath the homes.

    McCain is a crass fool- I hope he has some good answers for the people of AZ a few years down the road.

    [JR: I’m sure it will be uninhabitable in 20 years, but I think it very likely that everyone will know that it is on a fast-track to being uninhabitable by them.]

  16. Joe, great posting. Thanks. Your story needs one more graphic:

    From Mike Roddy’s link – #3 above

  17. peter whitehead says:

    Long before they came together in the new UK coalition government, the UK Liberals had a slogan:

    “Half a mind to vote Conservative? That’s all you need!”

    Perhaps replace Conservative with GOP and you’d have a new bumper sticker.

    Actually half a mind is a little too much.

  18. Colorado Bob says:

    A new clip of the walrus hauling out on a barrier island in Alaska. This seems to be a different group .

    Walruses Swarm Beaches as Ice Melts

  19. Bob Doublin says:

    During the 2008 election on a group I belong to someone mentioned that, given his health and the nature of his cancer, there was a 50% chance McCain wouldn’t survive his term of office (and guess who would have taken over?)I honestly don’t think he’ll be alive come 2020 so no skin off his ass.

  20. Colorado Bob says:

    The temp records yesterday from NOAA –

    Highest Max Temp – New: 139 + Tied: 54 = Total: 193
    Lowest Max Temp – New: 1 + Tied: 0 = Total: 1
    Highest Min Temp – New: 40 + Tied: 22 = Total: 62
    Lowest Min Temp – New: 1 + Tied: 2 = Total: 3

    Total Number of Records for September 29, 2010
    (out of 5,341 stations with at least 30 years of data)

    Fall hasn’t showed up yet .

  21. Michael Tucker says:

    McCain is a very sad case. It is now no longer possible to know what he really believes. He will say anything to appeal to whoever he is speaking to at the moment. This is true with many other Republican candidates and a few Democrats as well.

    What is certain is they are not interested in the deficit or jobs or climate disruption. They will begin to advance the old social agenda they have always advocated. They will waste time with bogus investigations of climate science. They will attempt to privatize Social Security and Medicare. They will attempt to pass personally invasive laws to involve the government in a women’s right to choose; even in the most appallingly extreme cases. They will try to revisit creationism. Bills to address improvements to our education system will encourage debates that have nothing to do with actual improvements, like how climate change should be covered or what books should be banned. They really want to control ideas and force a moral philosophy on America that only a very few actually believe in and many actual Republicans fail to uphold. Why do the independent voters keep going back for more from these people?

  22. Esop says:

    McCain is regurgitating the now official party line of the GOP. Not surprising at all, but nonetheless depressive. In a few little years, this nonsense and stupidity will come back and bite them in the behind. Hard.

  23. “iced tea?”

    Actually I believe those are Long Island ice teas. I remember first time I had a couple of those in Diego Garcia. They don’t seem strong at all — and then they really hit you…

  24. Anu says:

    caerbannog says:
    September 30, 2010 at 10:58 am
    So this former POW who courageously stood up to his commie North Vietnamese captors is now wetting his pants in fear of the tea-partiers?

    The tea-partiers managed to do what the North Vietnamese couldn’t — they broke John McCain.

    It sounds like you know little about John Sidney McCain III.

    He was shot down on Oct 26, 1967 while trying to level a power plant in a heavily populated area of 1000 year old Hanoi, capital of Vietnam. Within 3 days he was collaborating with his captors – whether they “broke” him, or he just decided that as the son of John McCain Jr., the Commander-in-Chief of U.S. Pacific Command (including all those fighting in Vietnam), he deserved the best medical treatment and accommodations, isn’t clear. It is clear that the Vietnamese took him to a hospital reserved for Vietnamese officers, and he was treated by Russian doctors to repair the damage to his legs and arms caused by crashing into Truc Bach Lake (before a Vietnamese civilian swam out and saved him from drowning while tangled up in his parachute).

    McCain told his North Vietnamese captors, “highly classified information, the most important of which was the package routes, which were routes used to bomb North Vietnam. He gave in detail the altitude they were flying, the direction, if they made a turn… he gave them what primary targets the United States was interested in.” Hopper contends that the information McCain provided allowed the North Vietnamese to adjust their air-defenses. As result, Hopper claims, the US lost sixty percent more aircraft and in 1968, “called off the bombing of North Vietnam, because of the information McCain had given to them.”

    Not content with divulging military information, McCain provided his voice in radio broadcasts used by the North Vietnamese to demoralize American soldiers.

    Vietnamese radio propagandists made good use out of McCain. On June 4, 1969, a U.S. wire service headlined a story entitled “PW Songbird Is Pilot Son of Admiral.”

    If John Kerry had done what McCain had done, FOX News would have called for his execution for treason, with round the clock hammering of the story.

    Not to mention the whole divorcing of McCain’s first wife (mother of his 3 oldest children) who was crippled in a car crash, to remarry with a beautiful woman 18 years her junior (the heir to an Arizona brewing fortune) just one month later. That beer fortune fueled McCain’s rise to power in politics.

  25. Michael Tucker says:

    Finally some tough talk from John Holdren!

    “We only have three choices: adaptation, mitigation and suffering, and we are going to need a lot of the first two in order to avoid a lot of the third,” Holdren said. “Anybody who thinks there are alternatives is smoking dope.”

    These are comments made when John Holdren accepted a report from the National Climate Adaptation Summit.

    In light of all the denial coming from our elected representatives and candidates for office it would be wonderful if the Office of Science and Technology Policy, that Holdren heads, could publish a bulletin or pamphlet that pushes back against the ignorance.

  26. Holdren is plain speaking and heroic.

    Although, for simplicity, I would call suffering a form of adaptation. And denial might be a perverse way to adapt.

    But promoting denial as a member of Congress, when trying to promote yourself as a leader – is beyond crazy. It is contemptuous.

    McCain, the pilot, was trained to “trust your instruments” as all pilots are taught to trust the science and engineering of aerodynamics – oh wait, McCain has a record of 3 plane crashes. And a few car crashes too. Ooops.

  27. Roger says:

    I agree with Sime (#14) and many of the others above.

    Eaarth is not only a different planet, it seems to be inhabited by a very different breed of humans. (Remember “What planet are YOU from?”)

    What ever happened to our common sense–our values??


  28. Roger says:

    One good thing is that Obama is now saying energy, and presumably doing more to EDUCATE and LEAD on climate change, will be his focus in 2011!!

    It’s about time! This is why some of us worked hard to get him elected. Thank God he’s got folks such as Holdren, Chu and others to guide him…

    For anyone who is able, please attend the huge “White House Work Party” encouraging Obama to so E & L on 10.10.10. More info at

  29. Whatshisname says:

    Take lots of pictures, Senator, lots of pictures.

  30. John McCormick says:

    RE #27

    Roger, you asked:

    What ever happened to our common sense–our values??

    I say:

    Center for Disease Control should be doing epidemiology studies now to determine how widespread is the common sense virus.

    John McCormick

  31. caerbannog says:

    Just following up here with an anecdote that illustrates the sort of nasty extremism that has permeated the Republican right.

    I’ve been in Denver visiting family the past few days — earlier this week, my mom had to go out and run some errands. At the local market checkout line, another customer struck up a conversation with her about the warm weather here. My mom mentioned that her son and his wife were visiting from Southern California, and that it hit 113F in LA.

    Well, the other customer just “went off” on her, ranting and raving about global-warming and Al Gore. He continued to rant as she headed out the door with her groceries. My mom didn’t even mention global-warming — just made a comment about the weather, and this guy went *nuts*.

  32. mike roddy says:

    Anu, #24-

    Thanks! The media certainly let us down by never printing this story, so I’m glad that people like you are getting the word out.

  33. Jay Alt says:

    McCain finished at the bottom of his Annapolis class and admits having spent his time on booze and broads, things that interested him. Today John McCain brings the same selfishness and level of attention to the politics of Climate Change.