Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) delivered a major policy speech today focusing attention on the threat posed by global climate change. McCain said, “The world is already feeling the powerful effects of global warming, and far more dire consequences are predicted if we let the growing deluge of greenhouse gas emissions continue, and wreak havoc with Gods creation.”
Also today, McCain released a statement proudly announcing that former Defense Secretary James Schlesinger has “endorsed John McCain for President and will advise his campaign on energy and national security issues.”
The man who McCain tagged to advise him on reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a prominent global warming denier. Some highlights of Schlesinger’s record on global warming:
Nonetheless, solar irradiance and its variation seem highly likely to be a principal cause of long-term climatic change. Their role in longer-term weather cycles needs to be better understood. There is an idea among the public that “the science is settled.” Aside from the limited facts I cited earlier, that remains far from the truth. … We need to be more modest. [7/7/03]
We cannot tell how much of the recent warming trend can be attributed to the greenhouse effect and how much to other factors. In climate change, we have only a limited grasp on the overall forces at work. [7/26/03]
The issue of climate change urgently needs to be brought down from the level of theology to what we actually know. It is, of course, quite likely that the greenhouse effect has to some extent contributed to global warming–but we simply do not know to what extent. The insistence that global warming is primarily the consequence of human activity leaves scant room for variation in solar intensity or cyclical phenomena generally. [8/13/05]
Schlesinger’s position on global warming was so warmly embraced by the right wing that Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the Senate’s chief global warming skeptic, cited one of Schlesinger’s op-eds in a Senate floor speech on “The Science of Climate Change.” United Nations environmental expert Kilaparti Ramakrishna said Schlesinger’s viewpoints “distort[ed] the facts” and had “obvious misrepresentations” of climate change science and policy. Chris Mooney explains that Schlesinger’s global warming position can be traced to his energy-industry ties.