The Intersection

i-4216950acb4b230aaf8d5de9daf78aa2-McCainhug.jpg The winner of the Florida Republican primary has been the farthest thing from a straight talker lately…. but still, over at DeSmogBlog I argue that we should credit his record and realize that, while he’s more moderate than the Dems, he definitely wants mandatory action to happen–and that’s what centrally counts. To wit:

There seem to me to be two fundamental points. One: Anyone who cares about global warming should want McCain to vanquish his Republican opponents in the primaries. If we get McCain versus one of the Democrats in the general election, we’ll have two candidates who want strong action (even if their precise stances may differ). Whoever wins in that scenario, we’ll be better off in the climate arena than ever before–and we can count on action finally happening.

The other fundamental point is this. While McCain’s support of nuclear power and his more cautious approach to greenhouse gas regulation each can be criticized, neither rates, in my view, as an irredeemable flaw. Politics is too messy for purism on these matters–and the climate problem too urgent.

A McCain presidency would certainly be a great step forward on climate, and given our nation’s past history on this issue, well…that’s more than a start.

Read my full take on McCain and climate here.


  1. #1 Philip H.
    January 30, 2008

    What has always interested me about the candidtaes, in both parties, is how phobic they seem to be regarding change in our economy. For instance, the federal government could, if it chose to, undertake an agressive retrofitting of federal buildings to have solar and wind power for use during the day when occupied. Doing so would 1) stimulate economic growth by creatying employment; 2) stimulate science and engineering research to find PV systems that are even more powerful and efficient then current systems; 3) lower the governemnt’s consumption of electricity from fossil fuels, and 4) begin putting America on the way back to the top of the world’s engineering heap, all done with green power. yet I see no such boldness from any candidate. it’s like Ford not switching to Hybrid production from SUV production,a nd getting scooped by Toyota for the second time in my life time. They may finally be seeing the trees, but i reamin concerned they haven’t put it together as the forrest.

  2. #2 Jon Winsor
    January 30, 2008

    He’s no David Cameron. But he’ll be better than what we have now. Just raising the profile and credibility among Republicans would help.

    I’m skeptical that McCain would do a Nixon goes to China type of thing. He would probably do just enough to get some respectability internationally. If he does too much, he alienates and demoralizes the Republican base, which is suffering from Gore Derangement Syndrome.

    Obama and Clinton are more impressive. Sunday on one of the chat shows, Obama mentioned climate change as a top tier issue, which was good to hear. I just hope his coming from a coal state doesn’t wobble him…

  3. #3 Badger3k
    January 30, 2008

    Given all the candidates who are still in the running, there is no one I trust to actually deal with the issue without caving in to the GW deniers and big businesses. We’re in for another long four years.

  4. #4 T. "Chimpy" Greer
    January 30, 2008

    You can be sure that will Mcain will help with climate change for one simple reason: Mcain is a foreign policy pragmatist. He knows that carbon emissions cuts are the big deal on the international scene at the moment. I am quite sure we will see Mcain cut down on carbon for nothing other than the fact that it will give America diplomatic leverage.

    ~T. “Chimpy” Greer

  5. #5 Neuro-conservative
    January 31, 2008

    I do not understand why McCain’s support for nuclear power should be a problem at all. If you really believe that global warming represents a crisis, you would pounce upon nuclear energy — it is efficient, safe, and virtually carbon-free.

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