Global environmental challenges
Republican VP Who Scoffs At Greenhouse Gas Effect — Sound Familiar?
Stuart Gaffin is a climate researcher at Columbia University and a regular contributor with his blog “Exhausted Earth”. ThomsonReuters is not responsible for the content – the views are the author’s alone.
I am not a Republican. However, early in John McCain’s campaign for the presidency, I would often say to friends and family-who know I am not a Republican-that if I did vote solely on the one issue I research most, climate change, I would probably vote for McCain.
He came across to me as the candidate who most respected the science and gravity of the issue (perhaps even as much as Al Gore I thought … why else take such a big political risk with his party?) and was prepared to lead America in a new direction. That was then, this is now.
The Republican political machine, in bringing new ‘discipline’ to the McCain campaign, has no doubt also shut him down on the global warming issue. I seem to hear little about it any more from him (“Drill here! Drill Now!”). His new vice-presidential (VP) pick – Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska, is just further evidence of this.
Palin believes that current global warming is somehow unrelated to the massive greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere.
Her online climate change report clearly implies that she thinks it is a natural cycle and that nothing except adaptation should be done about it. (See my last blog about the ‘first question’ I often would like to ask skeptics of global warming.)
These extreme positions are offered without a single piece of scientific evidence to support them. They obviously will only justify unmitigated fossil fuel combustion.
We’ve had eight years of an administration with a vice president who holds similar positions and who has demonstrated the stagnating power that VP’s can exert on U.S. climate policy and which only leads to accelerated greenhouse gas emissions. It would be true change to have a VP who understands that it there is a profound difference between an atmosphere with a carbon dioxide concentration of 1000 parts per million versus one with 400 or less.