Senator McCain gave his speech on “climate change policy” this week at a wind power company training facility in Portland, Oregon. Senator McCain proposes a mandatory limit on greenhouse gas emissions and a cap-and-trade system to implement the limit. So far as can be deduced from this speech, Senator McCain buys the whole man-made global warming ball of wax without doubt or reservation. It’s a sign and token of his superior enlightenment over the average run of Republican from whom Senator McCain distinguishes himself.
Appearances to the contrary notwithstanding, this speech may prove highly useful. If Senator McCain loses the election to Senator Obama, we can return to it for consolation.
UPDATE: Holman Jenkins has a good column on Senator McCain’s speech in today’s Wall Street Journal. Jenkins writes:
In his climate speech on Monday, Mr. McCain exhibited (as the press usually does) a complete lack of consciousness of the fact that evidence of warming is not evidence of what causes warming. Yet policy must be a matter of costs and benefits, adjusted for the uncertainties involved. Which brings us to today’s irony: He who finds a six-figure earmark an affront to humanity is prepared to wave through a trillion-dollar climate bill without, as far as anyone can tell, a single systematic thought about costs and benefits.
Jenkins also observes that the speech is a tribute to bad timing:
[E]very journalistic tendril senses that the fuss over warming is about to cool. Global mean temperatures have been flat for a decade. The biofuel folly has chased away any easy belief that we can centrally plan our way out of reliance on fossil fuels. Voters seem more concerned with high gas prices. Even the town criers of global warming acknowledge that we will be stuck adapting to whatever climate comes along.
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