Monday, April 28, 2008

Another Primary, Another Month of Media Ignoring Climate Change

The Pennsylvania presidential primary has come and gone, and still the media refuses to talk about global warming.

It's especially puzzling because while the media delights in meaningless "gotchas," George Stephanopoulos passed on a prime chance to "get" presumptive Republican nominee John McCain. Back in February, McCain was on ABC's This Week and had this exchange with Stephanopoulos:

STEPHANOPOULOS: How about on the issue of climate change? Because you and Sen. [Joe] Lieberman [I-Conn.] have come out for a bill which would have mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases.

MCCAIN: Gradual reductions, yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But they are mandatory.

MCCAIN: Yes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you sticking by that?

MCCAIN: What I mean by that is that it's cap-and-trade, that there will be incentives for people to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It's a free-market approach. The Europeans are using it now. We did it in the case of addressing acid rain -- look, if we do that, we stimulate green technologies. I have great faith in the American industry. General Electric, the world's largest corporation, has announced they're dedicated to green technologies. This will be profit-making business.

It won't cost the American taxpayer. It will make profits, because we'll move forward with the innovation and ability of American industry to address this issue.

But now McCain has changed his position. He says he'll only support the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act if massive new subsidies for nuclear power are added. If he sticks by that position, he might as well oppose the bill entirely, because if costly nuclear subsidies are added, many Democrats will vote against the legislation.

So McCain is trying to take credit for supporting climate action, but only with amendments that would be fatal to its passage. Sounds like a prime opportunity for a "gotcha," right?

Nope. McCain was on This Week again on April 20th and climate change didn't even come up.

Time magazine has a more comprehensive look at the politics of climate legislation.

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