Tuesday, March 11, 2008

John McCain: a Teddy Roosevelt environmentalist

Five weeks ago I looked at John McCain's environmental policies. It's one of the few areas of hope if he wins the presidency, though there are plenty of sceptics.

Checked his website again and the environment policy, Stewards of Our Nation's Rich Natural Heritage, has not changed. If he has developed any details about how he will tackle global warming, they are missing. His previous video clip, taken from a so-called town hall meeting, was a rambling, soporific affair with little evidence of editing. It has been replaced by a clip that is tightly cut and professionally finished. It's only a year old!

He's going to tackle climate change, but agrees with the US decision not to ratify Kyoto. He'll join when China and India do. I'm sure he knows that they are signatories but why confuse the American voters unnecessarily. The spin is the spin. It's like an old John Howard speech. A more recent effort on his YouTube channel, McCain Addresses Climate Change, has some detail. It's only 7 months old. He supports cap and trade. He will "incentivize" American capitalism to find technological answers. More nuclear power and oil independence are the other solutions.

McCain's two environmental heroes are Ronald Reagan and Teddy Roosevelt. Like the true conservative he claims to be, McCain spends a lot of time reaching out to 20th century glories.

Now that he has the Republican nomination, let's hope the US media put McCain's policies under more scrutiny before the official campaign starts. It won't be long before we hear the Democrat's environment policy attacked by the conservatives as anti-jobs and anti-America. It will be fascinating to see how far McCain will move to the right to court their support.

Overall it's hard to find many substantive differences that separate McCain and Bush. The environment seems to be one.

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