McCain’s Climate Change Plan Falls Short

I give John McCain credit for acknowledging the climate change problem, but his solution falls far short of what’s needed.  (Not that Obama’s solution is any better.)  McCain’s solution is:

If elected president, McCain said he would push for “meaningful environmental protocols” that included developing industrial powers India and China, to seek to cut worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

He planned to present a so-called cap and trade system to Congress that sets clear limits on all greenhouse gas emissions for U.S. businesses, while also allowing the sale of rights to excess emissions, so as to “change the dynamic” of the U.S. energy economy.

“Those who want clean coal technology, more wind and solar, nuclear power, biomass and bio-fuels will have their opportunity through a new market that rewards those and other innovations in clean energy,” he said.

McCain said the plan would set out specific goals on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, including a return by 2012 to 2005 levels of emission, and by 2020 to 1990s levels.

There are several problems here:

  1. Returning to 1990s levels (meaning 1999?) isn’t nearly enough.
  2. I’m very suspicious of the “cap and trade” system.  Allowing polluters to emit more CO2 in return for investment in “green projects” that may or may not have much merit, is nothing more than a license to maintain the pollution status quo.
  3. There is no mention of the role of overpopulation or a plan to stabilize or reduce our population.  I don’t understand how someone who acknowledges the climate change problem can ignore this most critical component.  Does he not understand that his goals are impossible to achieve without cutting off the fuel that’s feeding the flames? 

We can’t afford a decade or two of failure in addressing this problem before coming to the realization that population management was a missing, critical element.  The time to act is now.  We need a population management plan (the one recommended in Five Short Blasts) that includes the following:

  1. Halting all illegal immigration.
  2. Reducing legal immigration by 95% to match the rate of emigration.
  3. Implementing an economic incentive program (consisting mostly of tax incentives) to reduce the fertility rate from 2.1 births per female to 1.79 or less.

How will cutting immigration help climate change, since it’s a global problem and not just a matter of emissions from the U.S.?  It will help America achieve its reduction goals, thus doing our part toward the overall global goal, and, by no longer serving as a relief valve for global overpopulation, the U.S. will be encouraging other nations to tackle their own overpopulation problem. 

It’s time to stop pandering to voters and get serious about addressing climate change.

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