McCain running for Panderer in Chief

I was in the process of convincing myself to cast a vote for John McCain for president next November when he held a press conference in Oregon that reminded me why I find that distasteful.

The long and short of it is, he panders!

Last week, he pandered to large corporations and agribusinesses that think they have a right to exploit cheap foreign labor and to those who entered the country illegally and now demand to stay. This week. he pandered to the radical sky-is-falling environmental movement adding fuel to its assertion that we’re all going to melt from global warming.

Among the false statements, half-truths or implications promoted by McCain:

  • Global warming is the most serious environmental danger we face.
  • Greenhouse gases are heavily implicated as a cause of climate change.
  • The burning of fossil fuels is a threat to the planet.
  • We stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short to prevent disaster (he stopped short of calling it a consensus).
  • Satellite images reveal a dramatic disappearance of glaciers.
  • Polar bears, walruses and sea birds are in danger.
  • Global warming will bring endless troubles such as reduced water supplies, more forest fires and a greater intensity of storms.

Yes, the earth is experiencing a period of global warming. This has been going on since the Little Ice Age, but it is far from serious. Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas– as are methane and water vapor – so it is likely that man has contributed (some) to the recent warming trend.

Since 1850 – about the time organized weather records began – the earth has warmed approximately 1.4 degrees, or about 1 degree since 1970. Some of this warming is due to the urban heat island effect (it’s warmer over concrete than it is over grassland). Efforts are being made to correct for this bias. Recent measurements from satellites and weather balloons show a much smaller warming trend; they are a lot more accurate than ground-based weather stations located in or around growing cities.

How significant is a one-degree rise in the temperature of the earth? Not very. Scientists believe that the earth has experienced several periods of warming and cooling with temperature variations of as much as 11 degrees. In fact, the earth was much warmer during the Medieval Warm Period that occurred between 1100-1450. There is a reason that Greenland, which is now covered with ice and snow, was called Greenland. When the Vikings settled the area in the Middle Ages, the southern portion was actually green. Also, Earth is not the only planet that is warming. Mars, Pluto and Neptune are experiencing global warming, so the current rise may have more to do with solar variations than anything man is doing on this planet.

The important thing to remember is there is no scientific consensus that the current warming – however slight – will cause damage. Claims to the contrary mischaracterize the research done by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. It is pure unadulterated hype of the worst sort!

No, the weather is not causing the polar bears to go extinct. Animals migrate to adjust to changing conditions – and conditions are always changing. Of Canada’s 13 populations of polar bears, two are decreasing, but the other 11 are stable or actually gaining in population.

In 2005, the “green extreme” blamed Hurricane Katrina and the rash of hurricanes that occurred that year on global warming. However, in 2006, the level of hurricanes went way down and destroyed that theory. Also, current sea levels are within the range of sea level oscillation over the past 300 years, and satellite data show virtually no rise over the past decade.

Yes, glaciers melt during warming periods and advance during periods of cooling. They always have. They always will. However, scientists investigating the retreat of the glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro recently reported that glacier loss in that area was due to other climatic conditions such as a drastic drop in atmospheric moisture at the end of the 19th century. Meanwhile, contrary to claims made by Al Gore, glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains.

To McCain’s credit, he is promoting nuclear power, which is the only cost-effective, clean source of energy presently available. Perhaps he thinks that the only way to get people excited about nuclear power is to sign on to the politically correct theory of man-made global warming. Nevertheless, this should be viewed as nothing more than a cheap political trick.

11 thoughts on “McCain running for Panderer in Chief

  1. Thanks, Jane, for a calm, considered, rational explanation of the true reasons for the Earth’s miniscule rise in temperature. You must have been a physics major to have nailed all the right reasons for the Earth’s rise in temp. Thanks for all the WND columns. We love ’em in VT, the land of radical socialism.

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  2. You don’t have to vote for McCain. There is a real conservative running: Bob Barr. He stands for

    – Lower taxes
    – Less government
    – More freedom

    If elevate pragmatism over principle by voting for the lesser of two evils, you are still a loser.

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  3. Here we go again. ‘Global warming is a myth.’ Okay, let’s deconstruct this point by point:

    “CO2 produces greenhouse gases.” No, CO2 is a greenhouse gas. A little point, but worth making.

    “The Earth has warmed over 1.4 degree since 1850, or 1 degree since 1970. How significant is a one-degree rise? Not very.” Really? Think about this: 20,000 years ago, the average air temperature was less than ten degrees cooler than today. 20,000 years ago, the entire Northern Hemisphere was covered in glaciers to the equator. Today, the Arctic ice pack has lost nearly 40 to 50% of its thickness since the 1800’s, and it is steadily decreasing on a yearly basis. That’s from one degree. One. Just one.

    “The earth was much warmer during the Medieval Warm Period.” Again, wrong. According to NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, 2005 was the warmest year on record since the 1800’s.

    “Greenland was called Greenland because the southern portion was actually green.” Well, yes, Jane. The extreme southern tip of Greenland was green. And it still is. However, the rest of the island was not green. It was ice. But, according to dozens of scientists worldwide who specifically study the Arctic ice cap, Greenland’s ice sheet is melting rapidly, and may in fact vanish sometime this century. So who knows? Maybe it will be a green land after all.

    “There is no scientific consensus that the current warming will cause damage.” Nice switch and bait. First, we hear that global warming isn’t happening. Then, we hear that global warming isn’t going to amount to much. Next we hear that humans aren’t causing it. Now, we hear that no one knows what the damage is going to be, so let’s forget about it. The first three statements have scientific consensus–no doubt. The fourth statement does not have consensus, but not for the reason you’re implying. The dispute is not about whether global climate change will cause damage. It’s how much damage will be caused.

    “The weather is not causing polar bears to go extinct.” No, the melting of polar ice is causing polar bears to go extinct. According to the IUCN Polar Bear Specilist Group, whose job is specifically to study polar bears, of the thirteen populations in Canada seven are declining, two of them severely. The other five show no change with one increasing in population size. However, all of the populations are showing signs of starvation stress–low birth rate, reduced body weight, and even cannibalism.

    “The green extreme blamed hurricane Katrina and the rash of hurricanes on global warming.” Actually, you’re right. The global warming crowd cherry picked their data on this one (just like you picking the next year to show low hurricane years to demonstrate that everything’s peachy.) Global climate change is a long-term trend, not the local weather forceast. And it is in that long-term trend that the real connection of global warming and hurricanes can be found. According to several research groups (I’ll list them if you ask,) the number of category 4 and 5 hurricanes has nearly doubled in the last three decades, with increases occuring in all six tropical basins.

    “Glaciers melt during warming periods and advance during periods of cooling.” Okay… and this is a warming period, during which glaciers are retreating.

    “Glaciers on Mt Kilimanjaro are retreating due to a drastic drop in moisture, not global warming.” True, but irrelevant. The fact that some glaciers are melting due to other factors than global warming does not say anything about the vast amount of ice melt worldwide (the Arctic, for instance,) that is directly linked to global warming. In fact, using Kilimanjaro to dispute global warming worldwide is exactly the same type of cherry picking you accused ‘green extremes’ of using with Katrina.

    “Glaciers are growing in the Himalayas” This would be another example of cherry picking, except that it’s not true. Since the 1950’s, Himalayan glaciers have been melting at a catastrophic rate. (I hope you’re not referring to ‘Insurance Digest’ for your science info. And no, I’m not looking at the WWF column.)

    Thanks!

    MCH

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  4. I would not call McCain a panderer so much as he is a weasel (actually the most accurate would be an arrogant S.O.B.) – the guy cannot be trusted on anything. No matter the topic, you can never be sure he isn’t going to flip to the other side. Even on his pro-life stance. I saw a clip on abc, I believe, of a debate between mccain, bush and keyes in 2000. There is mccain essentially arguing the pro-abortion side – at least he was definitely against the pro-life plank in the republican platform.

    The more I listen to this guy and his twisted views the more I see that if he gets in it is 4 more years of fighting to try and get the republican elect to live up to what the party wants – that is act like a true republican. After 8 years of tension from bush wandering from conservative to liberal to moderate – back and forth where will he end up…nobody knows..I just don’t want to go through it again.

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  5. Excellent article, Jane, accurate and well put. Martin Holt’s comments, however, are not. His comments seem designed more to confuse your readers than to enlighten.

    For example, your reference to the “Medieval Warm Period,” also called the Medieval Climate Optimum, is met with a disingenuous response the reference temperatures since 1850 – 400 years after the Medieval Climate Optimum. His response is truly “bait and switch.”

    During the Medieval Climate Optimum, global mean temperatures were about two degrees warmer than current temperatures. It was called the “climate optimum” because it ended a long period of miserable living conditions resulting from the cold. Crops were plentiful and grew further north and for longer growing seasons that people could remember.

    It was followed, of course, by the “Little Ice Age” which saw global temperatures fall dramatically for the next couple hundred years. Our current warming trend has been underway since about 1850, recovering from the Little Ice Age.

    It certainly was not man’s use of fossil fuels that caused the Medieval Climate Optimum, or the Little Ice Age. Climate has always changed and always will, regardless of whether humans use fossil fuel or not.

    Martin’s diatribe is not worth a point by point rebuttal. Suffice it to say that his (and Al Gore’s) doomsday hysteria does little to further understanding of the climate or the consequences of taking needless, arbitrary, knee-jerk policy measures
    such as McCains “hot air” proposals.

    Please keep reporting on this issue as clearly as you have in this article. There will always be those whose disagreement produces more heat than light.

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  6. I understand your disappointment with John McCain as a panderer, but conservatives have to continue to remind themselves that McCain is simply a stop-gap solution. He represents 65% of a loaf of bread which is better than no bread which Hillary and Obama represent. Conservatives have to continue to band together and to hold the fort with McCain until another Ronald Reagan comes along. At this point, McCain having a legitimate chance to win in November, has stopped the bleeding for the Republicans, but if he loses to Obama then a tourniquet will not stop the bleeding for Republicans nationally.

    Meanwhile, for the first time since appointing Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court, President Bush has done something right in criticizing the policy of appeasement. It has been amazing to see the Democrats respond to this like they have, and to further show their true colors.

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  7. Martin,

    Henry Lamb did a good job rebutting your “bait and switch” about the warmest year on record but I would like to comment on some of your other points.

    You actually think we would be better off during another ice age with glaciers covering all of North America to the equator? Wow! No doubt would be better for the polar bears.

    The decision announced today to list the polar bear as “threatened” was probably the best that could be expected from a government agency operating under a severely-flawed Endangered Species Act, but it is a regrettable decision nonetheless.

    Over the last 40+ years, the polar bear population has more than doubled. In fact, according to ta U.S. Geological Survey study of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain, polar bear populations “may now be near historic highs.” This is noteworthy, as polar bears have one of the slowest reproductive rates of any mammal.

    According to the World Wildlife Fund, “The general status of polar bears is currently stable.” Citing date from the World Conservation Union’s Polar Bear Specialist Group, of the 20 polar bear populations, only two are thought to be decreasing, ten are stable, two are increasing and six are of unknown status.

    My date on the Himalayan Mountains comes from the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate.

    The earth has not warmed in any significant way since 1989. In fact, some scientists think we may be entering another period of cooling, such as the one experienced between 1940-1970.

    The jury is still out on whether we humans are capable, in a significant way, of causing the slight warming that we have experienced during the past century. Also, in many areas, a one degree rise in temperature is a good thing.

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  8. Dear Ms. Chastain,
    One of the perennial arguments made about global warming has been it being claimed as the exact reason for the vastly increased fires we experience every year in our western states. I know for a fact, because I working as a volunteer when I was a Boy Scout, the primary reason for the increase in fires, whether in California, or North Carolina, was the imposition of “green friendly” legislation that precluded the continued use of public lands for grazing by private ranchers.
    It was noted in both Popular Science and Popular Mechanics, back in the late seventies when it occurred, that by banning the ranchers from using the public land, they were stopping an hundred year old practice which had kept wild fires from ever taking place. The ranchers used the highest grazing areas in the summer, as that was when they were green, and as they moved their cattle down as the weather changed towards fall, they systematically burned out the dead wood and accumulated natural debris, starting from the top, so it couldn’t spread, and burning it as they went so there was never a risk of the fires getting out of hand.
    It was noted when the legislation was passed that this aspect of private use of public land was going to leave that debris to build up with nothing to compensate for it, and it was well explicated that this would lead to rampaging wild fires that would not be controllable by man. The legislature passed this ban with the full knowledge of the consequences, but felt their ties to “green constituents” were more important than say, ties to logic and reason, sensible stewardship of the land, and an hundred year long history of no wild fires. Since I can’t read their minds, I can’t say why they made that choice, but it should be brought up as many times as possible, because not one of those “out of control wild fires” we’ve watched in the past thirty years needed ever to have happened, and all of the costs of fighting those fires should be saddled on the environmentalists who demanded the ousting of the ranchers.
    It cost the taxpayers nothing to have the wilderness cared for and maintained because that was in the best interest of those who were using the public land. The ranchers spent money, time, and equipment to keep up the public land because they made a profit in the deal. As in most free market interchanges, both parties ended up benefited. I can’t help but think that the real reason for this and the so many other changes that are advocated by the environmentalists, is not at all about the earth, but about punishing those who are able to be productive. Every active ardent environmentalist I have ever met was hard pressed to keep a job, much less get promoted. They live in a zero sum world and no amount of evidence to the contrary ever even shakes them, far less moves them. They are truly the “flat-earth movement” of today, in every way imaginable.
    Sincerely,
    John McClain
    Vanceboro, NC

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  9. John,

    Thank you for your comments on the fires. I live in a high fire area and I have been without power for days because the decision was wisely made to kill the power during a period of high winds for fear all the trees that had died from the bark beetle — that the environmental movement kept us from clearing — would be blown over on the power lines.

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  10. Dear Jane
    I am a 57 year old very conservative woman who lives in New Mexico. I have been a solid (and I do mean solid) conservative ever since I registered to vote at 18 years of age. I worked on Goldwater’s campaign as a youngster.
    I have thought alot about McCain and I do mean alot. I have decided that my vote means more than “just voting for the lesser of 2 evils”. I liken it to the same as the subprime mess. When you take out a loan it should mean something. Likewise, when one casts their vote that vote too should mean something.
    This is why I am not voting in the next election unless someone who I believe values and holds dear this country and is a maverick from the same old same old Washington insider track decides to run. Believe it or not there is a growing movement among people like me to “just remain silent” in this election. Perhaps that refusal to just “play” the game will speak loudly to the Republican party but I doubt it. I think they are no different than the Dems. This country is on the wrong track and George Bush has been a significant disappointment.
    If Obama or Hillary wins or even McCain God help our fine country.
    “always faithful”
    Ann Rothman

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  11. TEEEE-rific essay, JC! McCain wouldn’t know the difference between greenhouse gas and barnyard gas. One look at the guy and it’s obvious the fellow can’t possibly run the country, AND keep a smile on Cindy’s face. . . he’s a rung below Viagra’s minimum ‘Do Not Take If . . .’ standard. But,
    I’d cut him a bit of slack on his Oregon oration . . .everyone panders in
    Oregon. It’s a major at OSC.
    Again, enjoyed your write.

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