Republican Presidential Candidate John McCain recently made a number of alarming statements about his approach to the “global warming” issue. In particular, on May 12, 2008 he stated that, “he would pursue mandatory U.S. curbs on greenhouse gas emissions if he wins the White House in November”. This is not the first time that he has expressed such views. During the Republican candidates’ debate of May 2007, he defended his policy along lines similar to Pascal’s Wager:
Now, suppose that [California Governor Schwarzenneger] and I are wrong, and there’s no such thing as climate change. And we adopt these green technologies, of which America and the innovative skills we have and the entrepreneurship and the free market, which is embodied by Senator Lieberman’s and my cap-and-trade proposal, is enacted, and there’s no such thing as climate change. Then all we’ve done is give our kids a cleaner world.
But suppose we do nothing. Suppose we do nothing and we don’t eliminate this $400 billion dependence we have on foreign oil. Some of that money goes to terrorist organizations and also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. Then what kind of a world have we given our children?
Of course, McCain’s argument omits the hundreds of billions of dollars of economic harm caused by implementing draconian policies that limit industry and commerce, as well as the countless harms done to individuals by prohibiting then from engaging in productive free enterprise.
McCain’s statements put him squarely in the camp of the “global warming authoritarians” as described by Keith Lockitch of the Ayn Rand Institute. Although he poses as a defender of “entrepreneurship and the free market”, he clearly has no objection to an environmentalist agenda that is fundamentally inimical to human life. Those who support McCain over one of the Democrats on the grounds that he is somehow “better” than either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama may need to look more closely at what McCain really stands for.