McCain calls for carbon cap

Right-wing swing to environmentalism

 

US senator and presidential candidate John McCain has called for mandatory caps on carbon emissions and is demanding that America reduces its emissions by, "at least 60 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2050."

The moves comes as the race for the White House in 2008 hots up.

As reported yesterday, McCain, has been expected to distance

himself from the incumbent Bush administration's alleged non-stance on environmental issues.

Wired's Sarah Lai Stirland reports that McCain "used the occasion to emphasize his policy differences with the Bush administration's."

"I will not shirk the mantle of leadership that the United States bears," he said. "I will not permit eight long years to pass without serious action on serious challenges. I will not accept the same dead-end of failed diplomacy that claimed Kyoto."
In a campaign speech given at the Vestas Training Facility, in Portland, Oregon yesterday, McCain spoke of environmental issues in a tone that appears to have been cultivated to appeal to conservative voters:

 

"Today I'd like to focus on just one of those challenges, and among environmental dangers it is surely the most serious of all. Whether we call it "climate change" or "global warming," in the end we're all left with the same set of facts. The facts of global warming demand our urgent attention, especially in Washington. Good stewardship, prudence, and simple commonsense demand that we to act meet the challenge, and act quickly," said McCain.

McCain also engaged in some China-bashing, an increasingly common tactic when speaking on environmental matters: "In addressing the problem of climate change, cooperation from the government of China will be essential. China, India, and other developing economic powers in particular are among the greatest contributors to global warming today – increasing carbon emissions at a furious pace – and they are not receptive to international standards," he said.

Until recently in the United States, environmentalism has been seen as a predominantly liberal or even 'left-wing' concern, despite environmentalism's pre-history as a right-wing political current prior to the international rise of the New Left and 'new social movements' in the 1960s. In its early days what was to become the 'green movement' was focussed around issues such as organic farming, conserving traditional ways of life and population control - all familiar themes in conservative discourse, some of which are making a come-back in green rhetoric.

Other conservative groups, including evangelical Christians, have been turning to environmentalism and sustainability with missionary zeal over the last number of years.

Last modified on Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:50

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