The Spectacle Blog

John McCain and Global Warming, In Three Acts

By on 6.17.08 | 12:47PM

Most movies have three acts. In the first act, you reveal some sort of problem; in the second act, you see that problem compounded; in the third act, the problem is revealed to be larger and more dire than anyone expected. So, in a monster movie: I) Uh-oh, there's a monster! II) And it can breath fire and shoot lightning bolts from its eyes! III) And it's grown to the size of the Empire State Building!

This is a useful guide to understanding John McCain's global warming plan. We've known for a while now it's some kind of monster, and it turns out now that, yes, it does breath fire and shoot lighting bolts from its eyes. How so? Well, McCain, possibly the most fervent GOP advocate of a cap-and-trade plan, apparently has no clue how the "cap" part of the plan works.

Via Obsidian Wings, here's a snippet from a recent press conference:

"QUESTION: The European Union has set mandatory targets on renewable energy. Is that something you would consider in a McCain administration? [...]

MCCAIN: Sure. I believe in the cap-and-trade system, as you know. I would not at this time make those -- impose a mandatory cap at this time. But I do believe that we have to establish targets for reductions of greenhouse gas emissions over time, and I think those can be met."

Except, of course, that the whole point of a cap-and-trade plan is to impose mandatory emissions caps. Apparently, as Hilzoy points out, this isn't the first time McCain has been confused about the policy, which he's been a leader on for years (he co-sponsored a cap-and-trade bill with Joe Lieberman). The only question now, I suppose, is what oversized terror this thing will mutate into for Act III.
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