Global warming emerging as 2008 campaign issue
Presidential candidates for 2008 mostlyagreethatglobalwarmingisa problem that merits government action, a signal that debate on the issue willbemorepracticalthanconceptual.
Democrats actively seeking the nomination or thought to be considering White House bids say climate change is real and promise plans to curbcarbonemissions,aviewshared by several Republican hopefuls.
“IwouldanticipatethatboththeRepublicanandtheDemocraticnominee will be arguing over who is best to solvetheproblemofglobalwarming,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, California Democrat and chairman of the Envi- ronment and Public Works Committee. “We’re going to need a president who gets it.”
Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican,andSen.BarackObama,IllinoisDemocrat,areco-authorsofabill aimed at drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The senators, who have formed presidential exploratory committees, say the Senate must pursue a solution to climate change.
“I am confident that given our will and what’s at stake, America can and must assume its proper leadership roleinaddressingthepre-eminentenvironmental issue of our time, the consequencesofwhichsodirectlyaffect our national interests,” Mr. McCain said.
Sen.HillaryRodhamClinton,New York Democrat and likely 2008 candidate, has said climate change is a pressing problem.
“Given the scientific evidence that we have and the potential consequences of continued warming, I strongly believe this nation needs to takesensiblefirststepstoslowandultimately reduce emissions of carbon dioxideandothergasesthatcontribute to climate change,” Mrs. Clinton says onherWebsite,notingthatNewYork wouldbeaffectedbyanycoastalfloodingcausedbyseriousclimatechange.
Mr. Obama alluded to the issue in hisannouncementofapresidentialexploratory committee on Jan. 16, saying,“Ourcontinueddependenceonoil has put our security and our very planet at risk.”
“I think it’s going to be a very significant issue, no question about it,” said Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic nominee who has been mentioned as a 2008 candidate. Mr. Kerry soon will introducehisownbillto“quantifythecost of carbon in some way.”
Highlighting the issue are former Vice President Al Gore’s film, “An InconvenientTruth,”andnewsthat2006 was the warmest year on record. Mr. Gore, a Democrat who ran for presidentin2000,hasnotruledoutrunning in 2008.
Sen.JosephR.BidenJr.,Delaware Democrat,lastweekintroducedaresolution calling on the United States to negotiate to join the Kyoto Protocol treaty to limit greenhouse gas emissions.“Theclimatehaschanged,”said Mr.Biden,whohassaidhewillrunfor president. “It has changed outside, wheretheyearjustconcludedwasthe warmest on record in the United States. And the climate has changed inhallsoftheSenate,wherethecauses andconsequencesofglobalwarming, andhowweshouldrespond,willbea majorconcernofthisnewCongress.”
All but one senator weighing a WhiteHouserunvotedinJune2005 for a nonbinding “sense of the Senate”measuresupportingmandatory actiononglobalwarming.Fifty-three senators voted for it, and of the known potential candidates, only Sen. Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, opposed it.