We have already seen a political leader in Canada impale himself on the issue. This suggests that political leadership will need to be very circumspect regarding the support of any initiative tied directly to global warming no matter how shrill the true believers are.
Support exists for programs that help wean us away from Arab and Hugo oil, simply because it is good common sense. We are spending massively on offshore oil with little going the other way. Whereas money spent in North America stays in North America. We see the reality of that with the tar sands which is a boon to capital spending in the US rust belt.
The tragedy of buying oil from the Middle East was that the only thing they really seemed to want to buy from us was our guns. It took China to buy up all our old worn out factories.
It is clear to everyone that if we produce all our own energy, that a lot of our geopolitical problems will wane. We will still have rogue regimes to deal with but they will be financially weakened so long as they avoid modernization. North Korea is an excellent example. Their options are utterly circumscribed by their poverty and their nuclear program is a Potemkin village as a result.
I have learned a long time ago to not underestimate the common sense of the electorate. They are saying that we need to take better care of our environment, but it must be done at a profit. That is what they will support. There is no panic to do it at an economic or social loss.
After saying that, I have little faith in either Obama or McCain getting this right. Neither have the hands on economic experience that I would like to see. I do have faith that American business will get it right in spite of who is in office. In fact they are doing it right now while everyone is distracted by the financial crisis.
Believe it or not, by January, the global financial system will be stabilized and chastened and in the throes of establishing a global regulatory framework based on full disclosure in lending. Lack of any disclosure got us here.
The best advice that we can give the new president then is to do nothing while it all begins to work again. I do not trust either of them with a new economic idea at this time.
The good news is that there is clearly no electoral support for a radical reshaping of the tax regime to impact on global warming and certainly no mandate is been given for such.
Poll: Global Warming On Back Burner
By DAVID FUNKHOUSER The Hartford Courant
October 21, 2008
Just a sliver of voters say global warming is the most important issue they are weighing in deciding whom to support for president. Nonetheless, the issue appears to be playing a role in how voters make up their minds and could be key for undecided voters, according to a new poll out Monday.
The survey, conducted by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities, also found Sen. Barack Obama leading Sen. John McCain among registered voters by a margin of 9 percentage points, a result consistent with other recent polls.
With the economy in turmoil, that global warming even registered as an important issue with undecided voters came as a surprise, said Anthony Leiserowitz, one of the researchers and a professor at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
The poll, taken Oct. 7-14, surveyed 2,189 adults and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Asked how important a candidate's views on global warming are in making up their minds, nearly two out of three undecided voters — 62 percent — said it is "one of several important issues."
Just 1 percent said it was the "single most important issue," and 37 percent said it is "not an important issue."
Another surprise, Leiserowitz said, was how skeptical many of McCain's own supporters are of their candidate on the issue.
Just under half of those who said they will vote for McCain also said they did not trust him "as a source of information on global warming." Of those leaning toward voting for him, 64 percent distrusted him on the issue.
Both of the candidates have proposed programs to address global warming, and McCain has been out front on the issue among Republicans.
"Many of those who don't trust [McCain] on this issue are less likely to say it's happening or it's real," Leiserowitz surmised. "This suggests to me that on this issue, they're holding their nose" to vote for McCain.
On the same issue
Overall, forty-eight percent of voters said they will vote or are leaning toward voting for Obama, while 39 percent say they will vote for or are leaning toward McCain, the poll said. Nine percent were undecided.