Austin Hill

Think you can sidestep the issue of “global warming,” simply by voting Republican?

Think again.

Now that Senator John McCain is officially the Republican nominee for President, global warming is, whether anyone likes it or not, an “issue” for both of our nation’s dominant political parties. McCain has been gravitating towards this issue for several years, and made his mark with it during his chairing of the U.S. Senate hearings on global warming back in 2004.

Today, Mr. McCain articulates a position on the matter that is far more moderate and reasonable, and far more hospitable to our free market economy, than those of his two Democratic competitors. The question remains whether or not American voters, Republican voters in particular, will embrace McCain’s vision.

Before examining anybody’s policy proposals, it’s important to get a handle on just what, precisely, is the issue. And by now, it’s like that most thoughtful Americans have at a minimum been introduced to the idea that the earth’s average temperature is on the rise, and that this is a bad thing, and that this bad thing is brought about by human activity.

But beyond this starting point, the issue quickly devolves into a process of sorting out the “believers” from the “non-believers.” Either you believe that the global temperature is rising, or you don’t; and you either believe that the increase in temperature is brought about by human activity, or by the processes of nature itself; and you either believe that the rise in temperature will bring about destruction and calamity, or that it will not.

Former Vice President Al Gore is, of course, the leader of the “true believers.” On his personal website he states with absolute certainty what this alleged “problem” entails:

Carbon dioxide and other gases warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.

But as Mr. Gore states the problem with certainty - - the earth’s temperatures are rising, and this rise is caused by human’s consumption of fossil fuels - - he ignores several details that detract from his strongly asserted “beliefs.”

It is true that the average global temperature has risen slightly (approximately 0.6% over the past century); and it is also true that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen during this same period of time.

Austin Hill

Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.