Monday, November 01, 2010

Alaska U.S. Senate Candidates Sound Off On Global Warming In Anchorage Daily News Q&A; Joe Miller The Best Choice For Energy Independence And Affordability

The Anchorage Daily News has compiled a series of Q&A responses for each candidate in the Alaska U.S. Senate race. You can find the input for each candidate at the links specified below:

-- Joe Miller (R)
-- Lisa Murkowski (RINO)
-- Scott McAdams (D)
-- Fredrick Haase (Lib)
-- Ted Gianoutsos (Ind)
-- Tim Carter (Ind)

In this post, we will compare the candidates' positions on global warming. For simplicity, only the top three candidates are compared. Scientific records, supplemented by some observed conditions such as the contraction of glaciers, do indicate a steady warming trend. What's in dispute is how much humans are contributing, and whether or not intrusive and expensive abatement measures which would disproportionately victimize low-income people are justified. Each candidate was asked two questions about global warming:

Q: Do human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases play any significant part in global warming?

-- Joe Miller: The science regarding climate change is inconclusive. There are undeniable variations in climate over the centuries even before the Industrial Age. Moreover, the science regarding human-caused global warming is inconclusive. What is conclusive is that carbon taxes and cap and trade proposals, like those supported by my opponents, would be very harmful to the Alaskan economy.

-- Lisa Murkowski: Alaskans know that our climate has changed in the past 30 years, permafrost has melted, sea ice has retreated and lakes have dried up. The issue involves the extent to which human behavior and the use of fossil fuels have contributed to the rising temperatures in the North. I suspect that man has had some impact on climate, but the extent is what's at issue and awaiting further study.

-- Scott McAdams: I accept the consensus of the scientific community that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases play a significant part in global warming.

Q: Do you support enacting any laws or regulations to reduce human-caused greenhouse gas emissions as a way to moderate global warming?

-- Joe Miller: Alaskans face some of the highest energy costs in the nation, despite being near tremendous natural resources. We need to power our homes and businesses at a reasonable cost. For this and other reasons, I strongly oppose the unconstitutional Cap and Trade legislation. Should we take drastic measures to combat something that may not even exist, burdening our already struggling economy with billions in new taxes and regulations?

-- Lisa Murkowski: I support funding, research and tax and grant aid to make renewable and alternative energy truly economic. By reducing the cost of wind, geothermal, biomass, hydroelectric and ocean energy and helping further natural gas and nuclear power, we can make non-carbon emitting fuels economic, actually saving Alaskans money compared to diesel-generated power.

-- Scott McAdams: Our country should take steps to reduce carbon emissions as long as the legislation creates a strong incentive to switch our electricity production to cleaner burning fuels, especially natural gas. It should also include specific funding for an Alaska Adaptation Fund to address the climate impacts we are already seeing here in Alaska. Finally, any national legislation must be accompanied by international action. Without serious reductions by other high-emission nations like India and China, any American emission reductions will be largely ineffective.

Analysis: No doubt about where Scott McAdams stands. By agreeing with the prevalent scientific consensus, he accepts the canonization of science into a formal theology. McAdams would likely accept the monumental cap-and-trade Ponzi scheme being proposed by many, in which a new class of speculators would arise to inflate a carbon bubble to suck dry just like they exploited the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble. McAdams' vision would not result in the creation of new wealth, but merely the transfer of existing wealth.

Lisa Murkowski gives a good answer to the first question, but her response to the second question is ambiguous. How would she make alternative energy affordable? What type of transitional period would she advocate. As usual, Lisa Murkowski creates more questions then answers.

In contrast, Joe Miller gets it right. He recognizes that science is not inerrant, and is not to be considered a religion. Most importantly, Miller recognizes the problems with cap-and-trade. Miller also recognizes that we need to continue exploiting and developing existing resources to prevent energy costs from escalating. Joe Miller's approach would result in the creation of new wealth.

For maximum energy independence and affordability, Joe Miller is the best choice.

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