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In a First, Draft GOP Platform Credits Human Role in Global Warming

By Juliet Eilperin
Republicans started making the final changes to their party platform today in Minneapolis, hammering out a staunchly-conservative document that calls for constitutional amendments banning abortion and gay marriage while leaving decisions about how to pursue the war in Iraq up to the next president.

But the 48-page document -- which is roughly half as long as the party's 2004 platform -- does reflect certain priorities of the presumptive GOP nominee John McCain, by highlighting issues such as the environment.

The current draft doesn't get into the weeds like the previous one did, according to Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who co-chairs the platform committee. "We wanted it to be shorter, more principled, forward looking," he told reporters during a conference call this afternoon.

While the 2004 platform did not mention global warming, the draft document Republican delegates took up today in committee includes a one-page section "addressing climate change responsibly." For the first time, the platform acknowledges that human activity has contributed to global warming: "The same human activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Increased atmospheric carbon has a warming effect on the earth."

But the document remains silent on the question of capping carbon emissions -- a policy McCain endorses -- and tamps down the idea of using broad government regulation to address the problem.

"Republicans caution against the doomsday climate change scenarios peddled by aficionados of centralized command-and-control government," the platform draft reads. "We can -- and should -- address global warming without succumbing to the no-growth radicalism that treats climate questions as dogma rather than as situations to be managed responsibly.

League of Conservation Voters president Gene Karpinksi, whose group has endorsed McCain's rival, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), said the platform language suggests McCain would follow in the footsteps on President Bush on the question of climate change.

"This sounds like more of the Bush White House plan: acknowledge the problem as real, but propose no serious solutions to deal with it," Karpinski said in a phone interview, as he attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

And while reporters pointed out that McCain differed with several elements of the platform -- while he backs the repeal of Roe v. Wade, he opposes a constitutional amendment on abortion as well as one outlawing gay marriage -- both McCarthy and his fellow co-chair, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), suggested the senator didn't need to sign off on every detail.

"This is the party platform," McCarthy said. "No one agrees with a hundred percent of what's in there. The vast majority of this platform, John McCain agrees with."

Burr, for his part, noted that most journalists will stop covering the GOP platform in a week once it's adopted by the full convention.

Describing McCain's relationship to the platform, Burr asked rhetorically, "Is he bound to it? No, but it represents the overarching principles of what our party believes."

By Web Politics Editor  |  August 26, 2008; 9:49 PM ET
Categories:  Conventions , John McCain , Republican Party  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Romney Confronts His Own Criticisms of McCain
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Amazine site
Thanks, webmaster.

Posted by: state industries water heaters | September 1, 2008 3:27 AM | Report abuse

Buy local, save the world.

Except for Oil. We're much better off shipping oil halfway around the world before using it... Why?

I don't know, ask an environmentalist.

Maybe because the environmental groups in Iran, Venezuela, China, and Russia are so much better than ours, maybe wasting oil and risking spills is a good thing.

But we definitely should not drill here. Lets buy oil from across the ocean, it's better!

Posted by: Gekkobear | August 27, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

I guess all those tree-huggers were right. Just like the civil rights people were right. Just like the women's rights people were right. Just like the no WMD people were right. Just like the evolution people were right. Just like the natural food people were right. Just like the birth control people were right. Republicans, always wrong before they're right.

It's time to organize a boycott of the Republican convention. Do Not turn on your TV to watch coverage. No ratings, no coverage.

Bush/Cheney/McCain...No More Years!!!

Posted by: thebob.bob | August 27, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Geez....better have the St Paul SWAT team ready at the GOP convention when this one comes up...good thing they're not going to acknowledge the legitimacy of Evolution or you might have to call out the national guard....

Posted by: Jaybird | August 27, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I was happy to see early in the primaries McCain's support of an energy policy that looked to renewable energy- what a breath of fresh air.

Now, McCain says drill here, drill now. Domestic fossil fuels still release CO2. The push for renewable, sustainable energy has been morphed into a call for energy independence, domestic oil. This is not the answer to climate change.

I can only conclude that big oil needs to maintain America's dependence on oil, so they've changed the question from renewable energy to less reliance on foreign oil.

McCain took his eyes off the prize on renewable energy. His call for increased nuclear energy remains, but for how long?

Posted by: justin.mottjl | August 27, 2008 2:11 AM | Report abuse

it's makes me sad to see so many people worshiping the creation and not the Creator.

Posted by: ray | August 26, 2008 11:45 PM | Report abuse

Environmentalism is a disease and it is now infecting the GOP now.

20/20: Give Me a Break: Global Warming (Video) (8min)

Unstoppable Solar Cycles (Video) (10min)

Posted by: Poptech | August 26, 2008 11:27 PM | Report abuse

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