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Obama v McCain Issue: The Climate in depth

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posted on Sep, 18 2008 @ 09:34 PM
My attempt here, is to show who has the more aggressive, sound, cost worthy plan at solving climate change. All the quotes are from their websites.
John McCain

Barack Obama

Obama on reducing emissions

Reduce Carbon Emissions 80 Percent by 2050: Barack Obama and Joe Biden support implementation of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. They will start reducing emissions immediately in his administration by establishing strong annual reduction targets, and they will also implement a mandate of reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Obama's goal is to reduce the emissions by 80% by 2050... now lets look at McCain's

Greenhouse Gas Emission Targets And Timetables 2012: Return Emissions To 2005 Levels (18% Above 1990 Levels) 2020: Return Emissions To 1990 Levels (15% Below 2005 Levels) 2030: 22% Below 1990 Levels (34% Below 2005 Levels) 2050: 60% Below 1990 Levels (66% Below 2005 Levels)

Essentially they have the same timetables, but the end goal for Obama is far more aggressive with an 80% reduction compared to McCain's 60% reduction. Is 60% enough? Is 80% overboard? My opinion, better safe than sorry.

One of the solutions for this will be a cap and trade system. Both candidates offer this. Are there any glaring differences?

Obama's system.

A cap-and-trade program draws on the power of the marketplace to reduce emissions in a cost-effective and flexible manner. Under the program, an overall national cap on carbon emissions is established. The emissions allowed under the cap are divided up into individual allowances that represent the permission to emit that amount. Because the emissions cap restricts the amount of pollution allowed, allowances that give a company the ability to pollute take on financial value. Companies are free to buy and sell allowances in order to continue operating in the most profitable manner available to them. Those that are able to reduce pollution at a low cost can sell their extra allowances to companies facing high costs. Each year the number of allowances will decline to match the required annual reduction targets.

100 Percent Allowance Auction: Barack Obama and Joe Biden’s cap-and-trade system will require all pollution credits to be auctioned. A 100 percent auction ensures that all large corporate polluters pay for every ton of emissions they release, rather than giving these emission rights away for free to coal and oil companies.

Invest Revenue for a Clean Energy Future: Some of the revenue generated by auctioning allowances will be used to support the development and deployment of clean energy, invest in energy efficiency improvements to help families reduce their energy prices, and to address transition costs, including helping American workers affected by this economic transition and helping lower-income Americans with their energy costs.

And now, McCain's

John McCain Proposes A Cap-And-Trade System That Would Set Limits On Greenhouse Gas Emissions While Encouraging The Development Of Low-Cost Compliance Options. A climate cap-and-trade mechanism would set a limit on greenhouse gas emissions and allow entities to buy and sell rights to emit, similar to the successful acid rain trading program of the early 1990s. The key feature of this mechanism is that it allows the market to decide and encourage the lowest-cost compliance options.

How Does A Cap-And-Trade System Work? A cap-and-trade system harnesses human ingenuity in the pursuit of alternatives to carbon-based fuels. Market participants are allotted total permits equal to the cap on greenhouse gas emissions. If they can invent, improve, or acquire a way to reduce their emissions, they can sell their extra permits for cash. The profit motive will coordinate the efforts of venture capitalists, corporate planners, entrepreneurs, and environmentalists on the common motive of reducing emissions.

I see that essentially they have the same concept. the only difference I can see is that Obama's goes into more depth of how his system works. McCain's simply says he will implement a cap and trade system, but doesnt go into the details that Obama does.

And finally, how much will be invested into new technologies to help climate change reduction?

Obama says roughly 150 billion of ten years. this isnt the place to argue on how or where this money will come from. Thats his promise.

Barack Obama and Joe Biden will invest $150 billion over 10 years in advanced energy technologies. (1) Increase Investment in Basic Research and Human Capital.
Invest in Basic Research: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double federal science and research funding for clean energy projects.
Invest in a Skilled Clean Technologies Workforce: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will invest in job training and transition programs to help workers and industries adapt to clean technology development and production. (2) Invest in Key Technology Deployment.
Clean Technologies Deployment Venture Capital Fund: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will create a Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund to fill a critical gap in U.S. technology development. This fund will partner with existing investment funds and our National Laboratories to ensure that promising technologies move beyond the lab and are commercialized in the U.S.

Production Tax Credit: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will also extend the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) for 5 years to encourage the deployment of renewable technologies. (3) Set Standards to Allow the Market to Invest and Innovate. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will also establish new national standards to ensure less carbon intensive energy is used in our energy supply.
Establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will establish a National Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) to speed the introduction of low-carbon, non-petroleum fuels. The standard requires fuels suppliers to reduce the carbon their fuel emits by ten percent by 2020.

Require 25% of Electricity to Come from Renewable Sources by 2025: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will establish a 25% federal Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to require that 25% of electricity consumed in the U.S. is derived from clean, sustainable energy sources, like solar, wind and geothermal by 2025.

Ensure the Federal Government Uses Renewable Sources of Electricity: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will ensure that at least 30% of the federal government’s electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020.

McCain? Well I couldnt find a promise of money, and maybe thats a good thing. Essentially he says that the benefits from his cap and trade system will in turn create money for new technologies.

To Support The Cap And Trade System, John McCain Will Promote The Innovation, Development And Deployment Of Advanced Technologies. John McCain will reform federal government research funding and infrastructure to support the cap and trade emissions reduction goals and emphasize the commercialization of low-carbon technologies. Under John McCain's plan: Emissions Permits Will Eventually Be Auctioned To Support The Development Of Advanced Technologies. A portion of the process of these auctions will be used to support a diversified portfolio of research and commercialization challenges, ranging from carbon capture and sequestration, to nuclear power, to battery development. Funds will also be used to provide financial backing for a Green Innovation Financing and Transfer (GIFT) to facilitate commercialization.

Overall, I feel Obama's plan is much more in depth and I feel more comfortable with his. Feel free to debate.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 11:16 AM
My main problem with any plan proposed here is that they are just plain wrong.

There is no climate change. At least not the man made kind that we can control. The earth will do what the earth will do, and we aren't going to change that by driving hybrids or changing our light bulbs.

I'm more worried about getting the energy we need now, and letting these new technologies develop themselves. The private sector will develop these technologies on their own, without government interference.

If anything, our efforts in regards to the earth should be to promote and practice conservation. However, we don't need to spend countless millions in money and manpower trying to find a solution to a problem we aren't responsible for.

posted on Sep, 19 2008 @ 12:20 PM
reply to post by nyk537

It is not known how much we are contributing to the warming Earth, but scientists are in agreement we are helping. Most Republicans (Sen McCain included) are turning green.
I think it is time to dump the internal combustible engine. Steam lasted for 150 years, now it is time to move toward another mode of engine.

posted on Sep, 21 2008 @ 05:25 PM
this thread isnt for debating if we are contributing. we are doing enough for both candidates to have an enregy policy. if you want to debate that go to another board. this is strictly to debate who has he better plan

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