All of the leading Democratic contenders for the presidency are committed to a set of cuts in greenhouse gas emissions that would change the way Americans light their homes, fuel their automobiles and do their jobs, costing billions of dollars in the short term but potentially, the candidates say, saving even more in the decades to follow.And the Republicans?
While Democrats are working to outdo each other on climate change -- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, for example, supports a 90 percent greenhouse gas reduction by midcentury -- GOP presidential candidates remain more skeptical, to say the least. Former senator Fred D. Thompson (Tenn.) stands by his commentary on National Review Online that warming on other planets has led some people "to wonder if Mars and Jupiter, non signatories to the Kyoto Treaty, are actually inhabited by alien SUV-driving industrialists who run their air-conditioning at 60 degrees and refuse to recycle."Could it possibly be more clear that every Democratic candidate is better than every Republican candidate?
Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani said in the wake of Gore's Nobel Prize win that when it comes to global warming, "if we try to deal with it at too hysterical a pace, we could create problems."
Among Republicans, only Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) -- who began crusading against climate change after a heckler dressed as a penguin followed him around New Hampshire during his 2000 presidential bid -- backs a specific, 60 percent cut in greenhouse gases by 2050. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee endorsed a mandatory carbon cap last month but has not laid out specifics.