Monday, September 15, 2008


Okay, reading the Times' comparison of the campaigns' stances on science issues presented a moment which illustrates the frustration of this presidential election cycle. They compare McCain and Obama's climate change policies thusly:

In terms of 1990 levels of carbon emissions, Mr. McCain would ultimately have the nation’s output drop by 60 percent and Mr. Obama by 80 percent.

BUT THEY NEVER MENTION THE MECHANISM FOR CONTROLLING THESE CARBON EMISSIONS. Which is, of course, you know, KINDA IMPORTANT. And the candidates have very different plans. McCain, for one, favors the public auction of carbon credits, which, as I understand it, is just a huge money giveaway which won't actually help reduce emissions at all, in comparison to an actual cap and trade scheme.

It's not like explaining anything like this would take more than ten words. It seems disingenuous at best to compare the two candidates and yet somehow escape any actual comparisons between the two. Perhaps, when you get a detailed enough comparison of policies so that people can actually judge the merits of them it violates journalistic objectivity or something. Because the facts would obviously favor one side. How else do we explain the continued belief that Alaskan oil drilling would have any effect at all on domestic gas prices?

UPDATE 10/6: Umm , it seems that I got confused about the differences between McCain and Obama's plan. Obama does favor the auctioning of carbon credits. I know that there are substantive differences between the two plans, only I am, unfortunatly, unclear as to what those differences are. Also, somewhat lazily, I will use this ignorance to further bolster my original point: we need more policy information in our news sources.

No comments: