McCain and Clinton's Northern exposure

The senators journey to witness the effects of climate change in Alaska and Canada.

By Aaron Kinney
August 18, 2005 5:00PM (UTC)
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Salon editorial fellow Aaron Kinney keeps tabs on John McCain and Hillary Clinton's journey to Canada.

Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., are in the midst of a trip that's taking them through Alaska and up into Canada's Yukon Territory on a fact-finding expedition on the effects of global warming near the Arctic Circle. They're accompanied by two other senators -- Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.


For McCain, the trip has confirmed his belief that global warming is real and that the North and South poles are the miner's canaries of global climate change, as they experience its effects first. For Fox News anchor John Gibson, the trip was an opportunity to joke that Clinton and McCain must be "dating," according to News Hounds, which watches Fox so you don't have to. Gibson said that he'd prefer it if the two senators were instead "ripping each other's throat out, figuratively speaking." News Hounds says Gibson did not bother to address the policy issues underlying the trip.

That presidential front-runners from both parties are making this trip must be heartening news to Sheila Watt-Cloutier, an Inuit leader whose group, the Inuit Circumpolar Conference, has filed a human rights petition against the United States for its failure to curb its greenhouse gas emissions. Watt-Cloutier hopes the suit will compel other government officials to come north and see for themselves what the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment recently documented: The Arctic is melting.

Don't expect McCain's visit to have any impact on Rush Limbaugh listeners, however. Just last week the infallible radio host engaged in a lengthy dissertation on climate change for the sake of his dittoheads. Media Matters says Limbaugh rehashed the canard that global warming is "one of the biggest hoaxes being perpetrated on the people of the world" and stated that the environmental movement is the "latest refuge for communists and socialists who are opposed to capitalism."

Aaron Kinney

Aaron Kinney is a writer in San Francisco. He has a blog.

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