Bob Barr on Global Warming and Other Subjects
At a conference call for bloggers, I was able to ask Libertarian Presidential Candidate Bob Barr about his views on global warming, an area where I had criticized him last week for some seeming inconsistencies. Here is candidate Barr’s answer…
Although I certainly do not believe that there is anything approaching a clear linkage between CO2 emissions and global warming, as many maintain, I do believe that it is something we need to be looking at, to establish exactly what the parameters and correlations are, if any, between man-made phenomena such as CO2 emissions and industrial emissions and global warming.In response to other questions from other call participants, Congressman Barr laid out his positions on a range of other issues…
If it bears out that it is simply a geological cyclical issue or whatnot, regardless of where we might wind up with regard to global warming, I do commend, for example, folks like Boone Pickens, who has indicated — again regardless of what we find are the causes of global warming — that we need to really start working towards developing alternative sources of energy over the long-term. Some people, as the former Vice-President has indicated, believe this is an imperative because of global warming. Others, like Boone Pickens, take a more market-driven approach, that is that global warming seems to be occurring, and we need to discover why and what the correlations are, but even regardless of that, we need to be developing alternative sources of energy over the long term.
Over the short term – and this is me talking, not Boone Pickens – we are and will continue to be petroleum-based economy. That is not going to change in the short term, and we need to therefore do everything we can to develop sources of petroleum, so that we have the energy we need in the short term so that in the long term, we will be able to develop the alternative sources we need, whether that is natural gas, solar to some extent, wind to some extent, or perhaps something that has not even been invented yet.
- On social security, he wants to restore the idea of “ownership” of contributions, and move away from the entitlement assumptions that the program has taken on. He is opposed to any tax-increases to maintain solvency, but would consider raising the retirement age, as the assumptions about life-expectancy and retirement-age expectancy have changed from what they were when the current parameters were established.
- Barr’s top priority, if elected, will be cutting government spending. He will not support any increases in the debt-ceiling, nor any “emergency” supplemental spending, unless it is really for an emergency.
- On foreign policy, Barr believes in “robust relations” with countries around the world, which includes exchanging political ideas to spread freedom and economic ideas to promote free-trade. Barr believes in a strong military, “but for defense, not for offense”, and in maintaining the technological edge that the United States has developed. He would scale back American military commitments in places like South Korea, Japan, and Germany, and dramatically cut back foreign aid. He has “no use at all for the United Nations”, though he is not opposed, in principle, to some American participation in multilateral institutions, in bodies that have narrow and well-defined goals.
- With regards to immigration, Barr feels that the biggest flaw in the existing system is that our federal bureaucracies give second-class treatment to people who are trying to immigrate here legally, delaying their processing sometimes for years for no other reason than bureaucratic inertia; Barr would change that, and make lawful immigration much easier. Anyone discovered in the United States illegally would have to go to “the back of the line” and then wait for some penalty period before being able to re-enter the country legally.