Palin's Climate Change Flip-Flop

During her interview with Charlie Gibson, Sarah Palin denied that she had ever denied the human impact on climate change. Well, not since last year, when she said "I'm not one, though, who would attribute [climate change] to being man-made." And then there's

"I'm not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity."

Steve Benen:

But Palin's record is Palin's record, and the fact remains that she's so far out there, she's rejected the connection between global warming and human activity. Indeed, she's done so more than once. This not only tells us something important about Palin's understanding of public policy, it also tells us a great deal about how she perceives and considers evidence that runs counter to her ideology.

Her ideology, it seems, is malleable. Now that she's running for VP, she has to adopt the McCain view. But if tragic circumstances vault her into the presidency a few months after the election, what will she believe then?

< Still the Same, Only Worse | AP Poll: McCain By 4 >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    Sounds like a non-issue to me. (5.00 / 0) (#3)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:37:50 AM EST
    Whether she changed her postion a alot, a little or not at all, her response to Gibson is likely very palatable to much/most of America.
    "I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change. Here in Alaska, the only arctic state in our Union, of course, we see the effects of climate change more so than any other area with ice pack melting. Regardless though of the reason for climate change, whether it's entirely, wholly caused by man's activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet -- the warming and the cooling trends -- regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we gotta do something about it and we have to make sure that we're doing all we can to cut down on pollution."

    "what will she believe then?" (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:45:57 AM EST
    My guess is...

    The World is flat
    Jesus rode a dinosaur
    The Endtimes are near.

    Why is that when Palin's position's change (none / 0) (#8)
    by Matt in Chicago on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 02:15:33 PM EST
    that is immediately a reason to tear her apart, but when Obama changes, refutes or otherwise flips on: FISA, Financing, throwing anyone standing in his path to the White House under a bus, or any other topic... it is just pragmatic politics.

    It is not enough to present the illusion of fairness, Americans want actual fairness.

    Palin's position has shifted... fine.  Is it a bad position? To the Green Left? Yes.  To America as a whole? No.  Besides, I think Gore is starting to become a bit of a caricature of himself.


    ya (none / 0) (#24)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 09:05:56 AM EST
    I think her disprespect for science must irritate her father (as a science teacher).  WHen talking about evolution she said her father discussed it growing up but called it "his theories of evolution".

    IMagine spending your whole life trying to honestly teach kids and then your daughter becomes the anti-science candidate.   Heart-breaker.


    ya (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by connecticut yankee on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:28:30 PM EST
    Bush has made more reasonable statements than Palin by simply suggesting he think's its a threat and needs to be studied further.  A delaying tactic by him but at least he walked the edge.  She is making claims above her expertise levels here, which are at odds with the position of every major scientific org in the country that there is at least some evidence for human activity as a cause.

    But short of her taking over, McCain's view will prevail.  Whatever that currently is.

    it doesn't matter that she's saying she's green (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Howard Zinn on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 01:03:24 PM EST
    In the '00 campaign, Bush said that he was all for environmentalism, but then did a 180 when elected.  It's all the same with the Repubs -- they'll make these soft statements like Palin has and then forgeddabout it once in office.  No funding, no policy, no beef.

    Here here! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Matt in Chicago on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 02:16:07 PM EST

    I Have never seen a DEBATE on Global Warming (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by TearDownThisWall on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 02:23:53 PM EST
    I don't think Ever-
    I have seen the Al Gore's movie, and I read one sided articles, "for" and "against".
    But, I really can't recall, if I have ever seen "The cause of Global Warming" truly debated.

    Just a thought...

    There was one debate last year. (none / 0) (#22)
    by Bob K on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:06:07 PM EST
    NPR has a recording at this link.
    In this debate, the proposition was: "Global Warming Is Not a Crisis." In a vote before the debate, about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, while 57 percent were against and 13 percent undecided. The debate seemed to affect a number of people: Afterward, about 46 percent agreed with the motion, roughly 42 percent were opposed and about 12 percent were undecided.

    I thought the non-crisis side ate the lunch of the scaremongers.


    to be fair. (none / 0) (#23)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 08:59:56 AM EST
    Creationists can often sway audiences as well. But its not on the merits. It's on simplistic rhetoric and folksey wisdom.

    The fact remains that almost every scientific org in the country finds there is at least some evidence that humans are the cause.  It's also a fact that there is some evangelical push-back on global warming because some of them dont really believe god would let that happen.

    I'm reminded of the old quote by Reagan's Sec. of the Interior, "We dont need to protect the enviroment, the second coming of christ is at hand".


    That (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by sas on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 03:53:37 PM EST
    is a curious point of view.  On what do you base your  feeling that she will resign?

    I disagree with that based on her governorship, in Alaska, and her past leadership positions.  She has never resigned from any of them, indeed completing the tasks and moving into a higher office each time.

    Check out (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by sas on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:15:30 PM EST
    the front page article in the USA Today.  Palin believes that Alaska's resources belong to the people of Alaska.  And the people should reap the benefits of it's resources before the companies get their hands in the resource till so to speak.

    I see why she has an 80+ point approval rating.

    Sounds (none / 0) (#15)
    by votermom on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:20:57 PM EST
    socialist to me. :)

    Hopefully, no matter (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by tootired on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:22:52 PM EST
    which political party is in control of the White House, the nation's best scientists and engineers will offer their expertise on issues like global warming. Over the course of the earth's geologic history there have been natural periods of global warming and cooling long before human beings created the technologies that could affect the earth's temperatures. That humans are having an effect on the earth's climate is undeniable, but the relative size of the effect is hard to quantify. Governor Palin appears to be capable of ramping up quickly. I'm sure she would remain in office and work on the solutions as President. McCain's plan, should he and Palin be elected, is to put Palin in charge of our energy independence. This is an area of expertise for her. See, now these nasty remarks made Matt, sas and me defend Palin. Is that what you want, MileHi?

    This is one of the reasons that (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 04:44:11 PM EST
    the overwhelming majority of scientists vociferously reject McCain/Palin. Contrary to the republican spin, there is virtually unanimous agreement among scientists that the degree of climate change we are seeing today is due to manmade activities such as greenhouse gases and rapid deforestation. Every reputable peer-reviewed publication on the topic agrees. The National Academy of Sciences agrees. The National Science Foundation agrees. All serious scientific societies are in agreement. Research on warming and cooling cycles in the geological record by paleoclimatologists is also in agreement.

    The idea that there is any credible question about human activity being a large cause of global warming is just as off base as the idea that there is any question among scientists about evolution vs. intelligent design. Republicans like to sow the idea that there is 'disagreement amongst scientists' to bolster their discredited viewpoint, but there really isn't.

    I thought that Palin was a lightweight... (none / 0) (#5)
    by desertswine on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:54:24 AM EST
    now I see that she's actually a featherweight.

    Palin as Pres! (none / 0) (#12)
    by dead dancer on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 03:02:38 PM EST
    if tragic circumstances vault her into the presidency a few months after the election

    I suspect she will resign soon after they win ( if they win ) the election. She's a tool to get the job done; Win.

    The Republicans don't have to prove (none / 0) (#20)
    by hairspray on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:21:32 PM EST
    anything, they just have to create doubt. That they do in spades.

    If Palin is so consistent, what does she believe? (none / 0) (#18)
    by Don in Seattle on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 05:22:59 PM EST
    A. She believes man-made climate change is real.

    B. She doesn't believe man-made climate change is real.

    I'll stipulate that either A or B is possibly a defensible position, but "Both A and B" is not.

    Oh that dichotomous thinking again. (none / 0) (#19)
    by hairspray on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 09:17:32 PM EST
    Tonight whe said she was for overturning Roe. While I think tearing her limb from limb is dumb, I do think she put it out there about the "culture of life" and overturning Roe. So even though she nominated a Supreme court justice in Alaska who was a down the middle well qualified non ideologue, I am not so sure that this ticket will support Roe.

    OK, it's a false dichotomy. (none / 0) (#21)
    by Don in Seattle on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:06:05 PM EST
    A person could believe that some but not all climate change is man-made, or could be agnostic on the question. It's really several related questions, isn't it? (1. Is climate change real? 2. Is it a serious problem? 3. Is it man-made? 4. What should we do about it?)

    But if you accept TChris's statment of the facts, Palin has a history of taking position B above, and now denies ever taking that position. That is a contradiction. It's not consistency, no matter how loudly some may protest that it is.

    And I don't understand what Roe has to do with climate change. Did somebody change the subject? Anyway, the Alaska Supreme Court can't overturn Roe. Palin was wise to keep her powder dry. I concur with you; I have absolutely no faith that a McCain/Palin appointee would support Roe.


    ya (none / 0) (#25)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 10:01:55 AM EST
    I think this is part of the transition from small-town politician to a broader stage.  She sticks her neck out on these issues that seem perfectly normal to her given the company she's probably kept. A bit of an echo chamber.  Then when she gets pushback she quickly retreats (evolution in school, the book banning stuff, global warming).

    I can't decide if she is floating trial balloons and retreating or she blunders into this stuff and then falls back.

    My fear is that once she is more sure of her position, she will push harder for these extreme ideas.

    fix (none / 0) (#26)
    by connecticut yankee on Sat Sep 13, 2008 at 10:02:44 AM EST
    that should read, "creation and evolution in school".