On behalf of the oil and natural gas industry, Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) has opposed federal protections for the polar bear, whose existence is threatened by drilling operations and their global warming pollution. A new report from the Guardian reveals that the “science” Palin relies upon to claim all is hunky dory in Alaska comes from notoriously right-wing flaks funded by Big Oil. It has been previously revealed that Palin suppressed the work of her state’s staff scientists. The Guardian’s Ed Pilkington explains Palin’s use of climate change skeptics:
In official submissions to the US government’s consultation on the status of the polar bear, Palin and her team referred to at least six scientists who have questioned either the existence of warming as a largely man-made phenomenon or its severity. One paper was partly funded by the US oil company Exxon Mobil.
Palin’s complaint to the Department of Interior cited the pre-publication Exxon Mobil paper — “Polar bears of western Hudson Bay and climate change” — six times, and even attached a copy. “Polar bears” was eventually published by the obscure Journal of Ecological Complexity, with funding not only by Exxon Mobil, but also the American Petroleum Institute (Big Oil’s lobbying shop), and the Koch Industries money machine:
This paper was authored by Alaskan scientist Markus Dyck, Timothy Ball, Sallie Baliunas, Willie Soon, and David Legates. All but Dyck are notorious climate skeptics with extensive ties to the Exxon-Bush right wing machine. As polar bear biologist Andrew Derocher told the Alaska Daily News, “I would venture to guess that, beyond Markus Dyck, none of them had ever seen a polar bear.”
Yet another unpublished crackpot article — by retired scientist Syun-Ichi Akasofu, a hardcore global warming denier — is cited to support Palin’s absurd claim about global warming: “There is also no agreement among experts on how these changes fit into longer-term analysis of past and projected future climate conditions.”
As John McCain said at the Clinton Global Intitative on September 25: “We now know that fossil fuel emissions, by retaining heat within the atmosphere, threaten disastrous changes in climate.” However, yesterday he said, “I’ve already turned to Governor Palin, particularly on energy issues.”
McCain turns to Palin for energy policy, and Palin turns to … Exxon Mobil.
UPDATE: Greenpeace asks about the money:
No reporters have questioned Exxon or API about funding this research and no one has gotten the scientists themselves on the record as to how much money they got from Exxon and friends and the marching orders attached to that funding.