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Conservative leader Sarah ‘Four Pinocchios’ Palin blames ‘Gore-gate’ for “this snake oil science stuff.”

By Joe Romm  

"Conservative leader Sarah ‘Four Pinocchios’ Palin blames ‘Gore-gate’ for “this snake oil science stuff.”"

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Ex-gov still proud of her efforts to kill off the polar bears

polar-bear-tongue.jpegFormer House Speaker Newt Gingrich has called Palin a conservative leader on energy issues. She has also emerged as a conservative thought leader on climate science.

Yesterday, at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SLRC) 2010 — “the most prominent Republican event outside of the Republican National Convention,” Palin launched into another anti-science diatribe.  Here’s the video (via TP):

PALIN: We should create a competitive climate for investment in renewables and alternatives … none of this snake oil science stuff that is based on this global warming, Gore-gate stuff that came down where there was revelation that these scientists, some of these scientists were playing some political games. I sued the Feds over this, I sued the Feds over this as Governor for some bogus listing on the ESA, just about got run out of town, of course, by the environmentalists. But now we feel a little bit vindicated because we’re realizing through Gore-gate that there was some snake oil science involved in the data collection there.”¦ We invented the Internet, unless that was just another Gore-gate thing too.

Palin is so practiced at repeating falsehoods “” even in her supposed area of expertise (energy) “” that during last year’s presidential campaign, the Washington Post itself gave her its highest (which is to say lowest) rating of “Four Pinocchios” for continuing to “to peddle bogus [energy] statistics three days after the original error was pointed out by independent fact-checkers.”  Her remarks here contain multiple whoppers.

Of course, Palin and her conservative allies have never supported creating a competitive climate for investment in renewable alternatives.  Indeed, they have bitterly opposed it:

Her speech is all about how American ingenuity will solve our energy problems — “We put a man on the moon” — but of course we put a man on the moon, and we invented the Internet using science, something Sarah Palin stands firmly against.

Palin has been incoherently attacking climate science by pushing “The Scandal Formerly Known As Climategate” for many, many months — abetted by a media that values sensationalism over substance (see WashPost goes tabloid, publishes second falsehood-filled op-ed by Sarah Palin in five months “” on climate science and the hacked emails!).

But they provide no evidence whatsoever to undercut the ever-strengthening scientific evidence that humans are changing the climate dramatically and face catastrophic impacts if we listen to the do-nothing crowd now led by Sarah Palin:

  • House of Commons exonerates Phil Jones:  Based on their inquiry and evidence, “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact. We have found no reason … to challenge the scientific consensus … that ‘global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity’.”

The “bogus listing on the ESA” is a bit jargony for the normally down-home ex-Gov, but then I suspect she didn’t want to actually explain to the audience in any detail that she sued the Bush administration (!) for listing the polar bear as an endangered species because of the threat warming poses to its primary habitat, the Arctic ice.  Yes, even the Bush’s uber- Conservative Interior Secretary Dirk Kepthorne had to admit the basic case (see Bye-polar Kempthorne: Polar bear IS endangered):

This is a very widely held scientific view:

The survival of polar bears as a species is difficult to envisage under conditions of zero summer sea-ice cover,” concludes the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, by leading scientists from the eight Arctic nations, including the United States. Another 20 study, by Canadian scientists, agreed:

[G]iven the rapid pace of ecological change in the Arctic, the long generation time, and the highly specialised nature of polar bears, it is unlikely that polar bears will survive as a species if the sea ice disappears completely.

Fox put Palin on the wrong show.  They shouldn’t have put her on FoxNews, but in their scifi thriller “Fringe” (which, off topically, has gotten a bit better recently but, frankly, lacks the kind of anti-science villain that Palin could portray without actually acting).

Fringe intertitle.png

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44 Responses to Conservative leader Sarah ‘Four Pinocchios’ Palin blames ‘Gore-gate’ for “this snake oil science stuff.”

  1. It is a petty flaw that individuals harbor a loony capacity to follow such a charlatans.

    Worse is that organizations like Fox will pander to these audiences. This vapid, verbal bling is just institutionalized insanity.

  2. Tammy Skillings says:

    According to the U.S. Safari Club, hunters spent $2.9 million in Nunavut in 2002. Since then, spending and hunting have increased dramatically. Two years ago the region’s annual polar bear quota rose 30 percent, from 403 to 518. Since 1997, more than 800 permits have been issued to U.S. hunters, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  3. Garry says:

    The modern telephone was invented by a Scotsman and while the internet evolved from Arpanet the World Wide Web was invented by an Englishman.

  4. David Smith says:

    The formerly none as …gate should be refered to as

    the New Republican Dark Age.

    In this new Republican utopia, science and technology are tools of the great corporations, for wealth generation, but of no concern for the common people. They are not really rejecting science, only the science that might shape public policy, putting peoples interests ahead of corporate interests.

  5. mike roddy says:

    What Richard said in #1.

  6. Wit's End says:

    Sarah Palin could become quite dangerous as people frightened by the advancing damage from climate change look for an alternative explanation.

    I hope there is time left for the legal system to solve a problem that politics does not seem able to address. Two encouraging examples along these lines:

    ecocide as international crime: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/09/ecocide-crime-genocide-un-environmental-damage (there is a link in the article to the ecocide website)

    and this study, which could end up being very important. By linking exposure to automobile exhaust directly to children in schools located near freeways, this has enormous potential to regulate emissions:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100409142431.htm

    And then supersoccerlipstickonapigMOM might find it just a teeny bit difficult to reconcile the health of children with drill baby drill.

  7. substanti8 says:

    Dr. Steven C. Amstrup offers a quick summary of the current situation in this video.

    “The Arctic is a different world than it was in 1980, when I first started going up there.”

    “Whereas polar bears used to hang out in that near-shore ice all summer long, now they retreat way off into the distant pack ice – where we think they’re relatively food deprived.  We know that the ocean way off shore is very unproductive.  We think that their access to seals is relatively low.  Seals are their principal source food.”

  8. substanti8 says:

    Of further interest, Steven Amstrup was also the lead author of this thorough defense of polar bear population forecasts in a spat with some fossil-fueled skeptics over the proposed listing of polar bears, as covered by Andrew Revkin.  (Joe might have posted about it too, but I couldn’t find it.)

  9. Jeff Huggins says:

    What are those Republicans who understand science going to do about this?

    What are those scientists who are Republicans going to do about this?

    What are Republican leaders who claim to be presumably intelligent (wasn’t Romney originally from Bain or something like that, or was it BCG?) going to say about climate science?

    What is Murdoch (if he can still think at all) going to say and do about this stuff?

    Give me a break. I’d be upset if one of my children was scheduled to have Palin as an intermediate school teacher in American History, or as an intermediate school science teacher. How can someone who wouldn’t be a decent American History teacher, or who wouldn’t be at least a conscientious science teacher, be an influential thought leader for the GOP? It is strikingly disturbing, scary, and downright embarrassing.

    What are you going to do about this, Romney?

    Some of these folks (the ones who ought to be able to think) seem to be selling their brains, their credibility, and their legacies for short-term political popularity points among a modest minority of the population who have placed themselves in a contrived and contradictory corner in terms of credibility. Too bad.

    Sigh,

    Jeff

  10. Stepshep says:

    I love how she talks about fiscal responsibility and at the same time promotes that she wasted state and federal dollars with a frivolous lawsuit that just tied up courts and agencies.

  11. Doug Bostrom says:

    Jeff’s remark really struck home for me:

    I’d be upset if one of my children was scheduled to have Palin as an intermediate school teacher in American History, or as an intermediate school science teacher. How can someone who wouldn’t be a decent American History teacher, or who wouldn’t be at least a conscientious science teacher, be an influential thought leader for the GOP? It is strikingly disturbing, scary, and downright embarrassing.

    It is embarrassing. Palin makes us a laughingstock, or rather not her but the overweening attention she gets in our media as well as adulation from the dead-enders she attracts. She’s got the same ridiculous aura as Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, the same proclivity to appeal to the most base of populist instincts.

  12. david freeman says:

    A small messaging point: Sarah Palin does not deserve the title ex gov. We should always refer to her as the former half-term governor.

  13. Dano says:

    Anyone supporting the former half-term governor and the winner of the Iquitarod can likely be seen as hopeless. I’m sure others in the dying GOP just put up with her. Anyone who think she resonates with something in them is beyond repair and can be ignored.

    Best,

    D

  14. Leif says:

    Planes, trains, medicine, electricity, nuclear energy, oil exploration and exploitation, bridges, skyscrapers, military superiority, internet, the whole shebang is a product of that very same “snake-oil science!”
    That I even have to state something as basic as that is disgusting.

  15. Ronald says:

    to be honest and complete, we should mention what it was that Al Gore really said in that March, 1999 interview with Wolf Blitzer, “During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet.”

    Wolf Blitzer was keeping Al Gore around to answer questions with not much time. It wasn’t a well thought out reply to quick questions and much more innocuous answer than it was made out to be. It was the republicans that day who made it out to be that Al Gore Claimed he “invented the internet.”

    http://www.perkel.com/politics/gore/internet.htm

  16. Leif says:

    david freeman, #12: Good point. Or “quit governor” or “governor? stuff it,” or ???

  17. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    Gore was instrumental in creating the legal environment for bringing the internet to the general public and away from being primarily a government and university tool. His creative vision and Senatorial support of an “information super-highway” for everyday people was put through the Congress when others barely had an idea of what he was talking about.

  18. Bob Wallace says:

    Ronald – If you check stuff like that on credible sites such as Snoop you won’t continue to embarrass yourself when out in public…

    http://www.snopes.com/quotes/internet.asp

  19. Tim L. says:

    That anyone takes this idiot seriously is beyond belief.

  20. catman306 says:

    Thanks to Joe and everyone else that reads or listens to Sarah Palin so I don’t have to. I can’t stand telepromtered, lipstick wearing, arrogant, empty headed, helicopter hunting, bulldogs. She should be selling tupperware.

  21. sasparilla says:

    Palin is definitely an odd bird – she shouldn’t have the recognition and adoration from such a big slice of America, but she does and it shows no sign of getting smaller. As Doug said:

    “She’s got the same ridiculous aura as Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, the same proclivity to appeal to the most base of populist instincts.”

    I agree with this assessment, she has a connection with a huge group of people over on the right (much like Clinton did with a chunk on the left). It seems obvious this is an act, but like it was with Clinton and that big chunk of the left – to them it seems genuine.

    Unfortunately there’s a big slice of the GOP, a huge chunk in fact, that want her as president. That’s not the people at the top of course (I believe most can’t stand her), but the people on the ground – and they absolutely love her (and she plays them perfectly). She comes from a background in the news at some point (I believe), it pretty, telegenic, has that same obvious lack of intellectual curiosity/care former President George had and seemingly will say anything that suits her purpose (either out of ignorance or cold calculation) – I think this makes her more dangerous than former President George who seemed to have some personal limits.

    I’d always felt pretty safe that if she became the Republican nominee in the future – she’d get knocked off because of her nonsense catching up to her (like it obviously was doing in 2008). But thinking a little, her job as the VP with McCain was to shore that right wing base. And if she wants to win the GOP nomination – that’s still the same job (for right now), get those right wing nut jobs and everyone else. And she’s doing great at this. Has a job that keeps her in the media spotlight without being in Government (where she has to be accountable for decisions/actions). She is being set for a run in 2012 – make no mistake.

    Lets do a little thought experiment – 2011 Oil surges (more) and gas goes over $4/gallon again, sucks away a big chunk of discretionary spending (like it did in the 1st half of 2008) and gives us a double dip recession which is obvious by the end of 2011. Palin wins the GOP ticket and swerves to middle – starts saying stuff like “Global Warming is real and we’ll deal with it” (like Bush did to defang Gore on that issue – it was a lie, but it worked just fine), portrays the economy as Obama’s fault and wins. I could not imagine the people she’d bring in an administration or the damage they’d do – we would probably be talking fondly of the Bush years in comparison.

    Her populist rising star is scary.

  22. Joe1347 says:

    Hopefully she brings down the Republican Party in 2012 – because the alternative (President Palin) is too frightening. Maybe it’s better to have someone as the (Republican) Party Leader who is likely unable to survive through 5 minutes of a tough interview on any network other than Fox. Maybe we just need to suck it up and assume that the USA is a far greater nation than it may seem after listening to the insanity from the Republicans and the majority of the nation won’t be fooled (by Palin).

  23. Christopher S. Johnson says:

    Bob Wallace (#18), you may have been reading Ronald’s post too quickly and mistaken it for what you are probably used to seeing — the misquote. Actually Ronald’s post is a parallel to the Snopes article and other sources.

  24. Jeff Huggins says:

    More Far Out GOP Wisdumb

    I think I have a good hyperthesis that I’d love to share:

    Those hidercarbon things people talk about hide so well that you can’t even see them. And they’re small too. Between you and me, I don’t think they’re real. And all this talk that they absorb light of certain wavelongs? No way! Hidercarbons don’t care about wavelongs. I can see it all now, from my back yard.

    What we need is a strategy that’s synergalactic. Synergalacticity is the solution. And it’s shorter than that other long word, and it sounds less atrocious.

    Those are my thoughts — for now. I better stop before I loose my imbalance.

    (Sorry for this: I just couldn’t recyst.)

    Jeff

  25. substanti8 says:

    I think a “President Palin” might be followed quickly by a “Confederated States of America”.  She and her ilk are the embodiment of the dangers of centralized power.

    And David, shouldn’t that be the former half-a**ed governor?   ;-)

  26. Bob Wallace says:

    Christopher – right. Sorry. I did not read Ronald’s post correctly.

  27. paulm says:

    #11 “It is embarrassing. Palin makes us a laughingstock, or rather not her but the overweening attention she gets in our media as well as adulation from the dead-enders she attracts. She’s got the same ridiculous aura as Chavez, or Ahmadinejad, the same proclivity to appeal to the most base of populist instincts.”

    What a sorry state!

  28. Wit's End says:

    Jeff, @ #24

    a) brevity is the soul of wit and

    b) your best comment yet! Loved it! Also too!

  29. Wit's End says:

    News Flash! Sarah Palin wins the “Worst Mother of the Year” award!!!

    http://alaskawtf.com/?p=526

  30. Michael T says:

    Peter Sinclair has a new ‘Climate Denial Crock of the Week’ video. This time he debunks Lord Monckton.

    Part 1:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfA1LpiYk2o

    Part 2 will premiere on a live webcast April 15, 9pm ET at ClimateTV.tv:
    http://www.xool.tv/climatetv

  31. ZS says:

    I’m surprised no one has highlighted perhaps the most infuriating Palin quote in that Youtube clip (I haven’t seen the whole speech, god knows what else is in there):

    “The great energy innovation that will replace conventional resources is just not here yet, it’s not here yet, but it will be someday, and until that day we need our domestic resources to meet our needs. And that alternative, when it’s discovered, it will be here, and it will be Americans who find it, Americans will invent this next source.”

    If only someone would invent CSP, wind power, geothermal and smart grid technologies…until then, I guess we’ll just have to continue to rely on fossil fuels!

  32. Tammy Skillings says:

    She is hated and feared because of her religion and opposition to slaughter of unborn babies.

  33. Petro says:

    This Palin character surely has odd charisma. Somehow she channels the feelings of that third of the population, who have chosen to be ignorant of scientific reality.

    It should be remembered that 50 million voters can elect a president. Unless action is taken now, Palin the President is in 2012. And then the Bush Jr year are longed after with nostalgia, if only the world survives…

  34. Daniel J. Andrews says:

    What is a conservative thought leader anyway? There are a few I might give that appellation, but Palin doesn’t even come in a sorry last on that list–she’s not even within rifle range of that list. Times like this I wish we could point to one single cause for her popularity (e.g. shoddy education in the states) and then fix it so idiocy like this doesn’t garner as many followers.

  35. Richard Brenne says:

    We should put a woman on the moon. . .

  36. sailrick says:

    Tammy
    If Sarah Palin, or anyone else, is so concerned about the unborn, then they had better hope we do something fast about climate change.

  37. Gordon says:

    Very un-patriotic to attack science for financial gain.

    Palin is such a clown.

  38. mike roddy says:

    Some want to see Palin nominated in 2012, knowing that she would be beaten in a landslide, so the adults could then return to their jobs.

    Apart from the risk involved, that’s what we thought in 1964, when Bang Bang Barry Goldwater was swamped by LBJ. Americans mainly rejected scary militarism, which Johnson then accelerated.

    The Republicans were back in no time, starting with Nixon in 1968, and have stayed in power ever since (Carter’s term was a short anomaly, and Clinton is a corporate Dixiecrat). Besides owning Congress, their creepy handprints are in our media, schools, universities, and environmental organizations.

    It’s as if pond scum nourished by money and living in air conditioned mansions has multiplied out of control. Their evil spawn are politicians who talk gibberish, and consumers who sprawl on LazyBoys behind faux granite “treatments” while eating Pop Tarts and watching Fox. It will be interesting to see how we all react to the much bigger contraction yet to come.

  39. Baruch says:

    Palin is not scary or worth hating. She is a provincial, not too bright, narcissistic idealogue who is in love with her own fleeting fame.

    What is scary is the idea that the GOP could rig yet another presidential election as they attempt to bring this woman into political power as a puppet a la Dubya. That must not be allowed to happen.

    I do not believe that Palin is actually popular among a large % of the populace. The media loves to spin a trainwreck, and that’s what they’re doing. Let us not confuse morbid fascination with admiration.

  40. Doug Bostrom says:

    Tammy Skillings says: April 11, 2010 at 12:36 am

    She is hated and feared because of her religion and opposition to slaughter of unborn babies.

    Rep. Dennis Kucinich too, presumably? Don’t be absurd.

  41. Tom says:

    Snake Oil? This woman is below Snake Oil. She was out shooting bears when they passed out the brains. What s wrong with this Country. Thomas Jefferson would role over in his grave if he saw Sarah Palin representing the experiment he helped start. He would feel like a failure.

  42. Wes Rolley says:

    I have little faith in the ability of the American people, or the American politician, to pay any attention to the cost of air pollution.

    CA State Univesity at Fullerton study identifies Dirty Air Costs California Economy $28 Billion Annually When “More Than 90 Percent of SoCal Residents Breathe Air That Threatens Health” why do we rely only on health industry reform to cut the costs of maintaining good health. When considering asthma, consider that costs of emergency room health care; consider also the cost to our average daily attendance funding for education and each of these missed days affects everyone.

    We have know this for a long time: ROAD TO AN UNHEALTHY FUTURE FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA’S CHILDREN and we still have those oil companies (Valero and Tesoro) who fund an initiative to challenge California’s AB 32 that would help combat global warming as, just as importantly, clean up our air doing it.

    For politicians like Palin, it is all about the gotcha comment and never about doing what is right for the people. And $27 Billion is only chump change when dealing with the “guvment”.

    These are moral issues being worked out on a political stage where over the top acting gets the gilded statue.

  43. Doug Bostrom says:

    BTW, for actual conservatives sick of irrational rejection of mainstream science in the interest of pandering for votes, be sure to check out ClimateConservative. The proprietors hold much truck w/Al Gore, but they sure do love the environment.

    Self-described “Conservative Christian climate scientist” Dr. Katherine Hayhoe offers this excellent PDF presentation on why conservatives should once again embrace science and care about climate change.

  44. Richard Brenne says:

    I guess since Palin could only shoot so many terrified wolves from helicopters she’s dropping the AGW bomb on all polar bears.

    If all God’s critters rebel as they should, her beehive hair-do should become a real beehive.