On June 13, while speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, former New York governor George Pataki declared that it was “unequivocal” that “we know for a fact that human activity is changing the amount of carbon — CO2 and CO2 equivalents — in the atmosphere.”
But Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, disagrees. Asked in a Newsmax interview recently about her “take on global warming,” Palin said that she is “not one” who “would attribute it to being man-made.”
Asked about her quote while speaking on an energy panel today at the University of Minnesota, Pataki said he was “not concerned” about Palin’s denial of a human role in global warming, claiming that she’s “an energy expert”:
DETCHON: And the second question, this is the curve ball. I’m sorry, but it’s the audience, what can I say? Are you concerned that Governor Palin recently said, “I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made?”
PATAKI: No, I’m not concerned about that. Governor Palin is, I think, an energy expert and that’s, I think it was Bud was saying earlier, when it comes to understanding the fact that we have to create new domestic sources, not just of breakthrough technological sources of energy, but of petroleum as well, she is absolutely right. And I think that when it comes to the transition to this new technology and the new economy, we will have, we do have to drill.
Despite the fact that 61 percent of Americans believe climate change is affected by human activity, Pataki claimed later in his answer that conservatives like Palin “are in better tune with the American people when it comes” to energy issues. Watch it:
Apparently taken off guard by Palin’s climate change skepticism, the McCain campaign is now trying to claim that she is “a leader” on the issue. But, as the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s Daniel Weiss and James Kvaal noted, Palin opposes listing polar bears as a threatened species because it could require action on climate change.