Shortly after Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) chose Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) as his running mate, Palin said she is not one to attribute global warming to being man-made. Since then, she has walked that statement back slightly, saying that indeed, man’s activities have contributed to climate change but adding the caveat that “weather patterns are cyclical.”
When asked to name some specific man-made causes of global warming yesterday during an interview with a local NBC affiliate in Las Vegas, Palin couldn’t name one, and instead reverted back to her new talking point that it doesn’t really matter:
Q: I’ve also heard you hint that you do think there might be some man-made causes that are contributing to this. Can you describe what those are?
PALIN: Right, well what I have said about this is really the debate at some point, had better shift to, no matter the cause, whether it all be attributed to man’s activities or just the natural cycle of climate changes in our earth’s history. We have seen this before.
Seeing that conservatives are touting Palin as an “energy expert,” and McCain has said that she “knows more about energy than probably anyone else” in the country, Palin could have — at the very least — cited increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Of course, there is an overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is made-made and that the main contributing factor is the burning of fossil fuels.
In fact, not only has Palin encouraged energy policies that focus on increased fossil fuel consumption, but the AP reported this week that “[f]aced with choosing between development and the environment” as governor of Alaska, she “has sided more often than not with business interests”:
She started a committee to address global warming. But with oil companies contributing the largest percentage of the state’s greenhouse gases, her committee set no goal for reducing emissions. Unlike other states, Alaska’s climate change priority is focused on ways to adapt to warmer temperatures.
Regardless, Palin’s cluelessness on global warming is perhaps what led Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) to observe that “[i]f you don’t understand what the cause is, it’s virtually impossible to come up with a solution.”
Q: On the topic of climate change. I believe that based on what I’ve heard from your campaign that it’s your opinion that we’re in a natural cycle of global warming but I’ve also heard you hint that you do think there might be some man-made causes that are contributing to this. Can you describe what those are?
PALIN: Right well what I have said about this is really the debate at some point, had better shift to, no matter the cause, whether it all be attributed to man’s activities or just the natural cycle of climate changes in our earth’s [6,000 year] history. We have seen this before. No matter the cause we had better do something about it and we’re all better off if we make sure that our air our water our lands are made cleaner via the developments that are underway right now.
Thankfully, America has strict standards. We can make sure that there is even more stringent oversight too. But we’ve got to be working with the other developing countries like India and China – these burgeoning countries that are growing and using so many energy sources and they are not as concerned, it seems based on past policy as we are, to make sure that our environment is clean and that man’s activities is not adversely affecting the environment. We’ve got to start working with alliances and start forming new alliances to make sure that everybody is in this together and trying to create a cleaner planet