In Her Own Words: My Imaginary Interview with Sarah Palin

Our guest blogger is long-time commenter Richard Brenne. He teaches a NASA-sponsored on-line Global Climate Change class and serves on the American Meteorological Society’s Committee to Improve Climate Change Communication. Most relevantly for this post, he’s an award-winning screenwriter. At the end, watch William Shatner’s hilarious dramatic reading of Palin’s tweets.

I’d like to say I sat down with Sarah Palin for an extensive and candid interview on her campaign — I’m sorry, “quiet family vacation” — bus, but like every other media member other than Fox News stooges, of course I didn’t. So I did the next best thing and went to the public record of all of Palin’s quotes and cobbled together an interview from them. Everything Palin says here over a few words is an exact quote of hers, coming from CBS, CNN, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and other interviews and from Palin’s own Facebook and tweets. If Palin says that these quotes are taken out of context it will just demonstrate that nothing gets by her eagle University of Idaho Fighting Potato eyes.

Brenne: Thank you for such a unique opportunity to speak with you. Let’s just start off with a little chit-chat, a little bit of fluff to get to know you. Will climate change ultimately kill us all off?

Palin: I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate.

Brenne: Well right. I don’t think everything men do is because of climate change. I think Anthony Weiner’s behavior is an example of that.


Palin: It’s kind of tough to figure out with the shady science right now, what are we supposed to be doing right now with our climate. Are we warming or are we cooling?

Brenne: Warming, thanks for asking. But if we want to survive as a civilization and species, then more cooling would be a good idea. Trees are dying for myriad reasons around the globe, so I don’t know if that’s the shady science you’re referring to. What do you mean by “shady” science exactly?

Palin: 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.

Brenne: I consider you an ultimate authority on snake-oil science –

Palin: Thank you –

Brenne: But I don’t think the 97 per cent of working, publishing atmospheric scientists who understand that humans are causing climate change are playing political games, I think politicians like you are playing politics with science –

Palin: Thank you –

Brenne: The best climate scientists are getting their e-mails illegally hacked and they’ve been exonerated by every pertinent institution in the U.S. and UK. Scientists in Australia and the U.S. have had death threats to themselves and their children. You’ve fanned the flames of this ignorance, fear and hatred as much as anyone.

Palin: Thank you –

Brenne: Do you think humans are responsible for climate change?

Palin: I don’t attribute all the changes to man’s activities. I think that this is, in a lot of respects, cyclical and the earth does cool and it warms.


Brenne: Scientists have looked at all the natural cycles from 413,000 year Milankovich orbital to 11-year solar cycles and there’s no explanation for the warming we’re seeing except human activities, primarily CO2 from burning fossil fuels. Do you have explanations that are hidden to thousands of the world’s best scientists who have devoted their lives to this?

Palin: I’ll try to find you some and I’ll bring them to you.

Brenne: Great. I’ll look forward to that. Now if I could be so bold, I’ve noticed that everything you do seems to include rubbing the biggest carbon footprint in the faces of all future generations. You fly everywhere you can on jets or propeller planes in Alaska, take the biggest RVs, SUVs and busses like this one everywhere else, ride powerboats, ATVs and snow machines, including around in pointless circles for fun. I’ve never heard of you biking, sailing, paddling or taking a train or any other efficient transportation. Is there anything you do that doesn’t involve making sure peak oil and climate change cripple civilization and kill billions in all future generations?

Palin: No! I love that smell of the emissions!

Brenne: Does ingesting all those emissions give you any digestive tract issues?

Palin: I think my problem is that I do have the fire in my belly.

Brenne: I can tell. (Cough. Cough.) Could we open a window?

Palin: Oh it would be a blast if they were all this loud and if they smelled this good!

Brenne: Now your husband Todd worked for BP, as governor you gave Alaskans a payment for oil many would argue was owned by all Americans, you’ve been the loudest and most shrill “Drill, Baby, Drill!” voice, you blamed the BP oil spill on environmentalists, and you want to drill in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge and everyplace else. But unlike solar, wind and other renewables, any oil found anywhere in the U.S. is not American, since it is sold on the world market. And everything in ANWR or any comparable location would only supply the world with months or often just weeks of oil. So why do you think making further environmental mistakes will solve America’s energy problems?

Palin: Oh, that’s a great question.

Brenne: Thank you. [Long pause. Blinking. A cough. Crickets.] Would you mind answering it?

[Another, much longer pause. Long enough to allow archeologists to find evidence of dinosaur saddles. Finding none, we return to our conversation.]


Palin: I studied journalism, my college degree there in communications. And now I am back there wanting to build some trust back in our media. I think the mainstream media is quite broken and I think there needs to be the fairness, the balance in there. That’s why I joined Fox. Fair and balanced, yes.

Brenne: So you feel that you can just ignore any serious question, only allow staged interviews on Fox, mislead about Fox being fair and balanced, about climate change, about U.S. history, about world geography and everything else, demonstrating either mind-numbing ignorance or willful deception and somehow that plus the 15 minutes of fame John McCain’s reality show of a campaign gave you made you qualified to have been Vice President or to become President of the United States of America, the most powerful nation in history?

Palin: You betchya!

Richard Brenne

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