Sarah Palin backs away from climate denial
In an interview with ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson Thursday, Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said that climate change can be at least partly attributed to human activity, an apparent reversal from statements published just weeks ago.
(Page 2 of 2)
Palin's statements are at odds with her responses in an interview she gave with the conservative magazine Newsmax for their September 2008 issue. Newsmax writer Mike Coppock asked Palin, "What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?" Palin responded, "A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being manmade."Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Additionally, the Associated Press cites a December 2007 story from the Fairbanks (Alaska) Daily News-Miner in which Palin states: "I'm not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity."
ABC News's Jake Tapper comes right out and calls Palin a flip-flopper, but for others it's not so clear-cut. For Los Angeles Times blogger Don Frederick, it comes down to what the definition of "is" is. Mr. Frederick notes that the governor said "man's activities certainly can be contributing." She didn't say "are contributing." He also notes that Palin said that human activity is "potentially causing some of the changes." To Frederick, Palin has left herself with some "wiggle room."
But semantics aside, it's clear that Palin is dialing back her climate-denying rhetoric.
If Palin does, in fact, believe that human activity is contributing to global warming, this belief is at odds with that of an overwhelming majority of her fellow Republicans. According to a Pew survey in May, only 27 percent of Republicans believe that global warming is caused by humans, compared with 58 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of the population as a whole.
Such a belief would, however, bring her more in line with Senator McCain, who has long backed Congressional efforts to curb climate change. Back in 2004, writer and leading climate activist Bill McKibben called the Arizona Senator "Washington's most important champion of global warming legislation."