GOP's global warming rumble: Sarah Palin v. Arnold Schwarzenegger
The spat between California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin over the Copenhagen climate talks highlights the GOP's divided views on global warming.
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Palin's view on climate change is certainly not the most skeptical within the GOP. She acknowledges climate change may be a problem but that "we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes."Skip to next paragraph
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Republicans and their leaders are “still divided over whether global warming is actually happening,” noted Politico earlier this year. A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that the percentage of Republicans who believe in climate change has fallen by 20 points since 2006. Fifty-four percent of Republicans believe global warming is actually happening, compared with 86 percent of Democrats (Democrats' belief in climate change has also dropped since 2006 but only by six points.)
While Schwarzenegger is probably among the greenest in his party – and not enough for many California environmentalists – he does have some powerful company, such as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina and, to an extent, Sen. John McCain (R) of Arizona. Senator Graham is working on a climate change bill with Joe Lieberman (I) of Connecticut that the two hope can gain enough GOP support to pass.
However, Graham has certainly taken some heat from the GOP base recently for his support for the climate change legislation. At a recent town hall meeting in Greenville, S.C., an audience member told Graham he had betrayed the party.
Perhaps more representative of the views of some of the Republican base is Sen. James Inhofe (R) of Oklahoma, who stood on the Senate floor in 2003 and called global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."
He is set to travel to Copenhagen to warn negotiators that Republican lawmakers would not support caps on carbon emissions being considered at the United Nations climate talks. He recently told CNN, in reference to the Climategate emails, that "every day something new comes out that has really, totally debunked the science behind the whole thing they're in Copenhagen for."
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