That’s Cheryl Lockwood of Alaska Youth for Environmental Action testifying at a 2007 hearing, “Youth Leadership on Climate Change” of The Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. At the time, Limbaugh mocked her for crying, as Media Matters discussed:
LIMBAUGH: A lot of communities in trouble over a lot of things. Go to New Orleans. How about losing homes? Wah, wah — sorry. I’m just reminded here of the old — remember the old television PSA that used to run back in the old days when we were kids? Iron Eyes Cody, the Indian — the Native American, sorry — standing by the roadside as, you know….
Yes, for Rush, if you’ve seen one crying native American…. But I digress.
It is remarkable how many Alaskan conservatives give a nod to climate change — since it is blatantly burning up and melting down their state — but not climate science. We’ve seen that with Palin, who couldn’t miss the “thawing permafrost and retreating sea ice,” but remains willfully blind to the cause.
Senator Lisa Murkowski is also painfully aware of how her state is being radically and rapidly ruined by climate change. Indeed, in a 2006 speech on the subject (video here, and it’s better than the prepared remarks), she described some of the worst impacts — including devastating wildfires:
… one area that I believe we cannot lose focus on is the human dimension. Our policies of today, and our policies of tomorrow, have a direct impact on those who live in the Arctic region….
When I visit the Native villages in northern Alaska, I ask the village elders what climate change means to them. They don’t speak about the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, or attempt to debunk the now infamous hockey stick theory.
They tell me what they have personally observed over the years. Native whaling captains tell me that the ice pack is less stable, and that there is more open water requiring them to travel greater distances to hunt. The snow pack is coming later and melting earlier than in years past. Salmon are showing up in subsistence nets in greater numbers across the arctic. Different types of vegetation now grow where they never grew before. The migratory patterns of animals have changed. Warmer, drier air, has allowed the voracious spruce bark beetle to migrate north, moving through our forests in the south-central part of the state. At last count, over three million acres of forest land has been devastated by the beetle, providing dry fuel for outbreaks of enormous wild fires. To give you some perspective, that is almost the size of Connecticut.
So we recognize that times have changed, things are changing, and we need a new Arctic policy.
And yet she tried to stop the EPA from regulating carbon pollution (see here).
I still hope Murkowskii will be voting for the bipartisan climate and clean energy bill, but Palin is strongly attacking it. Palin’s do-nothing policy would let the whole damn state melt and burn (see “M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F — with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F“).
Gore rebutted Palin today in an interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell:
The former presidential candidate said “the deniers are persisting in an era of unreality. The entire North Polar ice cap is disappearing before our eyes … what do they think is happening?”
Gore then talked about the well-known science that CO2 traps heat, that humans are the cause of most recent warming (see “What percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?“)
Gore said Wednesday that the scientific community has worked intensively on the issue for twenty years. “It’s a principle in physics,” he told Mitchell. “It’s like gravity, it exists.”
Palin doesn’t do many MSM interviews anymore. She is now communicating on this subject primarily through the Washington Post editorial page and Facebook — a sad commentary on the former as WashPost’s own Ezra Klein tweeted today:
Places Sarah Palin publishes her crazy: 1) The Washington Post op-ed page. 2) Facebook. Sigh.
So on Facebook, Palin willfully misinterpreted Gore (yes, I know, you’re shocked):
The response to my op-ed by global warming alarmists has been interesting. Former Vice President Al Gore has called me a “denier” and informs us that climate change is “a principle in physics. It’s like gravity. It exists.”
Perhaps he’s right. Climate change is like gravity – a naturally occurring phenomenon that existed long before, and will exist long after, any governmental attempts to affect it.
However, he’s wrong in calling me a “denier.” As I noted in my op-ed above and in my original Facebook post on Climategate, I have never denied the existence of climate change. I just don’t think we can primarily blame man’s activities for the earth’s cyclical weather changes.
No, it’s isn’t “climate change” that is “principle in physics” Gore was referring to. It was the heat-trapping nature of greenhouse gases.
Palin isn’t a “denier” because she’s not paying attention enough to the issue to be denying what scientists are saying. She’s just an a
nti-science ideologue, parroting right-wing talking points.