Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has called Palin a conservative leader on energy issues. She has also emerged as a conservative thought leader on climate science.
Yesterday, at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SLRC) 2010 — “the most prominent Republican event outside of the Republican National Convention,” Palin launched into another anti-science diatribe. Here’s the video (via TP):
PALIN: We should create a competitive climate for investment in renewables and alternatives … none of 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. I sued the Feds over this, I sued the Feds over this as Governor for some bogus listing on the ESA, just about got run out of town, of course, by the environmentalists. But now we feel a little bit vindicated because we’re realizing through Gore-gate that there was some snake oil science involved in the data collection there.… We invented the Internet, unless that was just another Gore-gate thing too.
Palin is so practiced at repeating falsehoods — even in her supposed area of expertise (energy) — that during last year’s presidential campaign, the Washington Post itself gave her its highest (which is to say lowest) rating of “Four Pinocchios” for continuing to “to peddle bogus [energy] statistics three days after the original error was pointed out by independent fact-checkers.” Her remarks here contain multiple whoppers.
Of course, Palin and her conservative allies have never supported creating a competitive climate for investment in renewable alternatives. Indeed, they have bitterly opposed it:
- GOP proposes to cut solar technology funding and the clean energy jobs it would bring
- Who got us in this energy mess? Start with Ronald Reagan
- The greenwasher from Arizona has a record as dirty as the denier from Oklahoma
Her speech is all about how American ingenuity will solve our energy problems — “We put a man on the moon” — but of course we put a man on the moon, and we invented the Internet using science, something Sarah Palin stands firmly against.
Palin has been incoherently attacking climate science by pushing “The Scandal Formerly Known As Climategate” for many, many months — abetted by a media that values sensationalism over substance (see WashPost goes tabloid, publishes second falsehood-filled op-ed by Sarah Palin in five months — on climate science and the hacked emails!).
But they provide no evidence whatsoever to undercut the ever-strengthening scientific evidence that humans are changing the climate dramatically and face catastrophic impacts if we listen to the do-nothing crowd now led by Sarah Palin:
- House of Commons exonerates Phil Jones: Based on their inquiry and evidence, “the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact. We have found no reason … to challenge the scientific consensus … that ‘global warming is happening [and] that it is induced by human activity’.”
The “bogus listing on the ESA” is a bit jargony for the normally down-home ex-Gov, but then I suspect she didn’t want to actually explain to the audience in any detail that she sued the Bush administration (!) for listing the polar bear as an endangered species because of the threat warming poses to its primary habitat, the Arctic ice. Yes, even the Bush’s uber- Conservative Interior Secretary Dirk Kepthorne had to admit the basic case (see Bye-polar Kempthorne: Polar bear IS endangered):
- The polar bears need sea ice for feeding.
- The sea ice is being destroyed by human-caused emissions, much faster than the models had predicted (see Study: “It is clear … that the precipitous decline in September sea ice extent in recent years is mainly due to the cumulative loss of multiyear ice”: Physicist: “If temperatures change just a few tenths of a degree then this oh-so-thin ice cap is doomed”).
- Thus, the polar bear is endangered.
This is a very widely held scientific view:
“The survival of polar bears as a species is difficult to envisage under conditions of zero summer sea-ice cover,” concludes the 2004 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, by leading scientists from the eight Arctic nations, including the United States. Another 20 study, by Canadian scientists, agreed:
[G]iven the rapid pace of ecological change in the Arctic, the long generation time, and the highly specialised nature of polar bears, it is unlikely that polar bears will survive as a species if the sea ice disappears completely.
Fox put Palin on the wrong show. They shou
ldn’t have put her on FoxNews, but in their scifi thriller “Fringe” (which, off topically, has gotten a bit better recently but, frankly, lacks the kind of anti-science villain that Palin could portray without actually acting).