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Palin contradicts herself with illegible climate tweets

By Stephen C. Webster
Sunday, December 20, 2009 20:26 EDT
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Former lawmaker Sarah Palin was for man-made climate change before she was against it.

Or to put that another way, Alaska’s ex-governor appears to think that she is “Arrogant&Naive”.

Ah, the joys of abbreviation.

On Friday just before 3 a.m., Palin unleashed a Twitter volley at reality, slamming anyone who believes mass emissions of greenhouse gasses can have an effect on Earth’s atmosphere and climate.

“Copenhgen=arrogance of man2think we can change nature’s ways.MUST b good stewards of God’s earth,but arrogant&naive2say man overpwers nature”, she quipped (direct quote).

Thirteen minutes later, she treated the Internet to another dose. “Earth saw clmate chnge4 ions;will cont 2 c chnges.R duty2responsbly devlop resorces4humankind/not pollute&destroy;but cant alter naturl chng” the one-time governor confusingly opined.

Illegible as the posts may be, they reflect a common refrain among deniers: Earth’s climate is unaffected by human activity.

But perhaps the Sarah Palin of Friday should meet the Sarah Palin America saw during the 2008 presidential campaign– the Sarah Palin who said, “I believe that man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming.”

The remark was made during an interview with Nightline on Sept. 11, 2008, according to Media Matters.

The full, albeit ineffectual endorsement of human-influenced climate change went like this:

Here in Alaska, the only Arctic state in our union, of course, we see the effects of climate change more so than any other area with ice pack melting. Regardless though of the reason for climate change, whether it’s entirely, wholly caused by man’s activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet, the warming and the cooling trends, regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we’ve got to do something about it and we have to make sure that we’re doing all we can to cut down on pollution.

And again, speaking to Katie Couric on Sept. 30, 2008, Palin further emphasized her keen awareness of climate change:

“You know there are – there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, these impacts. I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate. Because the world’s weather patterns are cyclical. And over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn’t matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it’s real; we need to do something about it.”

Her tweets, however, would suggest she feels differently today.

A similar distinction between Palin’s beliefs then and now was exhibited in her Dec. 9, 2009 editorial in The Washington Post, in which she suggested President Obama should boycott the Copenhagen climate summit and wished for climate policies based on “sound science.”

“Scientists are certain that human activities are changing the composition of the atmosphere, and that increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases will change the planet’s climate,” the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency notes.

To the United Nations Environment Programme, the correlation is obvious. “Unless action is taken soon to stabilize and then decrease concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, these changes will cause widespread damage to ecosystems, natural resources, and economic activities,” it said. “Such damages could end prosperity in developed countries and threaten human survival in developing countries.”

Scientists predict climate change and the shrinking availability of fresh water will continue to drive human migration while polar ice and glacier melt will contribute more and more to rising sea levels that make many coastal areas uninhabitable.

A study published Sunday by Nature Geoscience predicted that even if current levels of atmospheric pollution are maintained, Earth will still experience significant climate change.

“This work and other ancient climate reconstructions reveal that Earth’s climate is more sensitive to atmospheric carbon dioxide than is discussed in political circles,” said the paper’s lead author, Yale’s Mark Pagani.

“Since there is no indication that the future will behave differently than the past, we should expect a couple of degrees of continued warming even if we held CO2 concentrations at the current level,” he said in the statement.

“During the vice presidential debate last year, Palin said she was for capping carbon emissions but did not elaborate on how she would do that,” CNN added.

The following animation was produced by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

With AFP

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
 
 
 
 
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