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Palin: America does not need ‘this snake oil science stuff’

By Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, April 10, 2010 13:46 EDT
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Up yours, scientists.

That’s essentially the message sent by former politician Sarah Palin during a recent speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, where she disparaged the work of thousands of the world’s top minds to the delight of a large crowd that laughed, clapped and cheered her on the whole way.

She was addressing the increasingly urgent matter of global climate change when Palin whipped out a gem of a quote, telling the conference-goers that American does not need “this snake oil science stuff” and calling climate science “Gore-gate.”

The former half-term governor was attempting to make a reference to the so-called “Climate-gate” affair that was orchestrated over a set of leaked emails from the University of East Anglia, providing the world with insight to an internal dispute between teams of scientists. The whole “scandal” is better known to MSNBC host Rachael Maddow as “total bull-pucky“: fictional claims blown so out of proportion by right-wing media that the masses at least partially accept it.

In the midst of describing what she thinks America really needs, Palin belted out a truly amazing run-on sentence: “We should create a competitive climate for investment and for renewables and alternatives that are economical and doable and 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 the scientists, some of these scientists were playing political games.”

“Nothing about the supposed ‘bombshell’ climate-gate scandal at all challenges the scientific consensus that global warming is happening, that it is induced by human activity,” Maddow scoffed during an April 2 broadcast.

Maddow called the alleged scandal, like the falsified claims that ultimately brought down ACORN, the “un-mooring of politics from fact,” calling out a least two dozen other Republican-created media narratives that are complete “bull.”

For Palin to play off a fictional theme is expected at this point, as she once fashioned a popular campaign meme off the laughable invention that President Obama “pals around with terrorists.” In spite of this, it is perhaps her insistence that the United States does not need “this snake oil science stuff” that best highlights the place from which her beliefs spring.

To her credit, Palin has at least been been remarkably consistent on this point, actually calling on President Obama to insult the international community and boycott last year’s Copenhagen climate summit over emails stolen from the University of East Anglia. Even then, in December 2009, she was whipping up her fans with the term “snake oil” and claiming that because a small group of people had a dispute over data methodologies, the entire body of knowledge generated by tens of thousands from around the world was suddenly void.

Palin wrote on her Facebook page that “the leaked e-mails involved in Climategate expose the unscientific behavior of leading climate scientists who deliberately destroyed records to block information requests, manipulated data to ‘hide the decline’ in global temperatures, and conspired to silence the critics of man-made global warming.”

She failed to explain how this negates other scientists’ work, or how former Vice President Al Gore was involved.

This video is from Sarah Palin’s speech to the Southern Republican Leadership Conference on April 8, 2010, snipped by Think Progress.

This video is from MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, snipped by FireDogLake.

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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