Last Friday, Mitt Romney was conducting a New Hampshire Town Hall, when he was asked about Global Warming/Climate Change. Romney answered the query by stating his belief the Earth is getting warmer and man may have some role in causing it. Romney’s response set off a furor within the Talk Radio and Blogosphere circles, culminating in Conservative potentate Rush Limbaugh to proclaim, “Bye, bye Nomination.”
However, Rush and Co. may find they have their collective asses in a bit of a sticky wicket, considering Romney’s potential 2012 GOP rival, Sarah Palin also once believed in Global Warming.
That’s right, you read that correctly.
Sarah Palin believed in Global Warming. And apparently "man-made" global warming at that.
"I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change." - Sarah Palin, Sept 2008
Palin not only spiritedly endorsed the belief as John McCain’s 2008 running mate, but felt so strongly about the issue, as to establish a sub-cabinet office, to address concerns about the issue while serving as Alaska’s Governor. And that was well before she was asked to comply with McCain campaign policy.
From the Alaskan Government website on Climate Change:
“On September 14, 2007, former Governor Sarah Palin signed Administrative Order No. 238, officially forming the Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet (see Press Release). The Sub-Cabinet is charged with preparing and implementing an Alaska Climate Change Strategy. This will be a transparent document which deals with state policies for anticipated climate change.
The Sub-Cabinet's strategy will discuss:
· Building the state's knowledge of the actual and foreseeable effects of climate warming in Alaska
· Developing appropriate measures and policies to prepare communities in Alaska for the anticipated impacts from climate change
· Providing guidance regarding Alaska's participation in regional and national efforts addressing causes and effects of climate change
On September 21, 2007, former Governor Palin signed on as an Observer to the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). The WCI is a collaboration launched in February 2007 between the Governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington to meet regional challenges raised by climate change. Other States and Canadian Provinces have joined, some as partners, some as observers.”
During the 2008 campaign, Palin seemed to be in agreement with McCain and the newly adopted GOP platform accepting GW exists. But Palin did not believe that man was the cause. Evidently, that did not sit well back at McCain campaign headquarters, so Palin, as only she can, embarked on a verbal tour of reiterating her positions. According to ABC News ( yes I know a disreputsable source):
The subject was global warming, covered in Chapter 2 of ABC's multi-part interview with the Alaska governor whom John McCain cast as his running mate. Just a few weeks ago, in an interview with conservative Newsmax, Palin had this to say:
‘I'm not one ... who would attribute [global warming] to being man-made’
“Asked about that view by anchorman Charlie Gibson in a clip played on "Nightline," her initial response was: "I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change."
A shift, to be sure, but note the use of "can be" instead of "are."
But to be fair, Palin’s position on Global Warming would best be expressed by the Governor herself. So here are to clips of Palin articulating her positions on the issue, on two separate occasions.
Now Palin, in the opinion of this author, was in a position to act responsibly while Governor, to review the scientific research at that time and act accordingly. And she did. Palin has also been against the Liberal big government policy solutions, such as Cap & Trade, American Only compliance on clea air initiatives and any indusrty regulations which would hamper growth of the US economy or energy production. In fact, Palin’s former positions on the issue were basically Mitt Romney’s positions on the issue.
In April 2009, just a few months before Palin resigned her Governorship, she gave a speech, in which she seemed to be warming up to some GW solutions.
"Many believe that in order to mitigate these long term and systematic changes it will require a national and global effort to decrease the release of human produced greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. However, simply waiting for low carbon emitting renewable capacity to be large enough will mean that it will be too late to meet the mitigation goals for reducing CO2 that will be required under most credible climate change models, including the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) modeled scenarios"
So again we see Palin addressing human behavior in the role emissions play in the global warming issue and a need to address it.
However, there has been a significant shift in the thinking regarding the entire Global Warming issue, with may on the right taking a decidely more strident and skeptical view, in light of the scandal involving the dubious nature of the scientific research. Talk Radio, a major component of Palin's fan base, led the policy charge.
Palin appears to have guaged the sentiment on the right was shifting, and in order to curry favor and remain in good stead with them, began taking issue with the science involved. Resorting to her new found talent for social media, in Dedember 2009, Palin tweeted:
"Copnhagn Climate Summit;Obama should boycott in light of bogus "findings"Public leary re:snake oil science,he must take stand on climategate"
In February 2010, Palin moved further away from her previously held beliefs, when she gave a speech in Californina, in which she described the so called studies supporting global climate change a "bunch of snake oil science."
Does this mean Sarah Palin now believes the entire issue is a fraud?
Meanwhile, Romney has maintained his position on GW in a consistent manner since they were established. His response in New Hampshire last week, which was not played on the Rush Limbaugh, outlined Romney’s views, which werefully fleshed out in his book - 'No Apology' - and even generated applause.
So while Romney has not flipped and remained true to his beliefs, even in the face of partial right-wing ire and skepticism, the real question is:
Did Sarah Palin, in order to retain the favor of her ardent media supporters, Global Warming deniers Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin, sell out her beliefs and flip-flop on the issue, rather than stand up like a true Mama Grizzly, for her previously well stated position, for crass 2012 political opportunism?
And if she did, isn’t that just a form of right-wing “finger in the wind” pandering?
Mama Grizzly indeed.
H/T's to Bosman, Hamaca and Pablo for referencing their excelelnt works in preperation of this post.