Sarah Palin: From Climate Change Denier To Long-Winded Skeptic

Fri, 2008-09-12 16:42Page van der Linden
Page van der Linden's picture

Sarah Palin: From Climate Change Denier To Long-Winded Skeptic

In last night's interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson, Sarah Palin, shall we say, “bent the truth” regarding her stance on climate change. Jake Tapper has the scoop :

“Let me talk to you a bit about environmental policy, because this interfaces with energy policy, and you have some significant differences with John McCain,” ABC News' Charles Gibson said in his conversation with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. “Do you still believe that global warming is not man-made?”

Palin fumbles, and launches into a long-winded answer, in which she said:

I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change,” Palin said. “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 got to do something about it and we have to make sure that we're doing all we can to cut back on pollution.”

If she'd been hooked up to a polygraph, that answer would have short-circuited the device.

There's more:

Said Gibson: “But it's a critical point as to whether this is man-made. [John McCain] says it is. You have said in the past it's not.”

“The debate on that even, really, has evolved into, 'OK, here's where we are now,'” Palin said. “'Scientists do show us that there are changes in climate. Things are getting warmer. Now what do we do about it?' John McCain and I are going to be working on what we do.”

Gibson rephrases the question, and Palin answers:

show me where I've said there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect or no effect on climate change. I have not said that. I have said that my belief is there is a cyclical nature of our planet — warming trends, cooling trends — I'm not going to argue scientists, because I believe in science and have such a great respect for what they are telling us. I'm not going to disagree with the point that they make that man's activities can be attributed to changes.”

Um, no.

Tapper found several statements by Palin regarding global warming.

From the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, in December 2007:

I'm not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist, blaming the changes in our climate on human activity, but I'm not going to put my head in the sand and pretend there aren't changes.

Newsmax quotes her on August 28, 2008. She said:

A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one, though, who would attribute it to being man-made.

She's quite good at bending the truth to suit her situation. The whole interview was a litany of McCain campaign talking points.

It looks like she's a quick study .

Previous Comments

She’s a soft skeptic, but it may be that she is to some degree reconsidering evidence and adjusting. (wouldn’t you count that as a plus?)

Either that or she’s just saying what she thinks people want to hear. Show me a politician that doesn’t bend the truth and I’ll show you a guy in last place.

She’s a flat out liar, who says whatever happens to be convenient at the moment.

John McCain has become to be the same way in this campaign.

For instance his “I’m for dealing with climate change”
“But I’m against mandatory caps” and “Unlike me, Barack Obama would raise your Electricity Taxes!”

And “I’m against porkbarrel” unless of course it happens to be his favorite projects, like Oil Shale, and Nuclear Power.

Or saying that he supports Renewable Energy, when he’s effectively casted a No-Vote or a No-Show on nearly every piece of Renewables legistlation for the past half decade. And has NEVER sponsorsed of cosponsored a bill including Renewables in his entire 26 year Senate career.

It’s a bit more than bending, it’s flipping complete 180°’s whenever someone tries to call you on it, and then going straight back to what you were doing afterwards.

Whats more, it’s not just one or two issues.
It’s nearly EVERY major policy position.

all politicians play a little loose with the truth - thats the game they play. It’s all spin all the time

The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… The Alarmists Are Just As Bad… Om… Om… Om…

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=- scripsit:

“Like a chameleon, McCain’s new little friend [Palin] shifts her views to suit her surroundings.”


The economic stimulus package is doing well recently. President Barack Obama came out with this economic stimulus package which is designed to boost the economy, or get the economy on track. He also reiterated the point that access to Instant Payday Loan is an important factor in getting our economy back on track.Some states in the U.S. are going to be getting their quick loans from the economic stimulus package with expediency.  President Obama has announced that he will be sending out checks to certain states that have nearly depleted their funding for Medicare, so some of the quick loans they are expecting will be arriving early.  The Medicare and Medicaid systems are both beginning to experience shortfalls and are expected to be close to bankruptcy within the next 20 years.  Social Security is also right behind those two, so getting some instant payday loans in now, and getting down to work on the problem is a good move.

another point - just looked again at the examples of her earlier “denier” quotations. She’s giving an opinion but certainly not claiming to be an expert. So I’d say take it for what it’s it’s worth. Based on whatever info she’s been exposed to, she figures climate change is just natural.

I like this person!
We need her in Canada.
I will settle for harper, but I would rather she immigrated and ran here.

You’re not afraid she’ll start allying with Quebec separatists?


What are the issues which McCain and Palin have not yet flip-flopped on?

We need a list of those.


Pollution is a big issue now a days and Sarah should look after it because many people get effected by pollution.

Ah Info Source

Alas, Sarah Palin is talking out of both sides of her mouth. By pushing hard for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and everywhere else, and then suggesting that it will make a difference for Americans right now is the height of hubris.

I think she’s such a lightweight, that she knows so little about the major issues of the day that she’s dangerous. (She sent off the Alaskan troops to Iraq by suggesting that the Iraqis were responsible for the September 11 attacks to give just one example).

And her selection to the ticket severely weakens Senator McCain’s efforts to appeal to independents who might care about the environment.

Project ABC — Anything But Conservative

She says:

“I’m not going to disagree with the point that they make that man’s activities can be attributed to changes.”

That’s garbled syntax. If she had said “that climate change can be attributed to man’s activities” that would be a flip-flop

ha ha - what she says there is accidentally true if we define “mans activities” as “people running around like chickens with their heads cut off trying to slow down climate change”

so yes, in that case “man’s activities” can be attributed to changes.

Why not just redefine “flip-flop” as “anything that Palin doesn’t do”? Then obviously Palin isn’t flip-flopping. QED.


I don’t think this qualifies as a flip flop Frank. Now if she came out and made climate change and CO2 reduction into a real part of her platform - that would be a flip flop, but what she’s saying here isn’t any real change of policy or even a real change in viewpoint. She still wants to drill ANWR as much as ever and she doesn’t talk about any carbon tax or anything. She doesn’t believe climate change is going to be catastrophic. no flip flop - just an allowance that man’s CO2 emmissions affect things somewhat.

So you’re saying it’s not a flip-flop because Palin doesn’t actually have a position in the first place. (Except for drilling ANWR.)


I think it takes a special kind of talent to talk the way she did about (gasp) Global Warming. She neither admitted man has an effect nor did she deny it. |She just made it so convoluted that you can read anything you want into it.

AND, she didn’t come off like an expert, that is it is still an open question.

She did make one mistake when she said “ ‘Scientists do show us that there are changes in climate. Things are getting warmer.” No they are not! World temperatures peaked, according to NASA about 2001.

No they didn’t.

Are you saying that NASA isn’t a reliable source of information, or are you just too stunned to Google? It has to be one or the other.

why are the warmists in denial about the science? (:

Have a look at the graphs on the GISTEMP page. Warming hasn’t stopped.

yeah - it’s sad that the warming cult blinds the minds of it’s members to the basic science. I wonder if it’s their elitist over the top self righteousness that is the problem or it’s more the white coat celebrity worship thing they got going on.

Hopefully I’m annoying Fern with all this junk. (:

Rick, you need to decide whether global warming inactivism is a sort of populist movement, or a sort of unorthodox nonconformist Galileo-like thing.

Hint: it can’t be both.


Any chance of that last comment again, but in some form of recognisable English?

In the observation of global warming, what is more basic than the temperature?

Are you typing purely for the sake of it?

typing for the sake of it? well not entirely - I’ve decided to believe that ‘98 was the peak year for temperature. There were some other reports about 2004, but I’m going with ‘98. Now you can throw a bunch of science at me on that, but this site isn’t about science. It’s about PR. It says so right up top.

“well not entirely”

How about simply saying “yes”? Oh, I just remembered… the technique of equivocation is straight out of the Palin playbook.

Must be one of those “maverick” things.


LOL. Well, that’s honest I guess. But, (go on, you knew there would be a “but”).

This site is here “to clear the PR pollution that clouds the science”. It is not about PR, but separating PR from science, and the best way to do that is to compare the two.

from the statistically ignorant who can’t differentiate an outlyer from a trend line.

So you admit it. What you post here is junk.

Why are you trying to annoy me?

white coat celebrity worship? Let me get this straight: because I acknowledge the limits of my own understanding of scientific issues and recognize that others might possibly have a greater grasp on the science because they are educated in the field, published in peer-reviewed journals, and respected as climate scientists, I am guilty of “celebrity worship”? That’s called knowing that I do not know.

To quote the inimitable Alastair Sim (Scrooge), “I don’t know anything, I never did know anything, and now I know that I don’t know, All on a Christmas morning …”

You go girl!! There is nothing in her replies that is not the truth. Fact is the scarmongers/warmmongers have not proven their case, the exact opposite. The planet is not behaving as the dogmatists claim, their models have predicted zippo, and they have gone to great lengths to use personal attacks on anyone who even tries to be the least bit skpetical. You only do that when you have no evidence to back your polemic.

“There is nothing in her replies that is not the truth.”

Strange, given that Palin flip-flops so often that her “opinions” can be used as a fan.

But I guess that’s just one of those “mavericky” things about her again, eh?


You are basing your claims on a sycophantic article by a retired lecturer and a non peer (pre-publication) reviewed paper by Monkton? A paper that has already been torn to shreds by real climate modellers.

Why are you wasting our time? If you want to challenge the status quo why don’t you come up with something relevant?

You obviously did not read the Monkton paper:

Schmidt, unlike the Professor of Physics who peer-reviewed my paper, did not read Hansen’s
paper with sufficient attention.

The APS had asked me to submit a paper to its journal Physics and Society on how the IPCC had
exaggerated the warming effect of carbon dioxide. I had submitted the paper; a professor of physics unknown to me had reviewed it; I had made all of the requested revisions; the paper had been
published; and yet, a week later, a disclaimer had been posted above the paper on the Physics and
Society website to the effect that, inter alia, the Council of the APS disagreed with the paper’s
conclusions. The indications are that the Council had not in fact met to consider the merits of the paper,
and had not, therefore, come to any official opinion on it. The disclaimer was a lie.

The disclaimer had also said my paper had not been “reviewed”. It
had in fact been reviewed by a professor of physics, who had understandably asked for detailed
clarification of all passages or terms that might be unfamiliar to a non-climatological physicist. The
reviewer was one of the journal’s editors. He approved for publication a paper by a layman, containing
a strongly-technical argument, at more than thrice the maximum length of articles usually published in
Physics and Society, and coming to a conclusion that contradicted not only his own opinions but also a
previous public statement by the Council of the APS on “global warming”. It is inconceivable that the
editor in question would have sanctioned publication unless the paper had, in substance, been making a
respectable scientific case.

From now on any of you dogmatists who make any claim, heed Richard C requirement for peer review, every single one.

Climate models cannot predict squat and have to be jury-rigged to agree with historical emperical obversation.

(I am getting really fed up with being caught in the spam trap. Why can’t I post links to my source pages?)

No I didn’t read it. It is a rebuttal not a science paper. But I did skim it, and noticed the final section. Particularly nasty, lots of innuendo, typical denialist propaganda.

Now re-read the section you so laboriously cut and pasted. Monkton was edited by an editor. He was not peer reviewed by an expert in the field. If he cannot understand that simple difference there is little hope he will ever master climate modelling.

(I’ll have a go at your other posts tomorrow, when I’ve got more patience with the spam filter).

It pasted the editing, period. It’s content and arguments were good enough to be published by a journal whose position did not agree with Monkton.

Deal with the content of the Monkton paper.

Again, I expect in the future anyone else who posts something here, even from the AGW side, to pass your smell test and you will be asking for peer reviewed papers to back up the claim, right? What’s good for the goose… I’ll be watching. (and from me you will always get a peer reviewed reference).

I spent a few weeks going through Monckton’s paper in some detail - let’s just say it has a lot of problems.

My complete list of errors, misrepresentations, cherry-picking, etc. is available here:

– Arthur

Deal with what? It was wrong! It was peer reviewed after publication instead of pre, and it was torn apart.

If you want to know what was wrong with it read Arthurs dissection of the paper.

How can you give “peer reviewed” references if you don’t know the difference between editting & peer review?

Fern Mackenzie

there you go again…relying on mere facts instead of putting your faith in computer models like you ought to. Forget facts JR - just believe in the lord Al.

And you were doing so well earlier.
It is obvious that you haven’t accessed the pages that JR linked to.

According to the first link, models of Earth’s climate should be able to predict the orbit of Mars, as well as a six week period of weather over the British Isles. Is it any wonder the public have no patience to spare for deniers.

Question for you.

Did the models predict the current downturn in temps, since 1998? Nope. Do the models explain the drop in temp from 1945 to 1975 even though our CO2 emissions increased 4 fold? Nope.

Models are incomplete approximations of how we think the climate works. They are repeatedly having to readjust them as reality unfolds because they are so far off. One only has to look at the wide range of predictions of models in the IPCC report. Some vary as much as 6 TIMES!

Fact is, you people, and the AGW alarmists, are relying too much on computer simulations and not enough on the actual empirical observations of what the planet is actually doing. And that is going to bite (or byte?) you guys big time when the dire predictions do not unfold. That’s already started.

There were no global climate models in the 40’s. But modern models given the appropriate input do indeed simulate the climate in that period.

All computer models are approximations. It is how the system works. The IPCC models vary so much because they are based upon different models of economic growth and CO2 emissions. If you know how the global economy will change and the associated emissions along with it, then you do the modelling.

The empirical observations are in line with the appropriate models. Observations are after the fact, models are predictions. Drowning the sea level cities of the world is a poor way of responding to global warming.

You are misrepresenting what that article was infering.

“m. nor the consequent surface “global warming” on Mars, Jupiter, Neptune’s largest moon, and even distant Pluto; ”

No where does it say anything about the orbit of Mars. Why would you include something that is not there?

The context is that the other planets seem to also be experiencing warming. The only thing that links them all is the sun. Hence the climate models do not properly take into account the actions of the sun.

Nor does the article say anything about predicting weather 6 weeks in advance in the UK. He says this:

“nor the UK flooding of 2007 (the Met Office had forecast a summer of prolonged droughts only six weeks previously);” Do you not see what he is refering too? The Met office predicted only 6 weeks prior to the summer of 2007 that there would be prolonged droughts. In fact, the exact opposite happend. Thus the models were WRONG. Why did you misrepresent what the artical actually said?

As for the other points the article makes, you have no ability to defend your polemic?

As for the other points, I figured two was enough. But I will keep going if you want me to. By the way according to Wikipedia, “a polemic text on a topic is often written specifically to dispute or refute a position or theory that is widely viewed to be beyond reproach”. The article by Fox is far from beyond reproach.

As for Mars. The Sun’s output has not significanlty changed, the atmosphere is not changing. But the orbit and changes in inclination are ongoing. Why would a model of Earth’s climate model that.

And the floods in the UK. The rain was regional, lasted about a week and the rivers couldn’t take it. Additionally many of the houses were built on flood plains. That is weather. Climate models model climate not weather. There is a difference, a difference you should become acquainted with if you are going to comment on climate models.

I’m greatly support your idea!It’s quite wonderful!

And preserve us of liars like SP, ones who says anything at all.

“Heaven help us!” - 3 words that are proof positive that David is a religious nut. (:

Is he just another Sarah Palin throwing around religious expressions like that. One might assume so!

Perhaps Pastor Al will forgive him if David remembers to pay the carbon indulgences tithe.

Dang, and I thought that Warmism is supposed to be a plot invented by Godless Communists.

So which is it? Is global warming a religion, or an anti-religious movement?

Or are you flip-flopping just like Palin herself?


British Environment Minister Discounts Global Warming as ‘Pseudo-Religion’

Britain’s environment minister on Friday discounted arguments that global warming is man-made and said instead that the phenomenon is a naturally occurring event.

Hmmmmmmm! Sanity returning?



This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

The Amazon rainforest is magnificent. Watching programs about it, we’re amazed by brilliant parrots and toucans, tapirs, anacondas and jaguars. But if you ever go there expecting to be overwhelmed by a dazzling blur of activity, you’ll be disappointed. The jungle has plenty of vegetation — hanging vines, enormous trees, bromeliads and more — and a cacophony of insects and frogs. But much of the activity goes on at night or high up in the canopy.

Films of tropical forests don’t accurately reflect the reality of the ecosystems....

read more