With many focused on Copenhagen and the eventual deal (or no deal) that may emerge, it really comes down to who do you believe on the issue of global warming. For example, do you believe this position:
- Warming is a "global challenge"
- Climate change is "a social, cultural, and economic issue..."
- The nation should look into ways to "participate in carbon trading markets"
- There are "opportunities to reduce greenhouse emissions."
Or, is this position more in line with your ideas:
- Climate change isn't based on science, it is simply "agenda driven politics"
- "Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference..."
- "We can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes..."
My friend, who sported one of those "I'm Voting For the Chick" yard signs that sprouted in the Valley in the fall of '08, falls squarely in line with the latter. His grin widened when I pointed out these are Sara Palin's views expressed in a recent WaPo op-ed.
"Ya know," I said, "you really ought to check out those other statements on climate change. They signal a responsible forward looking position; the kind of thing we're trying to achieve in Copenhagen." His head shaking scoff was cut short when I added, "besides, those are Sara Palin's view, too."
That's right. During her short stint as Governor of Alaska, the state that is perhaps most impacted by the early stages of global warming, Sara Palin issued Administrative Order No. 238 to create the "Alaska Climate Change Sub-Cabinet to advise the Office of the Governor on the preparation and implementation of an Alaska climate change strategy." The order continues:
"Scientific evidence shows many areas of Alaska are experiencing a warming trend. Many experts predict that Alaska, along with our northern latitude neighbors, will continue to warm at a faster pace than any other state, and the warming will continue for decades. Climate change is not just an environmental issue. It is also a social, cultural, and economic issue important to all Alaskans. As a result of this warming, coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, retreating sea ice, record forest fires, and other changes are affecting, and will continue to affect, the lifestyles and livelihoods of Alaskans. Alaska needs a strategy to identify and mitigate potential impacts of climate change and to guide its efforts in evaluating and addressing known or suspected causes of climate change. Alaska's climate change strategy must be built on sound science and the best available facts and must recognize Alaska's interest in economic growth and the development of its resources. Commercializing Alaska's great natural gas reserves through a new pipeline will improve the nation's energy security while providing a clean, low carbon fuel to help the nation reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions."Expressing some doubt at what I was telling him, my friend shifted the subject and we parted wishing each other happy holidays. My guess is, his holidays have been jolted by a creeping realization that his "chick" may not have any core values, that what she "believes" shifts with the political winds and book sales. Here's wishing for a white Christmas - maybe then my friend can enjoy giving me his what global warming? smirk.
To borrow a line from Stephen Colbert - a holiday tip of my hat to Eugene Robinson, a grinchy wag of my finger to Sara Palin.