"I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made."
Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska, to Newsmax, August 2008.
"I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change."
Sarah Palin, vice presidential candidate, to ABC's Charlie Gibson, September 2008.
In her first extended remarks as John McCain's vice presidential candidate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin moderated her stance on global warming, somewhat.
In her highly anticipated, highly hyped interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson, she said "man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change." (emphasis added, transcript from the L.A. Times.)
That's hardly as strong a statement as should be expected, given that our best scientists are unanimous in that the unprecedented global warming we've seen is primarily caused by our pollution, that it is already causing dramatic and startling changes not only in the Arctic but in the weather, and that we need to act quickly and dramatically to reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide.
Still, she did go on to say that the Republican ticket takes the issue seriously:
"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 gotta do something about it, and we have to make sure that we're doing all we can to cut down on pollution.... Things are getting warmer. Now what do we do about it? And John McCain and I are gonna be working on what we do about it."
So, for green voters leaning to the McCain-Palin ticket, these are reassuring words. They can be seen, like McCain's statements in his acceptance speech, that the team will buck the Republican establishment to push unpopular policies on important issues. Or, her equivocation and McCain's failure to mention global warming in that speech as one of the issues that he would focus on, could be seen as a signal that the ticket won't really make global warming a priority.
Which is it?
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