Oil Covered Ostriches

by digby

So in her interview with Gibson, Sarah Palin said she believes in global warming. That's very reassuring. But it's been a damned recent conversion. The AP writes:

[I]n the past Palin has said she does not believe global warming is caused by human activity. She has told the Internet news site Newsmax, "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."In an interview with a Fairbanks newspaper within the last year, Palin said: "I'm not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity." ABC cited the interview as being at odds with her statement.

It's not just her statements. It's her actions as governor. This was just four months ago:

The State of Alaska will sue to challenge the recent listing of polar bears as a threatened species, Gov. Sarah Palin said Wednesday.

She and other Alaska elected officials fear a listing will cripple oil and gas development in prime polar bear habitat off the state's northern and northwestern coasts.

Palin argued there is not enough evidence to support a listing. Polar bears are well-managed and their population has dramatically increased over 30 years as a result of conservation, she said.

Climate models that predict continued loss of sea ice, the main habitat of polar bears, during summers are unreliable, Palin said.

The announcement drew a strong response from the primary author of the listing petition.

"She's either grossly misinformed or intentionally misleading, and both are unbecoming," said Kassie Siegel of the Center for Biological Diversity. "Alaska deserves better."

Siegel said it was unconscionable for Palin to ignore overwhelming evidence of global warming's threat to sea ice, the polar bear's habitat.

"Even the Bush administration can't deny the reality of global warming," she said. "The governor is aligning herself and the state of Alaska with the most discredited, fringe, extreme viewpoints by denying this."

As marine mammals, polar bears are regulated by the federal government, not the state. Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne last week made the listing decision and said it was based on three findings.

"First, sea ice is vital to polar bear survival. Second, the polar bear's sea-ice habitat has dramatically melted in recent decades. Third, computer models suggest sea ice is likely to further recede in the future," he said.

Summer sea ice last year shrank to a record low, about 1.65 million square miles, nearly 40 percent less than the long-term average between 1979 and 2000.

What is significant here isn't that Palin is a moron on the issues, although she may very well be one. So is Bush. So was Quayle. So was Reagan, (although in comparison to what's come since, he was a genius.) I think the Republicans have proved that you don't have to be informed or even have a slight grasp of the world and its complexities to be elected in America. The significance of her statements and behavior is that she denies science because she wants to preserve the oil companies prerogatives. They didn't even try to hide their agenda in Alaska.

Designating the polar bears as a threatened species due to global warming results in certain regulations kicking in. Palin wasn't willing to let that happen. What that translates into is the fact that if global warming, which she now insists she believes is happening, requires that the US government curtail certain activities that might harm the profit potential of the oil companies, she will side with the oil companies. I know this is hardly news to anyone who has ever observed Republicans in action. But we are now fighting wars over oil, the health of the planet is in crisis and the country cannot afford any more of this blatant shilling for the petroleum industry.

Alaska is a perfect petrie dish for this discussion. It's is owned by oil companies. And it is also seeing the most extreme early consequences of global warming. Sarah Palin is its leader and when faced with a decision that affects the well being of not just her state or her country, but the entire world, she chose to back the short term profits interest of the oil business. There is no reason to believe she and John McCain won't make the same calculations if they win the election.

These guys are all having a lot of fun driving liberals crazy by screaming "drill, logans. But that won't change the fact that the ice is melting and the arctic permafrost is turning into mush. I'm sure they'll find a way to blame liberals for that too, once it becomes irreversible, but I don't think anybody's going to be laughing.

Update: Sarah Palin is also a big fan of aerial wolf hunting. If you want to see just how sickeningly awful it is, see this Youtube. I didn't put it up here because I didn't want anyone to see something this disturbing by accident. But all of your Republican relatives who think Palin is a nice small town gal should see it for sure.

I'm sure that many hunters thinks this is ok and I'm just preaching to the choir from my liberal weenie perch in California, but I don't care. It's disgusting.