Sarah Palin Still Butchering Science, Redux

By Melissa Lafsky | October 3, 2008 12:42 pm

Despite her running mate’s acknowledgment of the scientific consensus, Sarah Palin has once again affirmed her denial that man is the primary (or only) cause of global warming, this time on the national stage:

IFILL: Governor, I’m happy to talk to you in this next section about energy issues. Let’s talk about climate change. What is true and what is false about what we have heard, read, discussed, debated about the causes of climate change?

PALIN: Yes. Well, as the nation’s only Arctic state and being the governor of that state, Alaska feels and sees impacts of climate change more so than any other state. And we know that it’s real.

I’m not one to attribute every man — activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man’s activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.

But there are real changes going on in our climate. And I don’t want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is, how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts?

The first half of this political sidestep comes as no surprise. The last paragraph is, in a word, nuts. Here are a few past examples of the Palin method—i.e., “solving” scientific problems without first determining the cause:





Just About Everything Ever Treated with Bloodletting

Maybe we should try slapping a few leeches on the Earth—1,000 years of medical history can’t be all wrong.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Climate Change, The 2008 Election
MORE ABOUT: global warming, palin

Comments (49)

  1. Your last paragraph is, in a word, nuts. Just about everything you named can be experimented on, and therefore, correlations can be examined, and causes can tested. You can test people with normal heath versus abnormal health issues (that’s all you named, of course), and make comparisons, try different treatments, etc. Every successful medical treatment has trial and error at its foundation. And medicine still doesn’t have answers for everything or explaining why things happen in the human body — there are limitations to what we can know at this point. And if we cannot accurately predict why some people survive cancer even though they don’t fit the models, or why certain diseases present differently in different people, I’m not so sure we have the capability to predict the behavior of our climate, which is significantly more complex. Unfortunately, we don’t have multiple earths to fool around with.

    I would argue that if indeed you would need to identify man as a cause in order to treat the disease of global warming, you already know too little about the climate to do anything about it. After all, we know for a fact that carbon dioxide has an effect on the climate, as do many things, including solar output, which changes each cycle, creating ice ages and periods of high output, water vapor, the reflectivity of clouds, and the absorption of heat by the ground. If indeed science has identified a trend, and that trend will harm our civilization, we should affect what we can affect, regardless of the cause. That probably means reducing CO2 emissions, decreasing the absorption of heat by buildings, rolling back deforestation, but it seems pretty evident to me that KNOWING that we are “guilty” for it in some religious way is pretty irrelevant.

  2. I do not think there are real proofs that humans do affect the climate as Mr.Gore claims. By the way, the Nobel peace Prize was also awarded to a known terrorist Arafat.. I think e.g. ants are more important to the Nature than humans.
    Scientists are gradually discovering new facts about the climate, and I see as a failure that many come to “decisive” conclusions by faulty extrapolations. Regular temperature measurements only started in 1712 in Prague, and yet, many “scientists” conclude about “precision” data extrapolated to thousands of years back.. The famous “ozone hole” was discovered some 20 years ago, yet the “scientists” pushed to prohibit freons, to “reduce the ozone hole”. Now, the ozone hole laughs at them- it opens and closes without any relation of our stopping generating freons. Two years ago, cattle emissions of methane were blamed for whatever… till the oceanographers discovered that almost million times more volume of methane is released by decaying organic matter in the oceans…
    Earth climate is governed mostly by solar activity and some other phenomena. We cannot affect or control it by prohibitions and cutting down industry. We should care not to damage our environment, but we rather should prepare for a climate change by other means than believing we cause it… Remember, ants affect the Earth much more than humans…

  3. Shawn Wilcher

    Litter and pollution is ugly, but I doubt that we humans actually have much of an impact on earth and the climate. Its kind of arrogant to think that we humans make much of a difference in the way Mother Nature works. Im a tree hugger also, but I don’t really agree with the popaganda spewed out by the environmentalists.

  4. Jennifer

    I’m no Palin fan (far from it), but at least she’s not using global warming to further political means, such as carbon taxes.

  5. Chris Wood

    Palin has no understanding of science, and certainly cannot express a coherent thought in a grammatically correct sentence, but your five “examples” are a cheap shot – they have nothing to do with Palin, so you’re just associating her name with 5 examples of where people did not or do not know the causes of some malady, which proves nothing about Palin.

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