What Made Sarah Palin Switch Sides on Climate Change?

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The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson today did a thorough and effective job looking back at Sarah Palin's record on climate change during her short tenure as Alaska's governor. Turns out that Palin was then very much a believer in global warming science, enough so that she appointed a sub cabinet task force to explore its impacts on Alaska and recommend solutions. Yes, that's the same Sarah Palin who has recently called on the president to boycott the Copenhagen talks because the science is inconclusive. Writes Robinson:

In her administrative order, Palin instructed the sub-Cabinet group to develop recommendations on "the opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Alaska sources, including the expanded use of alternative fuels, energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, land use management, and transportation planning." She also instructed the group to look into "carbon-trading markets."

But in her op-ed last week, Palin -- while acknowledging "natural, cyclical environmental trends" and the possibility that human activity might be contributing to warming -- states flatly that "any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs." What she once called "carbon-trading markets" she now denounces as "the Democrats' cap-and-tax proposal."

One has to wonder what caused Palin to stop believing in the science and start pandering to her base of supporters who seem to think that tackling global warming is a job killer, all for a hoax. The new Palin even went so far as to challenge Al Gore to a debate on climate science before backing out last week. If they do debate, Palin would do well to read, well, Palin, who in 2008 wrote in a newsletter to Alaskans:

"Alaska's climate is warming. While there have been warming and cooling trends before, climatologists tell us that the current rate of warming is unprecedented within the time of human civilization. Many experts predict that Alaska, along with our northern latitude neighbors, will warm at a faster pace than any other areas, and the warming will continue for decades."

More on Sarah Palin and Politicians
Sarah Palin Now Wants to Fight Global Warming - By Drilling for Oil
Sarah Palin: Climate-gate is Reason to Not Act on Energy Addiction and Dirty Fuels
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