Photo via Babble
Sure, she wants to open ANWR up for drilling, she's fought to keep endangered species delisted, and she supports the practice of hunting wolves from helicopters--but believe it or not, there are some environmentalists who will be sorry to see Gov. Sarah Palin go. Why? Precisely because she supports things like aerial wolf hunting.And as long as she's in the spotlight front and center, she draws more attention to the issue than would be otherwise possible. For instance, according to Reuters, groups like the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund have used Palin's high profile support for aerial wolf hunting to raise awareness of the issue on a national level.
Thanks largely to Palin, the group saw donations roll in at an unprecedented level, especially considering that the recession has everyone tightening their purse strings. The DWAF was also able to attract Ashley Judd to an awareness-raising video project that the star narrated.
But since Palin announced that she'll be resigning her post as governor of Alaska, the group will no longer be able to use attention grabbing headlines like "Help Stop Palin's Wolf Slaughter: DONATE NOW" on their website to quite the same effect. Thus, aerial wolf hunting will continue in Alaska, but there will be no pit bull-like lightening rod to associate with it--donations will likely decrease, and attention may waver.
Of course, her power to motivate people to stand up against her policies must be measured against her power to enact more environmentally threatening policies as Governor. Now, as a lame-duck governor, she probably wasn't going to get much more accomplished anyhow. She was pushing for more offshore drilling, sure--but her Lieutenant Gov will probably do the same thing when he takes on the governorship.
As governor, she also remained a huge draw for those interested in not-so green issues--drill, baby, drill comes to mind. So it's hard to argue--and frankly, a pretty arbitrary point--that Palin's presence is more boon than bane for environmentalists. Plus, if some of the pundits are right, she might not be out of the spotlight that long--we might get a whole 'nother dose of Palin if she runs for president in 2012.
Think how much money green groups could raise then . . .