Friday, May 08, 2009

Palin's Schedule Disrupted By Act Of God?

Sarah Palin has been considered a kindred spirit by those who doubt the human origin of climate change. Soon after she was tapped as John McCain's running mate, Governor Earmark responded to a question about the effect of global warming on our nation by telling Newsmax, a conservative website:

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.

Later, when asked by Katie Couric whether climate change is man-made, Palin would incoherently blather:

You know there are -- there are man’s activities that can be contributed to the issues that we’re dealing with now, these impacts. I’m not going to solely blame all of man’s activities on changes in climate. Because the world’s weather patterns are cyclical. And over history we have seen change there. But kind of doesn’t matter at this point, as we debate what caused it. The point is: it’s real; we need to do something about.

Only a linguist would know what she meant when she referred to "man's activities that can be contributed to the issues" (emphasis mine) and her assertion that she would not "solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate" (are we really concerned with whether climate change has altered man's activities?). But her reference to "weather patterns" being "cyclical" was a message to her fellow Republicans: like you, she was saying, "I believe weather patterns change periodically- warm this era, cold the next. Global warming is a hoax."

Permit me to digress. That remark, which I did not notice at that time, reminds me of a comment Senator Lindsey Graham (R.- S.C.) made on a Sunday morning talk show in the midst of Republican moral scandals leading up to the 2006 mid-term elections. "We all sin and fall short," Graham reasoned, reckoning (probably accurately) that only Bible-believing Christians, most of them politically conservative, would recognize his abbreviated reference to Romans 3:23, part of a passage in which the apostle Paul contends salvation comes only by way of Jesus Christ. Like Palin's remark, not quite code, but fairly close, nonetheless.

Given Palin's right-wing perspective on climate change, then, recent events described by the Wall Street Journal may be a little eerie:

An unusually warm spring thaw in Alaska is causing some of the state's worst flooding in decades, with rising rivers wiping out an entire village and bombarding another town with ice chunks as big as houses.

The Alaska Railroad shut down from Sunday through Thursday between the state's two biggest cities, Anchorage and Fairbanks, after water and ice submerged a section of track....

The floods resulted from a rare combination of unusually heavy winter snow and a spring warm-up over the past week that saw temperatures soar into the 70s -- a good 20 degrees higher than normal for this time of year.


And the impact upon the Governor?

Mrs. Palin, the former Republican vice presidential candidate, had planned to attend the White House Correspondent's Dinner this weekend in Washington, D.C., but a spokesman said her husband, Todd, would attend in her stead.

Coincidence? Bad luck? Divine intervention? You make the call.

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