Palin on Climate Change

Andy Revkin has a good writeup on the interview between Sarah Palin and Katie Couric. In the interview, Sarah Palin makes many fuzzy points which Andy Revkin (as I) request clarification: what does ‘pollution’ mean? How do we solve a problem if we don’t care what the causes are?

Just got done watching the VP debate between Palin and Joe Biden. Joe Biden made it explicitly clear that he thought climate change was anthropogenic. It is not clear to me if Sarah Palin really knows what she is talking about. How do other people feel? I don’t have a problem with statements on how it’s not all our fault, how there have been fluctuations in the past, etc…but overall she seems very dodgy on how she answers questions. Anyone will agree with “stop polluting” but what exactly does this mean, how do we do it, and why should we do it as it relates to global warming?

On energy issues, I don’t follow these candidates stances rigorously, but this “drill baby drill” thing she seems to support turns me off. This is really a short-term “solution” and probably a way to get out of the alternative energy discussion. The United States itself reached “peak oil” in October 1970. There is an increase for a short amount of time in the late seventies, which actually correspond to big oil finds in the late sixties, but it doesn’t last long.

Offshore drilling is not going to make a huge difference, so I’d like to see greater discussion on developing a country which makes much more use of alternative energy. There was also discussion on clean coal.

Overall, I’m not yet sure Palin really has a stance on climate change. I’ve heard no clear answers yet.


3 responses to “Palin on Climate Change

  1. Katie is as much of a jackass as the rest of the left-wing liberal media. What do you expect? Honest reporting? HA. You’ll get that as much as global warming exists.

  2. The thing is, palin tries to avoid the issue of causation.
    she goes on about n ot wanting to discuss causes and wants to talk solutions. (even tho mcains offshore drilling isnt a solution…but republicans dont know that)

    I think in the debate, biden had it best. he said that in order to come up with solutions, we first need to understand the problem. He seems to be able to do that, as palin made me laugh when she went on about nature, and cycles, and changes of weather over time.

    I think this next bit is more personal, but i want your opinion chris.
    In canada: yes we have elections too hehe. The thing with HArper is this:
    He says he cares and all that, and maybe its true, but his goals are not enough, and being the only nation using 06 as a baseline instead of 1990 for emmissions cutbacks is only one of many examples.

    he claims that its impossible to use 1990, and that such ambitious goals are impossible to acieve…whats your take? My province of Quebec has reduced emmissions by 1.3% from 90 levels (according to mr. duceppe, but i cannot confirm) and i do know and can confirm several nations in europe who have done the same (thanx to nuclear, but well see about that one)

    question: Some nations have managed well, and some havent.
    Do political ideologies have to do with this? certainly, but why cant canada and the us seem to pull it off? IS harper right? is it economically impossible to finance such projects? i doubt it…Im sure building all the coal and nuclear plants in the US and coal in china, costs just as much..if mot more, with all the aditional drilling projects about to take place…

    Response– I’d like other answers as well, as I don’t really know a whole lot about the economics of this. Simply going back to 1990 emission levels is a large leap, but it would take even more than that to curtail guaranteed warming. Unfortunately the costs of climate change go beyond the things traded in markets– there is no consensus view in economics on how to quantify species loss, human displacement and suffering, etc in terms of a dollar value. There are disagreements as to how to weigh long-term risks against short-term risks. There are disagreements as to what kind of CO2 levels in the atmosphere are “too dangerous” or what solutions are “good enough.”

    From a simple cost-benefit standpoint, the costs of cutting back immediately to 1990 levels would probably be a (large) net loss until later in the century, when the effects of further warming start to become more profound. The idea of solving a problem which exists now, but is mostly a “future problem” and will take time for the benefits to catch up to the costs is not very appealing to some.

    The problem is if, say, the year 2070 rolls around and we’re finally at a point where costs of inaction definitely outweigh costs of action, it would already be too late to avoid a big problem since global warming (unlike many things) doesn’t just go away when the cause stops. It lasts quite a long time.

    Anyone who says that it is economically impossible to solve global warming is just wrong. It is not as though we can just snap our fingers tomorrow and it all goes away, but a concentrated transformation into a clean-energy based society, changed interactions between developed and developing nations, halting the construction of coal-fired power plants (coal is really the big issue for the future, oil and natural gas not so much), and some other things are all technologically and economically feasible. The will is something else. — chris

  3. So Chris, I see you have whack-jobs that chant war mantra’s on your website as well. Their always the ones that dont think AGW exsits and that god will save them. You can’t escape it anywhere can you? LOL

    Hows everything going good?

    Response– My life is currently like a hamster on a wheel. It’s taking forever to get anywhere but I’m enjoying it 🙂 — chris

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