ARMBINDER: An Annotated Takedown Of The Denialist Drivel That Is Sarah Palin’s WaPo Op-Ed


THE ATLANTIC: Once again, the Washington Post has given Sarah Palin the chance to harness herself to the political story of the hour. The former Alaska governor has written an op-ed, published Wednesday, about the “Climate-gate” controversy at East Anglia University. Palin calls on President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen climate summit because the leaked e-mails allegedly cast significant doubt on the scientific consensus about global warming.

With the publication of damaging e-mails from a climate research center in Britain, the radical environmental movement appears to face a tipping point.

By “radical,” Palin means the overwhelming scientific consensus; virtually every major science academy in the country; “tipping
point” is a curious construction. It implies that there is momentum behind their cause. I gather Palin means to suggest the opposite.

 The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue.

Remember, the “revelation” was born from a potentially illegal e-mail hack. “so-called” — untrue. These are experts. Their 
science has been validated, independently. Their “actions” here consist of insulting climate change skeptics, immature name-calling, and, at worst, devising a strategy to keep the climate change deniers out of debates and peer-reviewed journals.  The “concerns” that Palin speaks of are the result of years of accumulated science denialism that now, conveniently, has been seemingly “validated” by the fog of a grand conspiracy, suddenly revealed.

“Climate-gate,” as the e-mails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have become known, exposes a highly politicized scientific circle — the same circle whose work underlies efforts at the Copenhagen climate change conference.

True — although the politicization came about as a response to an extremely well-funded political campaign by those whose bottom lines would be most harmed by carbon taxes, cap and trade schemes and the like. MORE

PREVIOUSLY: HITCHENS: Guilt By Association Cuts Both Ways

RELATED: The climate change doubters may want to reconsider their position since it attracts some dubious allies. You know who is up-in-arms about the e-mails hacked from climate scientists at University of East Anglia University? Saudi Arabia, that’s who. Sounding like U.S. conservatives who oppose action on climate change, the princes of the world’s biggest oil theocracy are demanding an investigation into the affair. MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: No one should be misled by all the noise. The e-mail messages represent years’ worth of exchanges among prominent American and British climatologists. Some are mean-spirited, others intemperate. But they don’t change the underlying scientific facts about climate change. MORE

RELATED: ‘ClimateGate’ Nonsense Debunked

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Environmental Protection Agency released a historic finding Monday that greenhouse gases are endangering public health and welfare. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), an outspoken critic of the theory of climate change and of congressional attempts to cut carbon, responded by issuing a statement headlined, “Why the Rush? What’s to Hide?” We have a different question for the EPA: Why has it taken so long? In 2007, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases were pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act, and it directed the EPA to determine whether they represented a health threat that would require federal regulation. Thus began more than a year and a half of foot-dragging by the Bush administration, which had reams of data pointing out the clear dangers of climate change but refused to take action. The EPA is hardly rushing to judgment by finally obeying the law and acknowledging the overwhelming worldwide consensus that carbon-fueled climate change threatens human health. Global warming is expected to cause deaths related to adverse temperatures, greater incidence of disease, worsened air quality, rising sea levels, more intense weather events and food and water shortages, among other things. These are not the conclusions of a handful of conspiracy-minded scientists at a British university, as climate skeptics would have people believe; the EPA’s finding was based primarily on the work of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the National Research Council. MORE

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: The past decade has been the hottest on record, according to new global warming data released today at the Copenhagen climate conference by the World Meteorological Organization. What’s more, 2009 is shaping up to be the fifth warmest year since coordinated record keeping began in 1850, according to preliminary figures released by the Geneva-based UN organization. The final report, including December climate data, will be released in March 2010. The new data, collected from land-based weather stations across the world, as well as by ships, buoys, and satellites, does not show a slowdown or reversal of the global warming trend, Michel Jarraud, secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said at a press briefing. MORE

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