Thursday, 10 December 2009

Sarah Palin decries 'hoax' of climate change data

Tim Reid in Washington

Sarah Palin all but declared global warming a hoax yesterday when she urged President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen climate change conference and to stand up to the “radical environment movement”.
The former Alaska Governor and possible 2012 presidential contender seized upon leaked e-mails from climate change scientists at the University of East Anglia. The scientists have been accused by global warming sceptics of falsifying data to make the case that the phenomenon is real and man-made, something they deny.
The scandal has become a cause célèbre among climate change deniers and sceptics in the US. A group of Republican politicians has vowed to fly to Copenhagen next week to argue that the threat from global warming is overblown and too costly to act on.
Writing on the editorial page of The Washington Post — which was criticised from the Left for allowing her to argue her case — Mrs Palin said: “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. She added: “‘Climategate’, as the e-mails have become known, exposes a highly politicised scientific circle — the same circle whose work underlies efforts at the Copenhagen climate change conference. The agenda-driven policies been pushed in Copenhagen won’t change the weather but they would change our economy for the worse.”

Mrs Palin’s article appears at a time when the scandal over the leaked e-mails is gaining increasing exposure in the US. A poll released on Monday also revealed that only 45 per cent of Americans believe that global warming is caused by human activity, down from 56 per cent two years ago.
Mrs Palin, last year’s Republican vice-presidential nominee, has become a leading voice for her party’s conservative grassroots supporters. Recent polls suggest that she would make a competitive candidate if she chose to make a bid to become the Republican presidential nominee in 2012.
Her argument that the case for climate change is far from proved is shared by a significant number in Congress. A cap-and-trade climate Bill that Mr Obama wants passed is bogged down in the US Senate, mainly over concerns that it will be too costly, and Democrats are several votes short of seeing it prevail.
Mrs Palin does not deny “the reality of some changes in climate — far from it”, and adds that “I saw the impact of changing weather patterns first hand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state”. She asserts, however, that such weather changes are “natural, cyclical environmental trends,” and that “we can’t say with assurance that man’s activities cause weather changes”.