fresh voices from the front lines of change







Thank you Sarah Palin, for crystallizing the choice facing us on climate and energy.

With her Washington Post oped, Sarah Palin is taking her position as the most popular Republican among Republicans to lead conservative opposition to the clean energy jobs and climate protection bill.

She is the perfect choice. Just like the conservative approach to climate and energy:

1. She likes to ignore facts that get in the way of her ideology.

Grist’s Russ Walker lists the big giant chunks of reality she tries to glide past.: “Palin’s thesis comes loaded with plenty of rhetoric and zero facts. It offers nothing more than assertions about the emissions reduction part of the bill, ignores the energy investment and green jobs provisions, blames ‘Washington bureaucrats’ for hampering oil development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (not Congress, where elected lawmakers have repeatedly expressed the American public’s desire to keep ANWR off limits), and fails to even take note of the underlying issue–catastrophic climate change.”

2. She loves fuzzy math.

Conor Clarke exposes her disingenuous use of numbers. “Palin writes: ‘Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector, to the tune of $4.2 billion over eight years. So much for creating jobs.’ A quick note about the psychology of large numbers: $4.2 billion over eight years is $525 million a year. (That yearly cost is just above the total cost of, I dunno, building a road that connects Juneau with the rest of Alaska.)”

And Sen. John Kerry on Daily Kos catches Palin repeating the repeatedly debunked lie that the House bill would explode our energy bills: “Governor Palin said, ‘As the president eloquently puts it, their electricity bills will “necessarily skyrocket.”‘ Again, this is wrong. Every major study has concluded that [the House bill] will not place any undue burden on consumers in their electricity bills, with the costs ranging from a net decrease in costs for the Americans struggling hardest to pay the bills (those in the lowest quintile of income) to a gain of about $20 a month for the richest Americans.”

3. She could care less how inaction would hurt her neighbors.

Switchboard’s Pete Altman explained how Palin’s denial of climate reality is harming her home state: “Over the past 50 years, Alaska has warmed at more than twice the rate of the rest of the United States’ average … The higher temperatures are already causing earlier spring snowmelt, reduced sea ice, widespread glacier retreat, and permafrost warming [threatening] homes, and infrastructure [as well as] the likely cause of shrinking lakes across two-thirds of Alaska, lakes that are breeding grounds for waterfowl and shorebirds on which Alaska’s native people depend.”

4. She doesn’t tell the truth.

As ThinkProgress reported, her 2009 opposition to House legislation placing a cap on carbon emissions is undercut by her 2008 support for a cap on carbon emission. During the 2008 vice-presidential debate question she was asked “do you support capping carbon emissions?” Her response: “I do. I do.”

And she was dishonest during the campaign, as the Washington Post noted at the time. Joe Romm reminds: “Palin is so ignorant of energy, so practiced at repeating falsehoods, that in September, during the campaign, the Washington Post itself gave her its highest (which is to say lowest) rating of ‘Four Pinocchios’ for continuing ”to peddle bogus [energy] statistics three days after the original error was pointed out by independent fact-checkers.'”

(The W. Post may be the only paper to solicit an oped from a person it also bestowed Four Pinocchios on.)

5. She lacks all credibility.

Sarah Palin ran a laughably awful campaign for vice-president that only served to inform the public she was transparently unqualified to be a heartbeat away from the presidency. Her breaking of the public trust by failing to finish her lone term as governor further confirms her contempt towards governing.

But she does sharpen the choice before us: it’s Obama versus Palin.

Do we want to follow President Barack Obama’s vision to cap carbon emissions, create green jobs and make clean energy affordable and accessible?

Or do we want to follow Sarah Palin’s vision of costly, irresponsible inaction based on ignorance and dishonesty?

So thank you Sarah Palin, for making the choice all too clear.

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