After Arnold Schwarzenegger criticized Sarah Palin’s stance on global warming yesterday, few thought it would take long for Palin to respond. She launched a broadside on her Facebook page, and reminded California’s governor that the “grain of salt” the Governator recommended should be taken with economic advice from the leader of a state in free-fall and unable to budget its money properly. Even if the world is warming, it doesn’t mean that the warming is either anthropogenic or catastrophic — and conservation doesn’t mean killing the economy:
Why is Governor Schwarzenegger pushing for the same sorts of policies in Copenhagen that have helped drive his state into record deficits and unemployment? Perhaps he will recall that I live in our nation’s only Arctic state and that I was among the first governors to create a sub-cabinet to deal specifically with climate change. While I and all Alaskans witness the impacts of changes in weather patterns firsthand, I have repeatedly said that we can’t primarily blame man’s activities for those changes. And while I did look for practical responses to those changes, what I didn’t do was hamstring Alaska’s job creators with burdensome regulations so that I could act “greener than thou” when talking to reporters.
As Allahpundit noted, the attack on Palin seems pretty strange, from a political point of view. After all, Palin has been a bit of a moderate on climate change, not a “denier” or even a skeptic. Having her as an arms-length ally would make a lot more sense to the AGW True Believers, who could (a) leverage her influence on the Right to get some momentum for action, and (b) marginalize skeptics and “deniers” by using Palin in that sense. Even “practical changes” could give enough movement to declare some victories in the US.
This demonstrates that Schwarzenegger cares more about the electoral politics involved than the climate change issues, and he’s not the only one. The AGW True Believers aren’t interested in working with people to build consensus towards a compromise; they want to dictate their solutions and use questionable science and sky-is-falling hysteria to get it. Sarah Palin is the canary in the coal mine, so to speak, that demonstrates this.
And Palin’s right to skewer Arnold on economics. When California shows that it has the fiscal responsibility to actually cut its spending and bring its budget into balance while not overburdening its citizens with oppressive taxes and regulation, then perhaps its governor can offer advice on economics and policy. Until then, Arnold should mind his own store and save his wit for the state legislature.