I actually stayed up all night last night to watch the
battle of the veeps debate between Palin and Biden and heard Palin say something quite curious on the issue of climate change:
IFILL: Governor, I’m happy to talk to you in this next section about energy issues. Let’s talk about climate change. What is true and what is false about what we have heard, read, discussed, debated about the causes of climate change?
PALIN: Yes. Well, as the nation’s only Arctic state and being the governor of that state, Alaska feels and sees impacts of climate change more so than any other state. And we know that it’s real.
I’m not one to attribute every man — activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man’s activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.
I’d be very intersted in what sort of evidence Palin would muster in support of her claim that part of the 0.7 degree increase in global average temperature has been due to “cyclical temperature changes”, but let us assume ad arguendo that she is correct and let us further assume that the temperature would continue to rise for entirely natural reasons over the course of this century.
My question is this: What ethical difference would this make? I would suppose that as long as at least part of the warming is anthropogenic (man-made) and as long as we think we can keep warming from running out of control (i.e. as long as nature alone doesn’t push us over the brink), the case for doing something about it is pretty much unchanged.