Sarah Palin's Washington Post Op-Ed DebunkedS

The Washington Post has run another Sarah Palin op-ed. And this time it's worse than ever — it's about the myth of global warming and how she is the true defender of science because she kills polar bears.

The piece essentially says that because man-made global warming is clearly non-existent, based on leaked emails from climate change scientists, Obama should boycott Copenhagen. It is not clear whether Palin is delusional, or a liar. Or which would be worse: in the first case she genuinely believes the idiocy she is spouting. In the second she is not a moron but instead cynically exploits misinformation to appeal to her base. In any case it seems the only thing to do is take her ridiculous claims one-by-one, lest we explode in a fit of outrage trying to tackle this filth as a whole.

  • The premise is based on this opening sentence:

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

    Expounded upon in the third paragraph:

    The e-mails reveal that leading climate "experts" deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to "hide the decline" in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

    They don't reveal anything of the sort — and that the Washington Post would allow such shabbiness as the premise for an op-ed is a matter for genuine shame. The emails, of course, were only damaging because right-wingers tried to make a bunch of pretty insignificant missives into a smoking gun for a global warming conspiracy. Palin is doing here what she does best — she's taking lies and, by blithely presuming they're facts, lending them credence. It is worth remembering that she coined the phrase 'death panels' to refer to the myth that Obama was to begin killing old people as part of his healthcare reforms.

  • She goes on:

    This scandal obviously calls into question the proposals being pushed in Copenhagen. I've always believed that policy should be based on sound science, not politics. As governor of Alaska, I took a stand against politicized science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population had more than doubled.

    Obviously? To whom? That would be quite a leap of logic, even if it were not based on a false premise in the first place. Palin also fails to mention that the main threat to polar bears is from... climate change. And the fact that she is probably a creationist and therefore precisely opposed to sound science.

  • She does then admit that the temperature is changing:

    But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes. We can say, however, that any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs. And those costs are real.

    No they're not. You've made them up. Pretty much anyone who's looked at the costs and benefits seems to think curbing our environmental impact would, in fact, help stimulate the economy. Please send us your figures.

  • And now we get to the kicker:

    In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his intention to "restore science to its rightful place." But instead of staying home from Copenhagen and sending a message that the United States will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices, the president has upped the ante.

    See how she did that? At the beginning she took a false premise, built other false premises on top of it in a tower of lies, obfuscations and editorial dodges that an intern would not get away with and voila! We have a nation that is party to fraud, and a president that should not go to a vital climate change summit because of some emails.

  • The final line:

    Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference. The president should boycott Copenhagen.

    We have trustworthy science. Americans need not be wary. The conference is not politicized (in the way Palin means). The president should not boycott Copenhagen. Marcus Brauchli, executive editor of the Washington Post should, however, hang his head for allowing another dreadful celebrity op-ed like this into his newspaper.