Environment Forum

Sarah Palin: glaciers, wolves and global warming

September 11, 2008

US Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) waves to the crowd alongside Republican vice presidential candidate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (R), during an outdoor rally in Fairfax, Virginia, September 10, 2008. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)A 1917 sign in Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska shows where the end of the Exit Glacier used to be — a mile from the current edge of a receding wall of ice.

Read my colleague Ed Stoddard’s fascinating tale from the park about the U.S. ‘environmental wars’ since Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Would a Vice President Palin sway a President McCain away from his long-standing drive for tougher action on climate change if the Republican pair win November’s election?

Palin favours expanded drilling for oil, opposes a Bush administration decision to list polar bears as threatened and doubts that human activities cause climate change, which is warming the Arctic twice as fast as the rest of the globe. The aptly named Exit glacier, like almost all glaciers around the world, is shrinking.   A polar bear and two cubs are seen on the Beaufort Sea coast within the 1002 Area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in this undated file handout photograph provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Alaska Governor and Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has opposed the listing of the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act because that status could hamper expanded drilling in remote regions. To match feature USA-POLITICS/ALASKA-ENVIRONMENT REUTERS/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Handout (UNITED STATES). FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.

And Palin’s environmental views aren’t just about the climate – Ed writes that she has also clashed with environmentalists by favouring shooting wolves from helicopters.

McCain was, among other things, the author of the “Climate Stewardship Act” with Sen. Joe Lieberman in 2003. The Act, which would have capped U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, was defeated in the Senate by 55-43 votes.

So will Palin’s views — here is a link to her Alaska policy – swing McCain away from toughening U.S. climate policies, which have been slammed by many U.S. allies around the world as too weak?

Comments
22 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

No, not because of her views, because of the campaign that she will inevitably mount! Sarah Palin believes in Sarah Palin. She doesn’t care about the truth. She doesn’t care about the facts. You know, China’s leader Mao Tse-tung campaigned for his views too! In so doing, he sent the intellectuals to the countryside for “re-education.”

Posted by ziadora | Report as abusive
 

Sarah Palin not only shoots wolves from helicopters, she keeps a wolf pelt on her office wall. Even though wolves have improved bear health in Yellowstone (by providing bears extra calories when they poach the kills of wolves) and have improved elk health (by killing diseased elk – unlike humans who kill the healthiest with the best racks), she remains opposed to wolves as natural predators. She prefers that human hunters have no competition, even if it means we cannot have a natural ecosystem. Please do not vote for her!

Posted by K. Marshall | Report as abusive
 

DO NOT VOTE FOR SARAH PALIN/NOR JOHN MCCAIN, they’ll destroy whatever nature you guys have in the USA, all because of money/oil/power greed. Killing animals for fun is the most sickening thing to do, not protecting wildlife in Alaska will cause a distaster. Government should try to find alternative energy methods!
There’s only ONE WORLD and you should cherise that.

Posted by ws | Report as abusive
 

I respect Palin as a woman who has achieved much. However, I disagree with essentially all of her views. There is no way I could possibly vote for her and McCain.

Posted by debbie walters | Report as abusive
 

I will not vote for this woman. I don’t like one thing about any of her policies, especially her views on abortion, wolf killing, and climate change. You would think she would want a better world for her children….but unless the government changes it’s policies, this world is headed for disaster.

Posted by Liz | Report as abusive
 

Thoughts of Sara Palin keep me fearfully awake at night – I have absolutely no respect for her! She is stupid, ignorant and evil! I think it is utterly insane that any Hillary supporter would ever consider voting for palin (which is the only reason mccain selected her, not b/c of her long 20 month record as governor; she doesn’t even know what a VP does. and uhh..where is mccain these days?? once a reasonable man, now a flip flopping extreme conservative – would the real mccain please stand up, please stand up!!
VOTE OBAMA and BIDEN!!

Posted by jamie | Report as abusive
 

I am disappointed in my fellow americans that approve of someone who will do this to our innocent animals.

Posted by Jerry Colbruno | Report as abusive
 

I think she’s changing him already, something has. McCain’s drill, drill, drill policy and his selection of Palin who seems to be antienvironment on all levels completely degrades his stance. During the primaries I was encouraged, because I felt that whichever side one, we would finally be looking out for the future of our country. Now, I don’t want to try to imagine a future with McCain/Palin in charge, especially if she would have to take over. With 3 supreme court justices up for retirement, I can’t imagine letting her get into the white house to help make the choices. The time to act on the global warming is now. We can do that and uplift the economy at the same time. It’s hard to believe that putting a woman in high office would result in women’s rights being set back 50 years, but I’d be willing to bet that we would get exactly that.

 

all the comments seem to come from PETA
I love animals they are very good with mashed potatoes

Posted by Tom Workman | Report as abusive
 

YOU MEAN TO TELL ME THAT A WOLF LIFE IS MORE VALUABLE THAN A HUMAN BEINGS LIFE.
WELL I THINK I LEAN TOWARDS THE LATER.
THE ONLY DRAW BACK TO SARAH PALIN WILL BE THAT OUR WOLVES LIVES MAY BE IN DANGER. I THINK I CAN LIVE WITH THAT.
MAYBE OBAMA CAN TRY TO FIND ANOTHER “SPOTTED OWL” AND TRY TO GAIN SOME SUPPORT.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive
 

I cannot believe the two above comments suggesting that the existance of wolves,bears or any of the animal kingdom threaten our existance and that we must slaughter them.There is no explaining the ignorance of such people and it is no mystery to how they vote.

Posted by Jerry Colbruno | Report as abusive
 

So, Jerry, you feel that shooting wolves is cruel? I would ask that you take a little time to review just how wolves treat Caribou calves, Moose calves, and any animal slow enough to get caught in their slavering fangs.

Also, please consider that in Alaska, where I lived for 17 years, Wolves, Bears, Moose, and other animals often attack and sometimes kill people, including PETA members, children, and even Republicans.

Though I bet the latter taste bad!

Frankly, there isn’t a bit of difference between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin that matters. What differences there are remain nothing but rhetoric.

I’d rather vote for Todd Palin. At least he was a member of a political party of conscience: The Alaskan Independence Party!

Posted by Valued Customer | Report as abusive
 

No one is suggesting that the lives of animals are more important than humans. What Sarah and her ilk do not comprehend is that our earth is a fragile ecosystem- but she doesn’t believe in science. Even the Pope (and I’m not Catholic, in fact I don’t believe in God) has now declared that ruining the environment and polluting and disrespecting Nature is a serious sin. We humans are stewards of the earth and we must be good stewards, not greedy and just use it all up and spit it out.

Wolves and other predators, sharks are a very good example, are critical to the health of other species, as the one comment made about how predators kill the sick and weak and humans only want to kill the big healthy ones. I lived among 200 elk in Northern NM and we were thrilled to see that there was at least one mountain lion in our midst. The lack of wolves and lions has caused the bison and elk to get wasting disease, brucilosis, that is similar to Mad Cow disease. That wouldn’t be spreading if we had more predators to eat the diseased animals.

What kind of “hunter” shoots an animal with a high-powered, automatic weapon from an airplane. You want to hunt, and I am all for controlled hunting – but you better eat what you kill – try facing the animal with a bow and arrow, then we’ll see how good of a hunter you are. In NM, we have bow season and it is very popular. And everyone I know who hunts here, actually eats the meat and I’ve been given elk steaks by my friends and it is very healthy too, not to mention delicious. But they aren’t killing the predators to have more elk for themselves which is what is happening in Alaska, and, they don’t just kill for the trophy.

Posted by Patricia | Report as abusive
 

Palin was picked to placate the extreme right of the Republican Party and evangelical voters. One would hope that her influence on McCain would be minimal, but then if she wants to be President, she might jump out one night and say “boo” to John in the hope of inducing a heart attack. ;-)

Posted by Tom Clarke | Report as abusive
 

I would like this person,”valued customer” to give me some documentation on these alleged wolf attacks on humans.I have a daughter in Alaska and have been there myself.Wolves acually have the very best record of our predators by far.These unfounded stories lead to slaughter of our precious animals and upset our ecosysystem as patricia explained very well.I am a meat hunter myself and not a trophy hunter which i am against unless it’s a trophy you intend to eat.Thanks to you all who support me here.

Posted by Jerry Colbruno | Report as abusive
 

Sarah Palin does not represent THIS conservative woman! I’m a graphic designer and have come up with the definitive slogan for the whole McCain-Palin debacle. I’ve posted it on my http://www.Zazzle.com storefront. Search for…

SHOOT A WOLF FOR JESUS
Palin/McCain 2008

Hopefully people will get the humor in this, but I guess it depends on whose ox, er, moose is being gored.

 

I was in Wasilla this past July and stopped in the Sportsmens Warehouse (sporting goods store). There were many hunting trophies mounted on the walls, and I was appalled to see that there is a GIRAFFE among them! A giraffe head and it’s 20 feet of neck! I wondered at the time, who the heck hunts giraffes? It can’t be any more sporting than hunting cows. But that was in July. I now know of the infamous Sara Palin and her sense of sportsmanship. I’m guessing that giraffe trophy is hers, probably hunted down at the local zoo and shot from the safety of a hovering helicopter.

Posted by chris | Report as abusive
 

I have no problem with hunting animals when the animal stands some chance, the whole animal is used for food, shelter, or clothing, and respect is given to the creature that sacrificed its life for you. Humans are animals after all, and animals do hunt other animals for food if they are designed to eat meat.
However, killing an animal for the sake of killing goes against the natural order of the earth. The cowardly slaughter of animals from helicopters shows disrespect for the creation and creator as a whole.

Posted by Holly Watson | Report as abusive
 

Thank you so much Holly and perfectly put.I was a hunter and still do a little turkey hunting but used to do more to put food on the table for five children.I am seething with anger about this wanton killing from airplanes and the bounty that this woman has offered to furthur promote this cowardly practice.

Posted by Jerry Colbruno | Report as abusive
 

I have been sending e-mails to Palin’s office for over a year re: her Aerial Gunning of Wolves policy. This has been going on for a long, long time my friends.

She is not a moral woman.

Big Oil and McCain will never get my vote.

–Pamela Rainsong

Posted by Pamela | Report as abusive
 

For the most part, trophy hunters are anthropocentric punks. Women who do it are especially unsettling because it defies their usual softness. Note the strong jaw on Palin. Something is off.

Trophy-taking is unnecessary, ego-based killing. Don’t buy the story that it’s the “thrill of the hunt.” If that were true a camera would suffice for the finale. The other line about thinning herbivore populations “for their own good” is belied by the need to cull wolves, etc. This is a wasteful, disrespectful, unbalanced activity.

At least show an animal respect by making practical use of its remains. That’s the difference between hunters and callous killers.

 

Look we all know that Sara Palin is against wolves and an advid hunter, but when it comes to the economical belief of our country she has the best intrest at heart look there is no politician with out there hands dirty obama him self has had more than one friend who was involved with terroist organizations, yes we have got to save our planet but were do we start, we start with ourselves and to do that we have to have reform with out cripling the people with taxes and other washington problems that seem to hurt all of us. My family will always come first befor the wolves, dont get me wrong what she did was disgusting but she has done a lot of good

Posted by Matt thompson | Report as abusive
 

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