Sarah Palin makes few friends among U.N. climate experts

Sarah Palin in her vice-presidential debate against Joe Biden U.S. Republican vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is making few friends among U.N. climate experts with her view that natural swings, along with human activities, may explain global warming.

Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the U.N. Climate Panel, says that evidence is mounting that human activities are the main cause of warming. The panel reported last year that it was at least 90 percent certain that human activities, led by burning fossil fuels, were heating the planet.

He predicted in a telephone interview that Palin's influence would be limited on climate change if Republican John McCain won the presidency.

"In the ultimate analysis I don't think the vice president of the United States really matters in these subjects. I wouldn't really worry too much about her," he said.

Rajendra Pachauri, head of the U.N. Climate Panel (...even so, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore won the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, with Pachauri's panel. Or did Gore only become a guru for greens after he left office?)

Achim Steiner, head of the U.N. Environment Programme, also said when asked about Palin's views that: "We have the science. The debate over the science is over."

Many delegates at an International Union for Conservation of Nature congress I am attending in Barcelona also say they worry that Palin's views make it sound as if the science of global warming is far less certain than it is.

So, at least from interviews I have been doing for a Reuters News environment summit, Palin is out in the cold.

Who's right?