Palin Used Exxon, Oil Industry-Funded Scientists for Global Warming Study

As we've published before, Sarah Palin is not exactly on board with the rest of the world when it comes to the basic science behind global warming. It turns out that might be because she's getting her numbers from a rather shady source.

The London Guardian published a story today about how the Alaskan governor came to the conclusion that global warming did not pose a threat to polar bears. Apparently, she relied heavily on global warming deniers funded by Exxon Mobil and other oil insiders for a study by the Alaskan state government.

As the article says:

Her own Alaskan review of the science drew on a joint paper by seven authors, four of whom were well-known climate- change contrarians. Her paper argued that it was "certainly premature, if not impossible" to link temperature rise in Alaska with human CO2 emissions.
I guess she must have missed the world's leading scientists from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change coming to a consensus on that one already.

Why is this a big deal? From the Guardian again:
The status of the polar bear has become a battleground in the debate on global warming. In May the US department of the interior rejected Palin's objections and listed the bear as a threatened species, saying that two-thirds of the world's polar bears were likely to be extinct by 2050 due to the rapid melting of the sea ice. Palin, governor of Alaska and the Republican nominee for US vice-president, responded last month by suing the federal government, to try to overturn the ruling. The case will be heard in January.
What's at stake of course is money. Oil money, that is.
In its lawsuit, Alaska said it opposed the endangered label partly because the listing would "deter activities such as ... oil and gas exploration and development." Oil companies recently bid $2.7bn (£1.5bn) for rights to explore the Chuckchi sea, an established polar bear habitat.
Here's to hoping that Gwen Ifill asks Palin about this one in Thursday's debate.

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