In her first substantial interview with a news journalist since being picked as John McCain's vice presidential candidate two weeks ago, Sarah Palin muted her skepticism about the causes of global warming, grudgingly "attributing some of man's activities to potentially causing some of the changes in the climate right now." While this is a step back from her position two weeks ago (she told Newsmax, "I'm not one ... who would attribute [climate change] to being man-made"), it still falls short of John McCain's position and the position of the scientific community, that human emissions are very likely the primary cause of recent warming.
Despite her doubts about anthropogenic climate change, Palin assured ABC's Charles Gibson, she and McCain agree "we gotta do something about it and we have to make sure that we're doing all we can to cut down on pollution." There were no further details on climate policy.
Palin also expressed confidence that she could win McCain over to her position in favor of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: "We'll agree to disagree but I'm gonna keep pushing that and I think eventually we're all gonna come together on that one."
The relevant parts are about 3:40 in:
Transcript of the excerpts here:
GIBSON: Let me talk a little bit about environmental policy, because this interfaces with energy policy and you have some significant differences with John McCain. Do you still believe that global warming is not man-made?
PALIN: I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change. Here in Alaska, the only arctic state in our union, of course, we see the effects of climate change more so than any other area with ice pack melting. Regardless, though, of the reason for climate change, whether it's entirely, wholly caused by man's activities or is part of the cyclical nature of our planet -- the warming and the cooling trends -- regardless of that, John McCain and I agree that we gotta do something about it and we have to make sure that we're doing all we can to cut down on pollution.
GIBSON: But it's a critical point as to whether or not this is man-made. He says it is. You have said in the past it's not.
PALIN: The debate on that even, really has evolved into, OK, here's where we are now: scientists do show us that there are changes in climate. Things are getting warmer. Now what do we do about it. And John McCain and I are gonna be working on what we do about it.
GIBSON: Yes, but isn't it critical as to whether or not it's man-made, because what you do about it depends on whether its man-made.
PALIN: That is why I'm attributing some of man's activities to potentially causing some of the changes in the climate right now.
GIBSON: But I, color me a cynic, but I hear a little bit of change in your policy there. When you say, yes, now you're beginning to say it is man-made. It sounds to me like you're adapting your position to Sen. McCain's.
PALIN: I think you are a cynic because show me where I have ever said that there's absolute proof that nothing that man has ever conducted or engaged in has had any effect, or no effect, on climate change.
Sarah Palin on Arctic National Wildlife Refuge:
GIBSON: ANWR. You favor drilling in the Arctic National Refuge. He does not.
PALIN: I sure do.
GIBSON: You changed him on that? He changing you?
PALIN: I'm going to keep working on that one with him. ANWR, of course, is a 2,000-acre swath of land in the middle of about a 20 million-acre swath of land. Two-thousand acres that we're asking the feds to unlock so that there can be exploration and development.
GIBSON: So, you'll agree to disagree on ANWR?
PALIN: That's exactly right. We'll agree to disagree, but I'm gonna keep pushing that, and I think, eventually, we're all gonna come together on that one.
HuffPost Politics brings you the top political stories three days a week. Learn more