GOP's Global Warming Rumble: Sarah Palin V. Arnold Schwarzenegger

Article excerpt

The spat between California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin over the Copenhagen climate talks highlights the GOP's divided views on global warming.

The Sarah Palin-Arnold Schwarzenegger clash over climate change pits two Republican stalwarts in a tiff that brings to the fore the divisions within the GOP on environmental policy and global warming.

It all began when the California governor questioned Ms. Palin's motivation for penning an op-ed article in The Washington Post that questions climate change science based on leaked e-mails from a leading research group. (Read more about the controversy over climate researchers' hacked e-mails here.)

In her Dec. 9 article, Ms. Palin criticized the Democrats cap- and-trade plan to limit greenhouse-gas emissions as a jobs killer and called on President Obama to boycott the Copenhagen climate talks, reflecting a skeptical view of global warming often seen in conservatives' Tea Party protests.

Mr. Schwarzenegger, a leading proponent of environmental policies to head off climate change, told the Financial Times: "You have to ask: what was she trying to accomplish? Is she really interested in this subject or is she interested in her career and in winning the nomination [for president]?"

The governor then said this to 'Good Morning America' Tuesday: "I think there are people that just don't believe in fixing and working on the environment. They don't believe there is such a thing as global warming, they're still living in the Stone Age."

Palin fired back on Facebook: "Why is Governor Schwarzenegger pushing for the same sorts of policies in Copenhagen that have helped drive his state into record deficits and unemployment?"

She was "among the first governors to create a sub-cabinet to deal specifically with climate change," she said, adding, "While I and all Alaskans witness the impacts of changes in weather patterns firsthand, I have repeatedly said that we can't primarily blame man's activities for those changes. And while I did look for practical responses to those changes, what I didn't do was hamstring Alaska's job creators with burdensome regulations so that I could act "greener than thou" when talking to reporters. …