In her first major news interview since being named the vice presidential nominee of the Republican Party, Sarah Palin answered questions from journalist Charles Gibson about her thoughts on climate change.
Gibson prefaced his question by saying that Palin, before being selected for the ticket, had said global warming was not caused by human activities. That would conflict with the views of her running mate John McCain.
"Do you still believe that global warming is not man-made?" Gibson asked.
"I believe that man's activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change," Palin said. "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. ...
After a followup question, she said:
"I'm attributing some of man's activities to potentially causing some of the changes in the climate right now."
Gibson said he detected a change in her position, but Palin said she hadn't.
"Show me where I've 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. I have not said that. I have said that my belief is there is a cyclical nature of our planet — warming trends, cooling trends."
We looked for Palin's previous statements on global warming.
Earlier this year, she gave an interview to the Web site Newsmax, which ran the following brief exchange with Palin.
Question: "What is your take on global warming and how is it affecting our country?"
Palin: "A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I'm not one though who would attribute it to being man-made."
She also gave an interview to a Fairbanks newspaper in December 2007, discussing her first year as governor. The story states:
"A few months into her term, Palin directed a group of state commissioners to develop a strategy for addressing climate change. State lawmakers had already formed a climate commission, but the administration up until then had nothing.
"'I'm not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist blaming the changes in our climate on human activity,' Palin said Monday, 'but I'm not going to put my head in the sand and pretend there aren't changes.'"
Those are two clear statements that Palin didn't believe that human activity contributed to global warming. She agreed that global warming was real but implied that it had non-human causes. In her interview with Gibson, she said that "man's activities certainly can be contributing." We rule this one a Full Flop.