- By Annie LowreyAnnie Lowrey is assistant editor at FP.
Our parent publication, the Washington Post, today published an opinion piece from Sarah Palin — former governor of Alaska, former running mate of Sen. John McCain, and foreign-policy interest of mine — on the subject of the international climate change treaty being worked out in Copenhagen.
I wouldn’t recommend reading it, but for those whose curiosity is piqued, here is a boil-down of the boilerplate: the ClimateGate emails show there’s no consensus on anthropogenic global warming; changes in Alaska’s climate are due to “natural, cyclical environmental trends”; the costs of cap-and-trade outweigh the benefits; the Copenhagen agreement will be “party to fraudulent scientific practices”; the president should boycott.
In essence, Palin critiques politicized science with, erm, some very politicized science. Take, for instance, this nugget:
As governor of Alaska, I took a stand against politicized science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population had more than doubled. I got clobbered for my actions by radical environmentalists nationwide, but I stood by my view that adding a healthy species to the endangered list under the guise of “climate change impacts” was an abuse of the Endangered Species Act.
What’s missing here is the recognition that a broad range and vast number of different scientists — zoologists, biologists, etc., and not all “radicals” either — concurred that polar bears were threatened; recognized that in some cases the populations would wax and wane, but that they would ultimately wane; and decided to list the animal as endangered. The reason wasn’t “climate change.” The reason was that polar bears might go extinct.
But, in Palin’s reading, the polar bear researchers must be drinking the same water as the climatologists, since, in both cases, thousands of scientists from different specialties differ on details but concur on the trend — or, more importantly, the threat it might pose.
TIMM SCHAMBERGER/AFP/Getty Images
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |
Daniel W. Drezner is professor of international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a senior editor at The National Interest. Prior to Fletcher, he taught at the University of Chicago and the University of Colorado at Boulder. Drezner has received fellowships from the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the Council on Foreign Relations, and Harvard University. He has previously held positions with Civic Education Project, the RAND Corporation, and the Treasury Department.| Daniel W. Drezner |