Back in 2007, arguably the most leader-like thing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin could have done was her executive order establishing a state “Climate Change Sub-Cabinet.” Her order reads, “Climate change is not just an environmental issue It is also a social, cultural, and economic issue important to all Alaskans.”She went there. But nowadays, with the knob on her cray-cray meter cranked up to eleven, she says climate change is a hoax.This week, she metaphorically donned an Alaskan tinfoil toque to pitch Climate Hustle, a new climate denial documentary. “We’re told by fearmongers that global warming is due to man’s activities and this presents strong arguments against that in a very relatable way,” she said in an interview with the political journal Variety Daily.
Interesting fellow, that Newt. In the 1970’s, he was the faculty advisor to the Sierra Club chapter at West Georgia College. As a young congressman, he helped block a dam project on the Flint River. The site is a Georgia state park now. In 1980, his League of Conservation Voters score was 15 points higher than another young congressman, Al Gore.
Then came the Reagan Revolution, and Gingrich’s green began to tarnish. By 1995, he was Speaker of the House, promising an across-the-board rollback of environmental regulation. The green occasionally still shone through, in his advocacy for protecting besieged gorilla populations and notably in a 2007 ad with then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Seated on an oddly-placed sofa with the US Capitol in the background, Newt said, “our country must take action to address climate change.”
By 2011, when called to account by Fox News about the ad, Gingrich pretty much went into self-exorcism mode, saying the ad was “probably the dumbest single thing I’ve done in recent years.” The following year, amidst his unsuccessful presidential bid, he purged a climate change chapter from an essay-collection book he was editing after the chapter had come under withering attack by talkshow host Rush Limbaugh.
In September 2014, as the then-Louisiana governor prepared a run at the presidency, he acknowledged “human activity is having an impact on the climate.” That same day, in aspeech to the Heritage Foundation he said “for some on the left, climate change is simply a Trojan horse… to make changes to our economy.”
The proprietor of the Fox News “No Spin Zone” has certainly done a 180. In a 2007 Sixty Minutes interview, O’Reilly asserted, “global warming is here,” and dismissed climate deniers and skeptics as idiots. Less than a year later on his own show, he spun around to declare climate science as “guesswork,” adding “I’ll leave the definitive word to the deity.”