"Let me talk to you a bit about environmental policy, because this interfaces with energy policy, and you have some significant differences with John McCain," ABC News’ Charles Gibson said in his conversation with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. "Do you still believe that global warming is not man-made?"
"I believe that man’s activities certainly can be contributing to the issue of global warming, climate change," Palin said. "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 got to do something about it and we have to make sure that we’re doing all we can to cut back on pollution."
Said Gibson: "But it’s a critical point as to whether this is man-made. He says it is. You have said in the past it’s not."
"The debate on that even, really, has evolved into, ‘OK, here’s where we are now,’" Palin said. "’Scientists do show us that there are changes in climate. Things are getting warmer. Now what do we do about it?’ John McCain and I are going to be working on what we do."
"Yes, but isn’t it critical as to whether or not it’s man-made?" Gibson said. "Because what you do about it depends on whether it’s man-made."
"That’s why I’m attributing some of man’s activities to potentially causing some of the changes in the climate right now," said Palin.
"But I — color me a cynic," Gibson said, "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. Sounds to me like you’re adapting your position to Sen. McCain’s."
"I think you are a cynic," Palin said, "because show me where I’ve said 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 — I’m not going to argue scientists, because I believe in science and have such a great respect for what they are telling us. I’m not going to disagree with the point that they make that man’s activities can be attributed to changes."
OK, Gov. Palin:
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, Dec. 4, 2007: "I’m not an Al Gore, doom-and-gloom environmentalist, blaming the changes in our climate on human activity, but I’m not going to put my head in the sand and pretend there aren’t changes."
Interview with Newsmax, Aug. 28, 2008: "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."
– Jake Tapper and Lisa Chinn