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Polar bear

Guardian, September 17, 2008

US election: US thinktank names Palin as enemy of the environment
Centre for Biological Diversity condemned Alaska governor as a 'global warming denier'
By Suzanne Goldenberg

Sarah Palin may have seen the light - sort of - on climate change but that did not spare her from being singled out today as America's environmental enemy of the year.

The Centre for Biological Diversity awarded Palin its Rubber Dodo award for her insistence - despite scientific evidence to the contrary - that the polar bear population was rising across the Arctic.

The Arizona thinktank condemned the Alaska governor as a "global warming denier".

"Governor Palin has waged a deceptive, dangerous, and costly battle against the polar bear," Kieran Suckling, the centre's director, said in a statement. "Her position on global warming is so extreme, she makes Dick Cheney look like an Al Gore devotee."

The slap for Palin comes less than a week after she belatedly and grudgingly admitted the possibility of a human factor in climate change in her first television interview since she was chosen as John McCain's running mate.

The conversion on climate change was swiftly followed by further revelations of Palin's tenuous relationship to scientific fact. Palin, it appears, is so fond of fake tans that she had a tanning bed installed in the governor's mansion early last year.

News reports today said that Palin purchased the used tanning bed from a local health club and moved it into the official residence soon after her election.

A few months later, in May 2007, Palin issued a proclamation as governor on skin cancer awareness month urging Alaskans to take preventative measures against the disease.

"Skin cancer is caused, overwhelmingly, by over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and from tanning beds," she said in a press release. "It is largely preventable."

McCain had tumours causing skin cancer removed in 1993 and 2000, and is religious about using sunscreen and wearing a hat when outdoors.

© Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

Photo © Paul S. Hamilton