Sarah Palin may have seen the light - sort of - on climate change but that did not spare her from being singled out yesterday as America's environmental enemy of the year.
The Centre for Biological Diversity awarded Palin its Rubber Dodo award for her insistence - despite 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. "Her position on global warming is so extreme, she makes Dick Cheney look like an Al Gore devotee."
The slap comes less than a week after Palin belatedly 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.
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The conversion was followed by further revelations of Palin's tenuous relationship with scientific fact. News reports yesterday said that Palin bought a tanning bed and moved it into the governor's mansion soon after her election. A few months later, in May 2007, she issued a proclamation during skin cancer awareness month urging Alaskans to take preventive measures. "Skin cancer is caused, overwhelmingly, by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and from tanning beds," she said in a press release.
McCain had skin cancers removed in 1993 and 2000, and is religious about using sun screen and wearing a hat outdoors.