I love when Republicans fight.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger veered off the standard Republican trail a couple of days ago when he called on the White House to look to California as an example of how to fight against global warming, telling the Financial Times that "it would be good for the whole world ... if the U.S. becomes the power behind the movement."

Mr. Schwarzenegger also had some thoughts to share about Sarah Palin when he said, "You have to ask: what was she trying to accomplish? Is she really interested in this subject or is she interested in her career and in winning the nomination [for president]?"

Never one to back down to a fight (unless it's some really powerful rightie like Glenn Beck), Mrs. Palin took to Facebook to write:

Why is Governor Schwarzenegger pushing for the same sorts of policies in Copenhagen that have helped drive his state into record deficits and unemployment? Perhaps he will recall that I live in our nation’s only Arctic state and that I was among the first governors to create a sub-cabinet to deal specifically with climate change. While I and all Alaskans witness the impacts of changes in weather patterns firsthand, I have repeatedly said that we can’t primarily blame man’s activities for those changes. And while I did look for practical responses to those changes, what I didn’t do was hamstring Alaska’s job creators with burdensome regulations so that I could act “greener than thou” when talking to reporters.
Sarah Palin couldn't hack being the leader of a state with a population of 686,293* (California has 36,757,666*) and quit in the middle of her term as governor because the economy was slipping, the job of actually governing was getting harder, and so she could go on a book tour. Mrs. Palin is on the record as a supporter of creationism and fought to kick the polar bear off the endangered species list. She has as much credibility when it comes to science and climate change as Exxon Mobil does and seems to be willing to say and do anything to pump up her fanbase and to sell more books. "Global warming is an Al Gore-inspired hoax!" players well in her version of America. She's no better than Glenn Beck.

Ultimately hardliners like Palin are just digging the grave of the Republican Party. Every time they push back against pragmatic and moderate Republicans like Schwarzenegger, they inch the GOP that much closer to being a regional minority party focused in the bitter south. The question is, can we overcome the fear, uncertainty, and doubt people like Sarah Palin sow and get a plan in place that will cut global emissions and slow down global warming.

* Source: The U.S. Census Bureau from 2008

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Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Climate change face-off: Schwarzenegger vs. Palin
Sarah Palin trades barbs with California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger after he criticized her anti-science stance on global warming.