« 6-Year-Old Frog-Selling Business Goes Belly-Up | Main | “No, No. I Said ‘Duck,’ With a ‘D’” »

September 03, 2008

This page has been moved to http://www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes

If your browser doesn’t redirect you to the new location, please visit The Field Notes at its new location: www.fieldandstream.com/blogs/field-notes.

Discussion Topic: Palin Vs. Palin

There is no hotter topic right now than Senator John McCain’s VP pick. So I did some searching this morning for the most prominent hunting-related Sarah Palin headlines I could find. The one that popped up most was this from Toronto’s The Globe And Mail: “Palin Enjoys Hunting So Much, She May Have Had a Shotgun Wedding.” But we won’t go there.

If there’s a legitimate discussion to be had among sportsmen over Senator McCain’s pick, it’s clearly about guns vs. environment.  As a lifelong hunter and a Life Member of the NRA, the Alaska governor is as pro-gun as it gets.

From the Boston Globe:
[Wasilla, Alaska, residents] Lou Hoffman and Dave Chatterton savored the image of their former mayor, Sarah Palin, mixing it up at a Beltway soiree.

"I can see her sitting at a party and they're talking about this, that, and the other," said Hoffman, an 84-year-old Air Force veteran. "And she asks, 'How many guns do you have?' "

On the other hand, Gov. Palin’s environmental policies have been described as to the right of President Bush. Of particular concern to some sportsmen will be her ardent support for energy exploration in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, something John McCain still opposes and a topic this magazine has covered in depth.

From Time magazine:
Palin's support for drilling in ANWR — opening up the refuge was one of her 2006 campaign positions — is particularly galling for environmentalists . . . [who say] that Palin's push to open up ANWR to oil exploration would effectively destroy the refuge [and] likely wreak havoc with wildlife . . . .

So, what do you think of McCain’s pick? Do Gov. Palin’s environmental policies concern you? If so, does that outweigh her impressive pro-gun credentials?



I guess the question that needs to be asked is "Do you want to drive?" Or maybe "Do you need to drive?"
I, for one, live and work in a very rural environment, with no chance of mass transit. We need oil, at least in the short term. Also, this country (as does the rest of the industrial world) runs on fossil fuels.
I remember, prior to the construction of the Alaska Pipeline, predictions that caribou would become extinct after construction of this pipeline. This didn't happen!
Also please note that oil naturally seeps into the ocean through fissures. This has been ongoing since oil was created. Drilling will remove that oil and alleviate the pressure that causes this seepage.


I'm sure I'll get slammed for this, but the Democrats slogan seems to be "4 more years of the same," but if Sarah Palin become the VP and if she has any influence on policy, it won't be 4 more years of the same environmental disaster headed by the Bush administration--it will be worse.
Yes we love our guns. But my goodness, we must not allow the government to continue handing our public lands--our national heritage--over to the oil companies.
I won't bother going on about her ridiculously thin resume (and I don't want to hear about how she has more executive experience as Obama--that's just silly; by that logic, the mayor of my little town has more executive power than John McCain.)


OK - I'll bite.


ANWR is 19 MILLION acres. The proposed oil field is 2,000 acres - about the size of an average Midwest college campus. This hardly constitutes destroying the refuge and wreaking havoc on wildlife. Or, as Gov. Palin said in a July 2008 interview:

"Palin: There are great misconceptions about the developments up here. Take ANWR. The misperception is that this is a huge swath of pristine land, full of mountains and rivers and wildlife. Those are the pictures seen on TV. But what we're talking about with ANWR is a 2,000-acre plot of land that is a smaller footprint than LAX or big airports outside Alaska.

It's not mountainous, and there aren't rivers flowing through it. So even the perception of what ANWR would entail is wrong, and we need to correct that.

But even more important than explaining the geography and physical aspects of this plot of land is that I have to show that Alaska will have the prudent oversight that Alaskans and Americans will expect as we develop our natural resources.

Here in Alaska we love our clean air and our clean water and our abundant wildlife. We will protect Alaska."


Drilling in ANWAR is certainly no "short-term" solutions to your oil needs; and in ain't no long-tern solution either. Not the way our system works. That has been shown again and again.


Joel -

(initiating slamming procedure)

She is the Governor of Alaska. She has spending and veto authority over a budget of nearly $12 billion. She oversees a public payroll of 15,000 employees.

The "smalltown mayor" analogy is getting tired and annoying. Try to stop repeating bullet points from the Obama campaign, the guy with the truly "ridiculously thin resume".


I'm with Joel. Do not drill.
If this country only had the political will--a leader ballsy enough to challenge us to begin a true energy revolution, we can pull this off without raping the land and threatening wildlife.
The short-term solutions to the energy crisis are within easy reach of every American. By simply making a commitment to use less energy in our daily lives, as well as converting to good available alternatives like geothermal and solar for heating, for example, we can bridge the gap until long-term solutions are ironed out by this country's best and brightest.

Missy M

Since we all want to be private, can you give Dave your email so he can send it to me? I'd like to hear more of your opinions.


How's that car of yours running?
You know, the one with the solar panel and sail on top of it?
I'm still looking for the first 18 wheeler running on battery power.


My point, Jack, is that the Republican talking points unfairly compare Palin's "exective" experience to Obama's but not to her own running-mate's. There is a gap in logic there.


I'm not sure why anyone that hunts, fishes or traps would vote democrat. In my opinion, there are 2 things that effect me and my love of the outdoors. The second amendment and taxes. Obviously, obama, the most left wing democrat in the senate, would without a doubt take your guns away if he could. Don't kid yourself. Obama will raise taxes making it even harder to drive to your fishing or hunting spot.

I can't believe Obama has the following he does. Listening to his paster Wright should infuriate every american. Obama is not a friend to sportsmen.


The way to respond to the "small-town Mayor" line is to refer to BHO as a "community organizer".
Just forget their current jobs, must not matter.
She's been Governor of our country's largest state longer than he's been a Senator from Chicago (a real hotbed of respectable politics).


I happen to drive a very efficient hybrid and I'm putting geothermal heating into my house, both of which if more people did would hugely lower our demand for foreign oil--both in the short term and long term. We most certainly can have far more efficient vehicles, including 18 wheelers, but it seems to me that we aren't likely to get it with the likes of Sarah Palin.

Missy  M

On the flip side, just listening to John McCain having called his wife a C#*T and dropping his first wife who waited for him while he was a POW, yet he dumped her for a trophy wife ought to infuriate every American. No self respecting man should ever stoop that low.

That said, I'm not voting for either side. They're all a bunch of liars. Where's Ralph Nadar when you need him ;)


Good for you. Thanks for doing your part.
I recycle aluminum cans.
(Come on...just yanking your chain)
Seriously, not everyone can afford to buy a new overpriced car to get more miles per gallon. Or spend thousands on heating/cooling systems to save some on their bills. If you can, and it makes you feel better, go for it.
2,000 acres out of 19 million, jobs for a lot of people, lower costs for average Americans, I'll go for that.
The "best and brightest" can and will still come up with better long-term solutions, that's the free market at work, but why hamstring the country in the meantime?

Missy M

The theory of "Best and Brightest" is good. Unfortunately, we knew this was coming clear back in the 50's, and did NOTHING. And it came to the forefront again in the 70s and we DID NOTHING. If the best and brightest would actually DO something, that would be great. But drilling we be another stopgap measure and we'll do nothing and 30 more years from now someone will say "Cripes... we're having some problem with our oil supply. We need to do something". That's my problem with drilling.



Exactly how would having Sarah Palin as VP negatively effect fuel economy of vehicles?


There is no doubt that $4.00 a gallon gas will spur auto makers to develop more fuel efficient cars. You can't blame auto makers for the lack of hybrid or fuel efficient vehicles. Is all about supply and demand and simply put there hasn't been a demand for fuel efficient vehicles until gas became expensive. Folks wanted to drive SUV's and thats what the car manufactures created.


Missy M,
I don't know anything about John McCain's first wife, or the relationship they had before or after he came home. But, after hearing all the talk about the stress that veterans suffer after returning from combat, I suspect there was certainly some after spending that much time as a tortured POW. Their relationship no longer worked, that's called divorce. Don't know whose "fault" it was, if it was anyone's, but there's an awful lot of married couples that go through that, so I wouldn't be so quick to judge.
I suspect you don't know much about Cindy McCain, but she's much more than a "trophy wife".
Please take a look and find out, but if not, that's your choice.
I for one, am impressed by the things she has done. Yes, she is an heiress, but she has used the money she inherited in very good ways.

Missy M

Well, I will admit that I'm impressed that she overcame her illegal drug addiction without getting in trouble for it like the rest of us schmos would have.

Yes, being a POW is tough (have a friend who was there at the same time as McCain and he wouldn't vote for McCain for anything. Although when asked he merely says there are some things that will stay there) but when your first wife is in an auto accident and disfigured, you pretty much have to stay and make it work. Those are the breaks. She waited for him.

I will admit that as a woman this is a major bugaboo, and not relevant. Which was my point in the beginning... both candidates, heck all 4 candidates, have bad things and good things. Both sides have bad things and... well, worse things.

Drilling won't solve the mess we're in. Protecting the environment won't solve the mess we're in. Reducing consumption will help. It sure as heck couldn't HURT! And as far as Palin... I've read that there were plenty of more-qualified women in the Republican party. I hope McCain didn't just continue with his "trophy female" tendencies. Only time will tell I suppose. (And I still say where's Ralph Nadar) :)


So doing "NOTHING" (as in the 50's and 70's) by NOT drilling is the solution?
That's a rather circular argument.
The "best and brightest" was a reference to Todd's earlier post, and I agree that a solution, or at least improvements, will be found, they always are.
I just hate to think the only way to get there has to be "cutting off our nose to spite our face" when the short term answer is right there.
Did you happen to notice the price of oil dropped when just the topic of drilling came up? What do you suppose will happen if we actually do?


Ralph's sitting in his Corvair out in the driveway, wondering what happened.
Too smart by half, but nerd beyond belief.
Possibly Ron Paul will be joining him soon.


I am convinced Palin's energy policies and environmental policies are thoughtfully balanced. There is nothing about that 2,000 acres of ANWR that is any more sacred, delicate or fragile than Texas deserts, the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea or Canadian prairies. It is a public resource and should be exploited to the public's benefit. We continue to grow as a nation. Our growing and ever expanding energy demands will not be met by conservation, solar and wind. Coal, oil and natural gas are the prime movers of our economy - our ongoing failure to stay ahead of future demand will be to our long term detriment. Over 99.999% of ANWR will remain untouched.

We need this resource folks. It takes a long time to bring it to market, we must begin now.


Thanks for throwing that "trophy female" line out there again.
Keep repeating it long enough somebody might buy it.

Governor of the country's largest state isn't enough qualification for ya'?
Seems to me with the exception of Bush 41 the last 4 other Presidents were previously Governors.
Maybe he should have picked Helen Thomas, she's certainly experienced around Washington and ugly enough to make a freight train take a dirt road.

"Drilling won't solve the mess we're in. Protecting the environment won't solve the mess we're in. Reducing consumption will help. It sure as heck couldn't HURT!"

I would say the first two are as valid as the third, so why not do all.

Lastly, I'll never fault someone for developing, and then overcoming, a drug addiction to pain medication. It's vastly different from street users.

Missy M

Yeah, I'm just crabby about the whole (and Nadar sitting in his Corvair).

But I don't think the price of oil went down due to the discussion of drilling... I think perhaps there was a lessened DEMAND which is what runs our whole system.

And as far as "our growing and ever expanding energy demands will not be met by conservation, solar and wind. Coal, oil and natural gas are the prime movers of our economy - our ongoing failure to stay ahead of future demand will be to our long term detriment."

The reason that worries me is that oil is not unlimited. With China and India increasing their demand, at some point we may not be able to produce as much as is needed. And at some point, we may even (heaven forbid!) run out. I just know that until 'the people' DEMAND something different, very little will happen. It's just like the auto industry - they've had the ability to make fuel efficient cars, but not the demand. So my fear is that if we just drill more, it will reduce the impetus to find altenatives and change usage patterns.

OK, I'll go now. ;)

Missy M

PS... thaks John. It's always fun to have discussions that don't end up in finger-pointing shouting matches!

Our Blogs