The battle to debunk climate-change deniers like Sarah Palin has an unlikely new foot soldier: Jimmy Kimmel.
The ABC late-night host took the former Republican vice presidential nominee to task on Monday over her recent comments questioning the science behind global warming: He enlisted actual scientists to participate in a public service announcement to clear up any confusion surrounding those who deny that climate change is real.
Kimmel began the segment by playing clips of Palin, who has been out promoting an anti-climate change documentary called Climate Hustle.
“I want people to feel empowered to ask questions about what is being fed them by the science community that, um, something’s not making a whole lot of sense when it comes to inconsistent data that is being produced and being fed especially to our children when it comes to global warming or climate change or whatever they’re calling it today,” Palin told the Guardian recently. “It is perpetuated, it is repeated so often that too many people believe that, ‘Oh, well, I guess if 97 percent of, you know, all scientists believe that man’s activities are creating changes in the weather, who am I to question that?’”
"Exactly,” Kimmel quipped. “Who are you to question that?”
The comedian says he has an idea why the former Alaska governor would be pushing such an idea.
“I think Sarah Palin maybe wants global warming,” Kimmel said. “It’s cold in Alaska. It would be welcome up there.”
But the idea that Palin thinks she knows more than the global scientific community is “offensive” and “dangerous,” Kimmel said. “No matter what Sarah Palin or these geniuses she surrounds herself with try to tell you, climate change is not a liberal versus conservative thing, but the people who profit from it want you to believe it is.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2015 was the hottest year on record, with globally averaged surface temperatures shattering the previous mark set in 2014. Since 1880, when modern record keeping began, 15 of the 16 warmest years on record have occurred since 2001, NOAA said.
“You know how you know climate change is real? When the hottest year on record is whatever year it currently is,” Kimmel said. “That’s how you know.”
He added: “Our politicians debate this — our scientists don’t.”