Global warming, it seems, may no longer be just a convenient liberal fiction. For the first time ever, the Republican Party platform has included a plank explicitly recognizing that man-made carbon emissions might be contributing to climate change and negative environmental impacts. Here's their introduction to the plank, "Addressing Climate Change Responsibly":

The same human economic activity that has brought freedom and opportunity to billions has also increased the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. While the scope and longterm consequences of this are the subject of ongoing scientific research, common sense dictates that the United States should take measured and reasonable steps today to reduce any impact on the environment.

That being said, the platform still rails against the "doomsday climate change scenarios peddled by the aficionados of centralized command-and-control government." Texas delegate Cathie Adams, who helped draft the plank, says the GOP believes that climate change is a "risk" that they should make accomodations for, not a reality. "This is a theory. This is not a scientific fact," Adams said in an interview today. "We are very interested in following what the science has to say and definitely being prepared according to the directives therein."

That being said, it's still a notable revision to Republicans' 2004 platform, which only passingly mentions "global climate change" in the same breath that it dismisses Kyoto. Maybe someone should give global-warming denier Sarah Palin the update.

--Suzy Khimm