Rick Perry's Texas-Sized Climate Denial

By Chris Mooney | August 17, 2011 4:29 pm

Coming on strong as a candidate, with everybody talking about him, Rick Perry immediately attacks global warming and says it’s all a plot for scientists to get ‘da bucks. It’s like, a welfare program, but for scientists. Here are some quotes:

Fielding audience questions after brief remarks that dwelled largely on fiscal and economic issues, Perry encountered one skeptic who said he was quoting from Perry’s 2010 book, Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America From Washington, then asked whether misgivings about climate science fueled distrust of federal research in general.

“I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized,” Perry answered. “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed.”

More here.

Hey Rick Perry–when and how do you think the Earth was formed? What was the “climate” like then? I’d love to hear his answer to that one.

Now, is it surprising to find a GOP candidate denying human caused global warming? Heck no–this is a litmus test issue in the party.

But it is surprising to find how exercised Perry seems to be about it. He isn’t just toeing some line. He actually seems to be engaged with the topic–which is what’s most worrisome.


Comments (8)

  1. Mike H

    Q: What would give Perry the impression that some individuals in the climatology community have been tweaking the data?

    A: briffa_sep98_d.pro. Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!

  2. Bobito

    Guess what, “the issue of global warming has been politicized” and ” a substantial number of scientists have manipulated data” although one can only speculate on their motive and “substantial” can mean different things to different people.

    I think these beliefs are pretty main stream. Furthermore, having these beliefs, and believing that AGW is real, are not mutually exclusive.

    I think these two issues are at the core of the AGW debate, and neither of the extreme sides get it.
    A “Denier” will say: Global Warming is ALL politics and ALL scientist are manipulating data.
    An “Alarmist” will say: Global Warming has NOTHING to do with politics and ALL scientific data is correct.

    A “Realist” will say: The global warming debate has been INFLUENCED by politics and SOME scientist have intentionally manipulated data and/or made statements that are not necessarily backed up by the data. But neither of those points has anything to do with the core argument.

    Until both side can agree on those two points it will remain politicized and special interest dollars will go to funding junk science ON BOTH SIDES…

  3. Rick Perry is a Creationist as well as an anthropogenic global warming denier. He says this:

    Explain where you stand on evolution-creationism being taught in school.

    “I am a firm believer in intelligent design as a matter of faith and intellect, and I believe it should be presented in schools alongside the theories of evolution. The State Board of Education has been charged with the task of adopting curriculum requirements for Texas public schools and recently adopted guidelines that call for the examination of all sides of a scientific theory, which will encourage critical thinking in our students, an essential learning skill.”

    Perry has appointed Young Earth Creationists to be chairmen of the Texas State Board of Education three times. The first two were not approved by the Texas Senate. We currently have the third.

    Steven Schafersman
    President, Texas Citizens for Science

  4. bad Jim

    At the moment, Perry’s medieval understanding of economics is more frightening than his creationism or climate change denial. There’s some reason to think that this is mere opportunistic pandering, since once upon a time he supported Al Gore, and he has to been known to reward generous campaign contributors with lucrative state contracts, but his college records support the surmise that he isn’t actually very bright.

    Wondering whether politicians actually believe the nonsense they spew has almost never been a productive pastime, but with someone like Perry it may not be possible even in theory to separate stupidity from cupidity.

  5. Don

    Won’t be long before Watts, the Rasputin of the deniers, will send his little monkeys over here to clog the comments.

  6. L. F. File

    “But it is surprising to find how exercised Perry seems to be about it. He isn’t just toeing some line.”

    Oh, he’s toeing a line alright. It is called the “Big Lie” and it is a very old propaganda technique. Some people will believe something just because it is so outrageous that they cannot believe anyone would tell such a whopper. T-Party propaganda is rife with them.


  7. Incredulous

    I keep reading this and the other similar posts and I just have to say…

    You all don’t get it, do you?

    I have heard Rick Perry described as “Conservative Christian”, “Creationist” and “Anti-Global Warming” where it is intended to be a pejorative. Get a clue: They are labels he wears proudly. That is the exact message he wants to get out and most likely, it will resonate with enough people that are looking for just that kind of candidate to have sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in a few months. If you are so eager to campaign against him, I would at least suggest trying something other than confirming the exact things he is promoting.


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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs.For a longer bio and contact information, see here.


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