First he threatened Fed chairman Ben Bernanke. Now Texas governor Rick Perry is traducing the motives of climate scientists.
At a “Politics and Eggs” event in Bedford, New Hampshire, Perry was asked by an audience member about the National Academy of Sciences’ affirmation that climate change is now primarily driven by the burning of fossil fuels. Perry responded that the evidence pointing to mankind’s role in climate alteration has been knowingly falsified.
I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. And I think we are seeing almost weekly or even daily scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes our climate’s changed, they’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed. But I do not buy into a group of scientists who have in some cases found to be manipulating this information.
And the cost to the country and the world of implementing these anti-carbon programs is in the billions if not trillions of dollars at the end of the day. And I don’t think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money still on a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective, is being put more and more into question.
Perry was apparently making reference to the “Climategate” pseudo-scandal that seized the imagination of Fox News in late 2009 and early 2010. Of course, Perry omitted to add that six different investigations found that there was no evidence of data manipulation on the part of the scientists involved.
Perry apparently assumes the general population is not aware of the exoneration of the scientists involved in the “Climategate” pseudo-scandal. Maybe he assumes that Republican primary voters do not care.
As for the contention that climate science has been politicized, former Clinton energy advisor Joe Romm correctly notes:
Global warming has indeed been politicized by the fossil-fuel industry and the tea party extremists — but the degree of politicization is unique to this country, which should tell you all you need to know about its source.”
Anyone who knows actual scientists knows that they don’t do things for the money. Indeed, it is quite safe to say very few become scientists if money is among the top things they are interested in. In fact, virtually nothing is more important to a scientist than his or her professional reputation, which can be maintained only by doing research that can be reproduced by others. It is understandable why Perry would project onto scientists the motivations of the pro-pollution politicians and lobbyists he hangs out with. Virtually nothing is more important to them than money and the influence of its buys, which can be maintained only by making crap up.
Mitt Romney demonstrated courage under talk-radio fire earlier this summer when he dared to acknowledge that anthropogenic climate change is real. Jon Huntsman has also faced the wrath of the Tea Party by accepting the scientific verdict on climate change. Huntsman aide John Weaver called out Perry on his ridiculous remarks, noting, “We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party…science clearly was not a mandatory course for Governor Perry.”
It’s one thing for Perry to dismiss the data documenting mankind’s role in climate alteration. It’s quite another for Perry to refuse to acknowledge that the scientists who were accused of manipulating data in “Climategate” turned out to have been falsely accused.