Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Swinging back at the anti-science

Recently I lamented the Republican presidential candidates tilting from merely bad on climate science to crazy wrong. Since then bad Tim Pawlenty dropped out, and newly-in crazy wrong Rick Perry has gotten a lot of press.

Today Perry spoke on climate change, and he indeed showed off his crazy wrong credentials. In one quote block Perry went on a Gish Gallop of rapid-fire ignorance typical of the dime-a-dozen-million commentors you can find online. In one stretch of less than 75 words he touched on the supposed massive number of scientists disputing climate change, gave past natural changes as reason to dismiss humans could cause changes, and cited supposed manipulation of data by scientists.

Like so many others who spout off such non-factual reasons to doubt anthropogenic climate, he demonstrates his most fundamental reason for opposition is because he thinks addressing climate change will eat his wallet because, e.g., "the cost...of implementing these anticarbon programs is in the billions if not trillions of dollars".

That Perry dismisses science that he does not think fits with this ideology is not the news from the Washington Post item linked above. What was pleasantly surprising was that the Huntsman campaign fired at Perry for his hostility toward science. Huntsman's lack of backbone on addressing the issue is still bad, but his not completely dismissing the issue and attacking someone who does is a bit refreshing.

Maybe the no-longer-candidate former Minnesota governor can step back from his Tim Polluty incarnation and instead of trying to claim that the scientific jury remains out start advocating again for solutions to anthropogenic climate change. Like Romney, it is not clear what he actually believes since his view seems dictated by chasing votes as opposed to trying to be accurate. Here's to hoping those panderers can squash their inner denialists.

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