Anyone who has followed Mark’s and Harold’s diligent chronicling of the Rick Perry crazy over the last few days should hardly be surprised when he says something inane. But if you’re going to be a nutcase paranoid, you should at least make sense on your own terms.
Too high a bar, apparently. Today, Perry rehashed the now-common right-wing charge of a scientific conspiracy on climate change:
Perry [stated] flatly that scientists drum up phony climate change data to make a buck.
“A substantial number of scientists [have] manipulated data to keep the money rolling in,” New Hampshire Union Leader editorial page editor Drew Cline quoted Perry saying on the stump in a tweet. Before that, Cline quoted Perry saying, “I do believe the issue of global warming has been politicized.”
Let’s suppose that climate scientists really did have a conspiracy to increase their funding. Would they say what they are saying now? Not in the least.
Climate scientists have already declared anthropogenic climate change to be real, and have already declared it be extremely serious. That’s a lousy strategy for generating research dollars. The better strategy would be to say that it could be serious, but we really don’t know, and there is still uncertainty, but we aren’t sure, and we really need $200 million more to figure it out.
As the science currently stands, the people looking to clean up are not climate scientists, but rather renewable energy experts, geo-engineering specialists, carbon sequestration inventors, fuel cell battery designers, etc. I think it was Mike Huckabee who, a few months ago, said that the government should offer a $1 billion prize to the person who can invent clean energy. Whoever that will be, it won’t be a climate scientist. By proving the danger of anthropogenic climate change so clearly, they have actually undercut themselves financially. Their reward for this has been unrelenting attacks from the likes of Rick Perry.
I realize that this is a little too straightforward: “well, yes, that just shows how diabolical the conspiracy is! They are pretending that the science is certain, so that when we accuse them of making it up, they can wriggle out of it by using your argument!” Cue crazed-dilated eyes.
Maybe Perry could secede from the United States all by himself.