Rick Perry Loses Cool on Warming

June 23, 2017

Huh. I see the video above has gotten 125k views while I wasn’t looking.

Climate blogger Collin Maessen and I interviewed Richard Muller in 2014 at the American Geophysical Union. Muller, a one-time darling of denierville, got funding from, among others, the Koch Brothers, to apply his skeptical eye to climate science and review all the mainstream findings about global temperature and what drives it.
To his credit, Muller hired a crack team of scientists, including a recent Nobel prize physicist, and they set to work.
And, they confirmed what mainstream climate science has been saying for 60 years.

His work came up in a Senate hearing the other day.

ThinkProgress:

After a week full of misleading and inaccurate statements, Energy Secretary Rick Perry remained incredulous and defiant when confronted with climate science-related facts in a budget hearing Thursday.

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) informed Perry that scientists have concluded that “humans are entirely the cause” of recent warming, to which Perry responded, “I don’t believe it” and “I don’t buy it.”

And when Franken reminded him this was the conclusion of a team of climate science skeptics funded by conservative petrochemical billionaires Charles and David Koch, Perry raised his voice and said: “To stand up and say that 100 percent of global warming is because of human activity, I think on its face, is just indefensible.”

Monday on CNBC, Perry falsely claimed that carbon dioxide was not the primary cause of recent global warming, along with a bunch of other nonsense. He also defended his right to be a “skeptic.”

On Wednesday, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) wrote Perry a letter informing him that he was simply wrong. The central role of greenhouse gases — of which CO2 is the “most important” — is “based on multiple independent lines of evidence that have been affirmed by thousands of independent scientists and numerous scientific institutions around the world,” the letter read.

The AMS called these “indisputable findings,” and pointed out, “we are not familiar with any scientific institution with relevant subject matter expertise that has reached a different conclusion.”

The AMS also explained that while some aspects of climate science are not fully resolved, this wasn’t one of them, adding, “skepticism that fails to account for evidence is no virtue.”

On Thursday, at an Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, Franken asked Perry to defend downplaying the role of CO2 — and Perry reiterated his denial. Oblivious, Perry repeated, “what’s wrong with being a skeptic?”

Perry went on to call for a so-called “red team” exercise where scientists argue back and forth with a “blue team” on the issue. “But that is exactly how science works,” replied Franken, with teams of scientists pushing back and forth on one another until a consensus is reached.

Franken then pointed out that the Koch brothers had actually helped set up a “red team” of skeptics to take a new look at all of the historical data on global surface temperatures. He then quoted what the head of that team, Dr. Richard Muller, said in the New York Times about their findings:

Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

At that moment in the questioning, Perry lost his composure, not merely rejecting this scientific reality but asserting angrily that it is “just indefensible.”

For the record, not only is it defensible, but in 2013, the world’s leading climatologists concluded in their summary of the latest science that “the best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.”

To clarify this science-speak from U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the best estimate is that humans are responsible for all of the warming we have suffered since 1950. Every major government in the world signed off on this conclusion back in 2013.

But the U.S. Energy Secretary is not just unaware of the science; when presented with it, he’s sure it can’t be true. That’s what makes him a denier and not a skeptic.

Climate deniers style themselves as “skeptics”, implying they look at data with an open mind and draw conclusions based on reality.   For whatever his faults, Dr. Muller took that approach.  Mr. Perry, and his fellow deniers in the Trump cabinet, seem incapable of making the leap.

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55 Responses to “Rick Perry Loses Cool on Warming”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    As they say in Texas, Perry is “All Hat, No Cattle”. And a moron to boot—-that’s why he can’t make the leap. (He can’t dance either).


  2. It is completely frightening to realize what type of people we currently have at the top of our government.

    And to make matters worse, just opened my email to find this breaking news.

    <a href="Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault

    Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

    Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.
    But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

  3. danallosso Says:

    Good material here! It’s very difficult to imagine how politicians like Cruz and Perry, who are obviously either beholden to or afraid of wealthy climate deniers, manage to influence public opinion. I guess it proves filter bubbles are real. So how are you going to pull the uncommitted or supporters of the other side into an actual dialog?

  4. grindupbaker Says:

    This Perry geezer, a primary control knob waffling about the primary control knob.

  5. ubrew12 Says:

    Perry: “don’t you think its OK to have this conversation about the science of climate change? Why don’t we have a red team approach, and get the politicians out of the room, and let the scientists… have [their]… say about it? I’m pretty comfortable with that.”

    If you got the politicians out of the room, the red team would have nobody in it. And ‘let the scientists have their say’? They spoke up on this topic so forcefully, in 1965, the President subsequently warned Congress about it. They’ve been saying the same thing since then, over and over and over. Clearly, the problem is that Perry isn’t listening. Perry is wading so deep in hypocrisy here I’m surprised he can still breathe.

    These are America’s leaders. They are signaling to the people that truth is whatever you claim it is. If someone says something different, well, just tune them out: ‘you have your truth, and I have mine’. I think I’m going to use that the next time I ‘borrow’ someone else’s car.

  6. indy222 Says:

    Sorry, but Franken should have cut that corrupt blowhard off at the knees 30 seconds into his filibuster of the senator’s time. He should have blasted that idiot with the fact that his kind have doomed our planet to a grim future because the time for measured transformation is now PAST. We’re going past 2C and we’re going past 3C and quite possibly +5C according to the permafrost melt and even a best-effort towards decarbonizing. Tell Perry his great grandchildren will be scorned for having suffered the ignominy of having him on their ancestry. These people will be looked at as the corrupt greedy shills they are. It’ll take time for the whole civilization to get there – we’ll have to see far more suffering before we’ll get there – but get there we will. Read MacDougall’s recent work, read Friedrich et al.’s work on ECS and the permafrost melt, together with Vak’s earlier work in ’13. It’s too late, and we just won’t see it until the vehicle starts smashing into things on the gathering slope we’ve crossed over and now heading down. We’re at +1.4C above pre-industrial as of March ’17. We need Nuremberg trials for people like Perry and Trump and the entire band of thugs.

  7. vierotchka Says:

    Peter, off topic, but…

    • ubrew12 Says:

      You need to send that to Comrade Trump.
      That juvenile fantasy is why he ran in the first place
      (or, 2nd place, 1st place being to pay back the Putin mob).

      • vierotchka Says:

        Actually, it is Peter Sinclair’s birthday, you dimwit!

        Keep on drinking the mendacious Kool Aid fed you by the MSM. it will soon be the death of you.

        • ubrew12 Says:

          Your animated gifs remind me of an old saying I made up:
          “Speech is Free. Content costs Extra.”
          At least attempt to say something. Like, here’s drought over N America this century: http://assets.climatecentral.org/images/uploads/news/2_12_15_Brian_NASADroughtAnimation.gif

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Edelman was not talking about YOUR gifs here, but of course you’re too stupid to understand that, just as you don’t understand what ubrew means by “at least try to say something”. Your gifs are nothing but childish, repetitive, and often vulgar ad hominem attacks on those of us whose arguments and thoughts you are unable to counter with intelligent responses.

            You display your stupidity by seeking credit and adulation for wishing Peter a happy birthday? Give him a real present by ceasing to crap up his otherwise excellent blog with your inanities and whoring for russia and Putin.

            What hasn’t penetrated YOUR cranium is the understanding that YOU are the “insult” here—-to everyone’s intelligence and to common sense and decency. It is not an “insult” to point out your dishonesty and failings so that others will know what you are. A whining waste of our time that is good for nothing but posting dumb gifs.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            “Your gifs are nothing but childish, repetitive, and often vulgar ad hominem attacks on those of us whose arguments and thoughts you are unable to counter with intelligent responses”. (And they’re Booooooring also—–ZZZZZzzzzzz…..!!!!!))

          • vierotchka Says:

            They are so mild in comparison to your disgusting insults…. :

            For your desperately needed edification (why do you so ardently desire WWIII and the anihilation of humanity, you vile individual?):

            The Little Putsch That Could Beget a Great Big Coup

            https://dailyreckoning.com/little-putsch-beget-great-big-coup/

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Vera is losing touch with reality. Ignore her loony “why do you so ardently desire WWIII and the anihilation (sic) of humanity?” (WHAT?) and her (also loony) link to an “investment advice and buy gold from us” site typical of the RWNJ side of the web (they often offer survival supplies and health advice too).

            Instead focus on her claim that her never-ending assaults on our intelligence are “mild in comparison to my DISGUSTING insults”. Vera often posts gifs with the word “delusional”, with no other evidence or argument that what she is responding to is actually that. Unfortunately, she often shoots off a toe when she does that, as she does here. Standing and walking must be getting difficult for her.

          • dumboldguy Says:

            I am obsessed with truth. You are just never ending piles of dog poop that we have to occasionally clean off our shoes as we walk the path seeking truth. You are, unfortunately, hard to avoid stepping in.

          • vierotchka Says:

            You wouldn’t know truth if it sliced and diced and salted and peppered and spiced and dipped in batter and deep-fried and force fed you your gonads, stupid old man!

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Typical mindless Vera.

          • vierotchka Says:

            You’re batshit crazy, brainless old man!

          • dumboldguy Says:

            Such attacks from a useless POS like you are actually a compliment, Vera. It is a sign of your cluelessness that you don’t recognize that. Score is now around 220 for the good guys, 2 for the entity know as Vera.

          • vierotchka Says:

            Furthermore, I am not a climate change and anthropogenic global warming denier.

            My gifs are exclusively in response to attacks and insults hurled at me. If you don’t want to see them, don’t attack and insult me and don’t mention me. It isn’t rocket science, you know, but it seems that this simple concept hasn’t penetrated the three-inches thick bones of the the retards craniums here because after all this time, they haven’t yet understood that.

            Get a grip and get over it. I haven’t seen anyone else wish Peter a Happy Birthday, so inane you all are with regard to Russia, Putin and attacking me.

  8. bradhp Says:

    Reblogged this on Online.


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