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Rick Perry’s Energy Department: Yeah, FUCK YOU, SCIENCE!

Someone tell him he can stop wearing his S-M-R-T glasses

Not only does Rick Perry not know what the hell the Department of Energy does — or maybe he’s gotten the Cliffs Notes on that now that he’s on the job — he’s also now a genuine wingnut hero for successfully defeating those silly scientists who think carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases can trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, which is simply nuts. He got a nice write-up at The Hill by prominent climate denier Ross McKitrick, and Perry’s Department of Energy proudly Tweeted out the news:

That’s a pretty strange thing for a cabinet department to celebrate, although we shouldn’t be too surprised, since the press folks at the Department of Education keep rooting for Betsy DeVos in her War On Spelling. Still, it’s odd, especially considering that the previous tweet from Energy’s press office was a far more conventional retweet of a story about Oklahoma City winning an award for its promotion of solar energy. We hope the staffer responsible isn’t punished.

So, what is the Energy Department so darn chuffed about? It’s the usual basket of climate-denial twaddle, praising Perry for a June appearance on CNBC in which he was asked whether he thought CO2 is “the primary control knob for the temperature of the Earth and for climate” — admittedly, an unscientific way of putting it. McKitrick was simply delighted that Perry answered the ambiguous question with appropriate caution, since it “defies a simple yes or no answer.” Not that Perry’s actual answer makes a hell of a lot of sense: He said the main driver of climate change probably isn’t carbon dioxide, but rather “most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment we live in.” Yes, oceans are a big part of climate. But they sure as hell aren’t generating global increases in temperature — they’re being affected by them. Perry’s cluelessness was of a piece with that of EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, who in March also denied carbon dioxide is the primary driver of climate change.

McKitrick was also very happy that Perry said no one really knows how much human activity is influencing climate, and that he encouraged being “skeptical about some of these things” instead of blindly following the mere international scientific consensus. What really got McKitrick torqued off, though, was that the American Meteorological Society sent a letter of protest to Perry explaining that carbon dioxide is too the primary driver of global warming, and outlining the science on that. The NERVE of those weathermen, thinking they know which way the wind blows! McKitrick was simply astonished that AMS executive director Keith Seitter would act like the science is somehow settled, and that the group would scold Perry for

supposedly contradicting “indisputable findings” that emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases are the primary cause of recent global warming, a topic for which Seitter insists there is no room for debate.

Much of the piece is a ridiculous attack on the American Meteorological Society for being politically biased since it didn’t send similarly critical letters to Obama administration figures when they made statements about climate that McKitrick considers scientifically unfounded, like saying that the increase in extreme weather events reflects global warming, because as everyone knows, it’s really difficult to attribute any single storm to a single factor, so obviously you should never even suggest climate change played a role.

It’s bog-standard Merchants Of Doubt stuff, really, pretending that the normal caution of science means that we can’t reach any conclusions at all. Shame on those terrible meteorologists for pretending that there’s scientific consensus on climate change, when in fact an AMS survey found a lot of meteorologists don’t think it’s real either! And even here, McKitrick is fibbing; the survey found that while meteorologists are indeed less accepting of global warming than people in other Earth sciences, those who had actually done research in climatology (as opposed to focusing on weather forecasting) were far more likely to accept the conclusions of climate science.

Or maybe they were just more brainwashed, as McKitrick says:

The meteorological society letter is all about enforcing orthodoxy, which speaks ill of the leadership’s overall views on open scientific debate.

You know, because science has become all “Orwellian” and stuff, a lab coat stomping on a human face, forever. So Rick Perry’s brave defiance of these science fascists is some kind of victory over their dangerous orthodoxy, hooray.

In other Rick Perry is a Leading Intellectual news this week, the Secretary of Energy talked about the prospects for U.S.-Russian cooperation on energy for 22 minutes with a couple of Russian comedians, completely oblivious to the hoax and assuming he’d been phoned by Russian government officials. At least he didn’t offer to sell them any nuclear wessels.

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[DOE on twitter / The Hill / AMS letter / DeSmogBlog / Reuters]

Source: Politics – Wonkette

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