Texas Governor Rick Perry takes pride in being a climate change denier, and his administration backs him up.
Top environmental officials under Perry have gutted a recent report on sea level rise in Galveston Bay, removing all mentions of climate change. For the past decade, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), which is run by Perry political appointees, has contracted with the Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) to produce regular reports on the state of the Bay.
Official Deleted References To Human-Induced Climate Change
But when HARC submitted its most recent State of the Bay publication to the commission earlier this year, officials decided they couldn’t accept a report that said climate change is caused by human activity and is causing the sea level to rise. Top officials at the commission proceeded to edit the paper to censor its references to human-induced climate change or future projections on how much the bay will rise.
Every Single Scientist Proceeded To Disown The Report
Outraged by this censorship, every single scientist associated with the 200-page report has demanded his/her name be struck from the document.
From The Guardian:
“None of us can be party to scientific censorship so we would all have our names removed,” said Jim Lester, a co-author of the report and vice-president of the Houston Advanced Research Centre.
“To me it is simply a question of maintaining scientific credibility. This is simply antithetical to what a scientist does,” Lester said. “We can’t be censored.” Scientists see Texas as at high risk because of climate change, from the increased exposure to hurricanes and extreme weather on its long coastline to this summer’s season of wildfires and drought.
However, Perry, in his run for the Republican nomination and in spite of having earned a Bachelor of Science degree , has elevated denial of science to an art form. He opposes any regulation of industry, and has repeatedly challenged the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Texas Alone Refuses To Sign On To Greenhouse Gas Regulations
Texas is the only state to refuse to sign on to the federal government’s new regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
John Anderson, the oceanographer at Rice University who wrote the chapter on sea levels rising at Galveston Bay, provided Mother Jones with a copy of the edited document, complete with tracked changes from top TCEQ officials. You can see the cuts—which include how much sea level rise has increased over the years, as well as the statement that this rise “is one of the main impacts of global climate change”—here.
From Mother Jones:
Anderson says that the cuts to his paper were political and had nothing to do with science. The research underlying the study was peer-reviewed and is part of a decadelong study Anderson has conducted in partnership with other scientists.
The Geological Society of America published the scientists’ results in 2008. “I was a bit astonished,” Anderson tells Mother Jones. “Really this paper is just a review of papers we published previously. There’s no denying the fact that sea level rise has significantly accelerated. The scientific community is not at all divided on that issue.”
Climate Change Acknowledged Worldwide, But Not In U.S.
Is Rick Perry so enamored of the big oil companies that he must deny climate change? In my native (and now Conservative) England, the government has a Department of Energy and Climate Change. In other parts of the world, legislation to control carbon emissions has been rolling out.
And yet in the United States, the Republican Party has managed to turn skepticism about man-made global warming into a requirement to be elected. What’s wrong with this picture?
As The New York Times reported today, a 2010 Pew survey showed that more than 70 percent of people in China, India and South Korea were willing to pay more for energy in order to address climate change. The number in the United States was 38 percent.
And here in the United States, candidate Rick Perry announced in a recent debate that “the science is not settled” on man-made global warming. So does that make it OK for him to lie about the evidence?
What do you think?
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