Rick Perry Fury Over UK Climate Change Initiative

Rick Perry, the governor of Texas and former Republican presidential candidate, has criticized Britain for funding an US environmental group project which aimed to “educate” Texan policymakers about climate science.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) was funded by the UK Foreign Office in 2009 to “move them from a state of denial and inaction to one of acceptance and effective action.”

The funding was part of the UK’s promotion of a “low-carbon, high-growth global economy.” Texas was singled out as an influential state which could shift the US federal position on addressing carbon emissions, and because Texas also has higher emissions than the UK. The Foreign Office said that one of the project’s aims was “the sharing of UK experience/expertise on global warming and regulation with Texas.”

Two Texan state lawmakers, including the climate skeptic Republican Troy Fraser, were flown to the UK to receive a briefing with climate scientists and government officials. In Austin, a conference was held which included a video of Prince Charles addressing Texan politicians on the subject of climate change.

Other projects were funded elsewhere in the US, Canada, Russia, China, India and Brazil.

Perry told The Guardian, which uncovered the funding through a Freedom of Information request:

In Texas, we base our policy decisions on sound science and what is ultimately best for our citizens. Man-made global warming remains but a theory and one where thousands of scientists remain sceptical. It would be irresponsible to put our entire economy at risk based on unproven science. Our state has one of the best success stories in cleaning our air, all while remaining the nation’s leading energy producer and job creator. Given these achievements, it would seem those UK tax dollars were misdirected.

Perry describes climate science in his book ‘Fed Up!’ as “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.” Last year he said:

“I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.”

The UK described the project as “very successful” but Jim Marston, the director of EDF’s regional office in Texas, said that although Fraser “came back very enthused … Sadly, his enthusiasm has decreased since, partly because the issue [of climate change] has become so politicised.”

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Cartoon by DonkeyHotey


Kimberlee W.
Kimberlee W5 years ago

But hasn't this always been the way?

For more advanced societies to export their knowledge and know-how to other, less evolved societies?


Richard B.
Richard B5 years ago

I get it. Perry is jealous he didn't get chosen for the free trip to UK. When it comes to pork, it's poo-poo if he's not the first in line to get it.

Richard B.
Richard B5 years ago

Perry cares that the UK is "wasting" money? Since when?

Grace Adams
Grace Adams5 years ago

I can't blame fossil fuel firms for being in denial about something that would require them to right off everything they have invested in their firms. But by using Enhanced Geothermal Systems to first sequester CO2 and then, eventually when all the coal is burned already, replace coal as a source of electricity, it is possible to have our cake and eat it too. It will cost big bucks to develop Enhanced Geothermal Systems, but that somewhere between $1 and $2 billion plus a permanent rise in the cost of energy to cover the cost of greenhouse emissions will still be a bargain compared to the destruction of agriculture taking civilization with it by global warming.

Kenny West
Kenny Wes5 years ago

I don't see the negatives in believing in climate change, any jobs loss will be replaced by new renewable energy jobs and we will have cleaner healthier air to breath. There's also the image of looking stupid to the rest of the world. I'm sure that effects our economy as well. It's hard to keep the super power status when people like rick perry is the face of America.

Steve A.
Steve A5 years ago

Rick Perry said " global warming remains but a theory and one where thousands of scientists remain sceptical."

Sorry Rick.

Very few Kristian preachers are scientists. Just because adherents of the Church of Christ, Scientist and Scientologists use the word in their title they still don't count as scientists.

janice b.
jan b5 years ago

The recent.....more severe than normal ...tornados in Texas should get Perry "THINKING".
We are overpopulating the planet, using up all the natural resources and polluting it.
Texas Billionaire Harold Simmons is going to make more billions building a nuke dump site. He wanted to build it over an underground water supply that supplies a vast area of the country. Now it's being built someplace else which is a miracle. This madness has to end.......Germany is going to get rid of their nuke plants in the next few years and going wind and solar.

Suzy D.
Reverend Suzy D5 years ago

An environmental educator has such a daunting task. So many in denial, so little time !

Myron Scott
Myron Scott5 years ago

My last comment may have been overly harsh to Jim C., based on looking at all his posts again. I understand people who look for ways to dismiss global warming because, if accepted, it seems so overwhelming. I have friends like that. And, after all, how many of us really live as the Buddhists urge to live, with the thought of death always before us? Most of us rely on mechanisms of denial and forgetfulness all the time. I certainly can understand how some doubters can find some comfort in the thought the our species might survive and endure. We have proven a remarkably adaptive species, although so many of our adaptations have cost other species dearly. I realize, although it pains me, that many people - probably most humans - do not care about other species as I do. It is the professional deniers and their bosses who exploit these aspects of human psychology for profit who are the arch-villains. Them and the shallow politicians whose whole morality is themselves and their ambitions.

Jennifer C.
Past Member 5 years ago