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Rick Perry Thinks Texas Climate Scientists Are In A ‘Secular Carbon Cult’

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"Rick Perry Thinks Texas Climate Scientists Are In A ‘Secular Carbon Cult’"

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Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) has watched first hand the ravages of a warming climate first as Texas agriculture commissioner (killer droughts and record heat in 1996 and 1998) then as governor (droughts in 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, with Texas’ hottest July in history). Perry declared the 1996 drought “the worst natural disaster in Texas in the 20th century.” He issued an official proclamation to pray for rain this year (it didn’t work). However, he argues that climate science is “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight” in his book, Fed Up!

For example, they have seen the headlines in the past year about doctored data related to global warming. They know we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time. Quite frankly, when science gets hijacked by the political Left, we should all be concerned. . . .

And it’s all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight. Al Gore is a prophet all right, a false prophet of a secular carbon cult, and now even moderate Democrats aren’t buying it.

In an e-mail interview with ThinkProgress, Dr. Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University responds that Perry is wrong:

There are dozens of credible atmospheric scientists in Texas at institutions like Rice, UT, and Texas A&M, and I can confidently say that none agree with Gov. Perry’s views on the science of climate change. This is a particularly unfortunate situation given the hellish drought that Texas is now experiencing, and which climate change is almost certainly making worse.

“Contrary to what one might read in newspapers, the science of climate change is strong,” Dr. Dessler and five other climate scientists from Texas schools wrote in the Houston Chronicle in 2010. “It is virtually certain that the climate is warming,” the entire faculty of the Texas A&M department of atmospheric sciences affirm. “It is very likely that humans are responsible for most of the recent warming,” and future climate change from man-made greenhouse emissions brings a “risk of serious adverse impacts on our environment and society.” The members of the Jackson School of Geosciences program in Climate Systems Science at the University of Texas at Austin also agree with “agree with the scientific assessment presented in reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Below is a partial list of the Texas climate scientists who disagree with Perry’s denial of climate science, including the Texas State Climatologist and the directors of the Environmental Science Institute, the Texas Center for Climate Studies, the Center for the Study of Environment and Society, the Climate Science Center, the Cooperative Institute for Applied Meteorological Studies, the Institute for Geophysics, and the Center for Atmospheric Chemistry and the Environment:

Jay Banner, professor, Jackson School of Geosciences and director, Environmental Science Institute, The University of Texas at Austin
Donald Blankenship, senior research scientist, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin
Kenneth Bowman, atmospheric sciences department head, Texas A&M University
Sarah D. Brooks, associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University
Ginny Catania, assistant professor, Earth Surface and Hydrologic Processes, The University of Texas at Austin
Ping Chang, professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography, Texas A&M University, and director, Texas Center for Climate Studies
Don Collins, professor and director of environmental programs in geosciences, Texas A&M University
Don Conlee, instructional associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University
Kerry Cook, professor, Climate Systems Science, The University of Texas at Austin
Andrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University
Robert Dickinson, professor of geological sciences, The University of Texas at Austin
André Droxler, professor of earth science and director of the Center for the Study of Environment and Society, Rice University
Robert Duce, distinguished professor emeritus, Departments of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M University
Craig Epifanio, associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University
Rong Fu, professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin
Charles Jackson, research scientist, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin
Rob Korty, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University
Katharine Hayhoe, associate professor and director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University
Mark Lemmon, professor of planetary sciences, Texas A&M University
Shaima L. Nasiri, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M University
John Nielsen-Gammon, professor, Texas A&M University and Texas State Climatologist
Gerald North, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography, Texas A&M University
Richard Orville, professor and director, Cooperative Institute for Applied Meteorological Studies, Texas A&M University
R. Lee Panetta, professor of atmospheric sciences and mathematics, Texas A&M University
Jud Partin, postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin
Terry Quinn, research professor and Director, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin
R. Saravanan, professor, Texas A&M University
Gunnar W. Schade, assistant professor, Texas A&M University
Courtney Schumacher, associate professor, Texas A&M University
Russ Schumacher, assistant professor, Texas A&M University
Istvan Szunyogh, associate professor, Texas A&M University
Fred Taylor, senior research scientist, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin
Michael Tobis, research science associate, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin
Ned Vizy, research science associate, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin
Thomas Wilheit, research professor, Texas A&M University
Ping Yang, professor and holder of the David Bullock Harris Chair in Geosciences, Texas A&M University
Renyi Zhang, Professor, director of the Center for Atmospheric Chemistry and the Environment, and Holder of the Harold J. Haynes Chair in Geosciences, Texas A&M University

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