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

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.”

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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 AustinDonald Blankenship, senior research scientist, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at AustinKenneth Bowman, atmospheric sciences department head, Texas A&M; UniversitySarah D. Brooks, associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityGinny Catania, assistant professor, Earth Surface and Hydrologic Processes, The University of Texas at AustinPing Chang, professor of atmospheric sciences and oceanography, Texas A&M; University, and director, Texas Center for Climate StudiesDon Collins, professor and director of environmental programs in geosciences, Texas A&M; UniversityDon Conlee, instructional associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityKerry Cook, professor, Climate Systems Science, The University of Texas at AustinAndrew Dessler, professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityRobert Dickinson, professor of geological sciences, The University of Texas at AustinAndré Droxler, professor of earth science and director of the Center for the Study of Environment and Society, Rice UniversityRobert Duce, distinguished professor emeritus, Departments of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityCraig Epifanio, associate professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityRong Fu, professor, Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at AustinCharles Jackson, research scientist, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at AustinRob Korty, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityKatharine Hayhoe, associate professor and director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech UniversityMark Lemmon, professor of planetary sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityShaima L. Nasiri, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences, Texas A&M; UniversityJohn Nielsen-Gammon, professor, Texas A&M; University and Texas State ClimatologistGerald North, Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Sciences and Oceanography, Texas A&M; UniversityRichard Orville, professor and director, Cooperative Institute for Applied Meteorological Studies, Texas A&M; UniversityR. Lee Panetta, professor of atmospheric sciences and mathematics, Texas A&M; UniversityJud Partin, postdoctoral fellow, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at AustinTerry Quinn, research professor and Director, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at AustinR. Saravanan, professor, Texas A&M; UniversityGunnar W. Schade, assistant professor, Texas A&M; UniversityCourtney Schumacher, associate professor, Texas A&M; UniversityRuss Schumacher, assistant professor, Texas A&M; UniversityIstvan Szunyogh, associate professor, Texas A&M; UniversityFred Taylor, senior research scientist, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at AustinMichael Tobis, research science associate, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at AustinNed Vizy, research science associate, Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at AustinThomas Wilheit, research professor, Texas A&M; UniversityPing Yang, professor and holder of the David Bullock Harris Chair in Geosciences, Texas A&M; UniversityRenyi 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