Texas governor Rick Perry is currently making a bid to become a candidate for Republican Party's presidential bid.
He's among the scarier anti-science loons, among a whole batch of them; currently, the Tea Party seems committeed to pooh-poohing global warming, and taking anti-science stance. Sad, and worrisome.
Perry is more extreme than most; lots of bluff and bluster, maybe Texas style – the hell with facts, and let's pray if there are problems… Yes, pray: with Texas suffering severe drought this summer, Perry has advised the solution is prayer power; I heard that after one prayer meeting he organised, in a stadium, temperatures actually rose. But that hasn't fazed him; after all, what is reality to a man who espouses such faith?
From an LA Times editorial:
"Well, I do agree that there is — the science is not settled on this," Perry said. "The idea that we would put Americans' economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that's not settled yet, to me, is just nonsense."
Perry went on to compare himself, or those who agree with him, to 17th century astronomer Galileo Galilei, who in Perry's words also "got outvoted for a spell" when he adopted a minority opinion on a scientific issue. It would be far more accurate to compare Perry to Pope Urban VIII, who put Galileo on trial for heresy in 1633 because his conclusions that the Earth revolved around the sun contradicted Scripture.
At this point, the empirical evidence for warming, like the evidence for a heliocentric solar system or for evolution, is so strong that denial reflects a faith-based approach to public policy.
And that seems to sum up Perry's response to any number of threats. In the midst of a punishing drought that is turning his state into a tinderbox, Perry's answer has been to issue proclamations urging people to pray for rain and to slash firefighting budgets. Heaven help us if he wins.