Texas governor Rick Perry's bid for the Republican nomination has cheered climate sceptics who share his view that global warming is a 'phony mess'
Perry calls global warming "all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight." Unlike many of the other GOP presidential candidates, he hasn't expressed concern about climate change in the past, so he won't have to do any back-pedaling. Notorious climate denier Marc Morano is a big fan: "Based on climate views alone, anyone who is holding their nose voting for Mitt Romney because there's no other viable candidate will now rejoice to have an option with Rick Perry."
The Texas governor will announce his intentions in the early primary state of South Carolina on Saturday, then head to New Hampshire and Iowa to rub elbows with all of the other aspiring commanders-in-chief. As a social and fiscal conservative, governor of a state that's been adding jobs (even if they're low-wage), and owner of a full head of lustrous hair, Perry is expected to swagger to the front of the pack in the contest for the Republican nomination.
Perry served as Al Gore's Texas campaign chair in the 1988 presidential race, just before switching his party allegiance from Democrat to Republican, but conservatives don't have to worry that Perry holds any residual affection for the former veep. "I've heard Al Gore talk about man-made global warming so much that I'm starting to think that his mouth is the leading source of all that supposedly deadly carbon dioxide," Perry said in 2007.
Anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist, for one, isn't concerned: "If Perry was president, one of the things I'd not worry about is a carbon tax," Norquist told Politico. "I'd worry about big spiders eating New Jersey first."
But plugging your ears and going "la la la la" doesn't make global
warming disappear. Perry's state is getting absolutely hammered by heat and the worst one-year drought in its recorded history. The hot, dry weather in Texas is desiccating rivers and lakes, devastating farmers and ranchers, and driving wildfires that have burned up millions of acres. In the face of these crises -- which are just what you'd expect in a climate-changed world -- Perry proposes neither adaptation nor mitigation but rather supplication. He's been praying for rain and calling on other Texans to do the same. So far no luck.