That Rick Perry is a Cold Earther who refuses to accept scientific discoveries about global warming is not news. The ridiculous depths to which Rick Perry will descend in order to defend this position is big news this morning, however.
Last night, in the Republican presidential debate, Rick Perry reiterated his rejection of climate science, and in doing so, suggested that he is like Galileo, bearing the consequences of being correct while foolish authorities reject his insights. “Galileo got outvoted for a spell,” Perry said.
There’s a difference between Rick Perry and Galileo, though. Galileo was persecuted by powerful religious authorities, supported by a theocratic government, who didn’t want to accept the implications of the facts he had collected through objective, scientific means. Rick Perry isn’t a lone individual, seeking the truth. He’s in the position of power, as the Governor of a large state. Rick Perry doesn’t stand against theocratic power, he supports it. Most importantly, Rick Perry doesn’t have any scientific evidence on his side. He’s like the priests who put Galileo on trial, refusing to accept the validity of data that don’t fit his predetermined opinions.
Scientists know Galileo. Galileo is a friend of theirs. Rick Perry, you’re no Galileo.
Scientists are against Rick Perry because they pay attention to the facts. The data that demonstrate the reality of global warming, and its human-centered cause, just keep on coming in, year after year, adding more and more certainty. Just yesterday, I summarized new data that strengthens the standard anthropocentric theory of global warming.
Science is always open to new data and insights that can be confirmed through examination of the evidence. Right now, however, there is no reasonable doubt that global warming is a serious threat to our nation, and to the ecological integrity of our entire planet.