Dept. Of Energy Boosts Perry: ‘Winning’ Fight Against Climate Scientists

Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, July 18, 2017, at the National Press Club in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and his department’s communications staff on Thursday boosted an opinion piece praising Perry’s apparent ignorance of the scientific consensus that carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions are the primary cause of climate change.

The Energy Department’s press staff first tweeted a link to the column published in the Hill, which Perry then retweeted from his own account.

In the editorial, Canadian economist Ross McKitrick — who does not appear to have advanced degrees in any scientific fields and was the subject of a column titled “Is climate disinformer Ross McKitrick dishonest or dumb?” — praised Perry for giving a “cautious response to an awkward question.”

Asked on CNBC whether he believed carbon dioxide emissions were the primary driving force behind global temperature and climate changes, Perry replied, “No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.”

“This idea that science is just absolutely settled and if you don’t believe it’s settled then somehow you’re another neanderthal, that is so inappropriate from my perspective,” he added.

Perry’s response was at odds with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s conclusion on the subject.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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