Perry says slowing carbon emissions hurts economy

ATKINSON, New Hampshire Sat Oct 1, 2011 8:01pm EDT

Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to voters at an economic forum in Hampton, New Hampshire October 1, 2011. REUTERS/Adam Hunger

Republican presidential candidate Texas Governor Rick Perry speaks to voters at an economic forum in Hampton, New Hampshire October 1, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Adam Hunger

ATKINSON, New Hampshire (Reuters) - Texas Governor Rick Perry, struggling to regain his status as front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, expressed fresh doubt on Saturday about whether humans are causing climate change.

"I still stand by that the science is not settled on man-made global warming," Perry said while campaigning in the key early primary state of New Hampshire.

Perry, a favorite of the fiscally conservative Tea Party movement, also said that efforts to slow rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere could "devastate" the United States economically.

The comment came in response to a voter who questioned whether Perry's views on climate change and Social Security make him too "extreme" to win independent voters in a contest with Democratic President Barack Obama in 2012, should he win the Republican nomination.

Even among New Hampshire Republicans, the majority of whom are considered moderate, Perry is struggling, with a recent poll putting his support in the state in the single digits.

Perry joined the Republican race in August and immediately jumped to the top of nationwide opinion polls. But after recent disappointing debate performances, Perry lost his front-runner status to Mitt Romney.

"The idea that a scientific statement is incontrovertible and cannot be questioned is very alien to me," Perry told a gathering at a country club in Atkinson, New Hampshire.

"Just because there are a large number of scientists that stand up and say this is the fact, there are other scientists on the other side of this saying 'now wait a minute.'"

Long-time governor of a state rich in oil and gas resources, but one that has suffered from a string of devastating wildfires and record heat this year, Perry has repeatedly expressed skepticism that humans are causing climate change.

Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, says he believes humans contribute in some way to climate change but that he doesn't know how much. Romney also does not believe the United States should cap emissions.


Within the Republican field, only former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman has said that he believes humans are the main cause of climate change.

A 2010 survey of 1,372 climate scientists by the National Academy of Sciences found that more than 97 percent of those publishing in the field believed humans were the main cause of global warming over the past century.

Despite this, only about a third of Americans in an October 2010 Pew Research Center survey believed that humans were causing climate change. That figure was down from 50 percent in 2006.

"Are we as a country willing to take this science as incontrovertible and put in place cap and trade legislation that will devastate this country economically?" Perry said.

Perry repeated comments that the Social Security system is a "Ponzi scheme," while saying that current recipients and those soon to retire should count on keeping their benefits.

"If you're a mid-career young American or a young person just starting in the workforce, you know that program is not going to be there," Perry said.

Romney's campaign has seized on Perry's views in their efforts to paint their rival as far out of the mainstream.

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Comments (15)
jeltez42 wrote:
Is there any chance of getting a GOP candidate that has a functioning brain cell? Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman are both wrong on climate change. The Earth’s climate is dynamic and is always changing and moving forward. It is not an equilibrium equation and it will never reach a true equilibrium. Every life form on this planet impacts the climate/environment from the tiniest microbe to the biggest mammals.

We also know the climate has been much warmer than it is right now and future temperature will continue to be between very warm and very cold all without us doing a darn thing. New research from NASA’s SOHO project project colder temperatures over the next 50 years due to lower solar output. Most of the energy that contributes to our temperature comes from the Sun (97%). Until recently, global warmingists denied this simple fact (Sun’s radiation output) of science played a part Earth’s temperature.

There has been much work in the past year to start correcting the climate models which have been know to be inaccurate at best and then we are learning that theories of the 50′s, 60′s, and 70′s are wrong. So what we do know is that the climate is going to change. We know that it is irrelevant and dangerous to prattle about man’s role. We need to focus on adapting to the coming hot and cold weather. We need to understand how the Sun, oceans, and land masses all work together to form our climate/weather.

And we must start managing our population and resources much better than we are now. The last thing we should do is to start trying to engineer or control our climate. That will kill us all for certain.

Oct 01, 2011 8:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
obs-server wrote:

The above suggests that the 97% number in the above article is a contrived number.

Oct 01, 2011 9:08pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
GCN wrote:

Oct 01, 2011 10:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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