Energy

Bernie Sanders Furious Rick Perry Thinks Global Warming Is ‘Politicized’

(Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders railed against former Texas Gov. Rick Perry because of past remarks in 2011 claiming global warming science had been politicized.

“The scientists that I hear from believe that climate change is the great planetary environmental crisis that we face and that we need to move forward aggressive to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and towards energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” Sanders told Perry during his confirmation hearing for energy secretary.

Perry said earlier in the hearing that he believes humans play a role in global warming, but this wasn’t enough for Sanders.

“I believe the climate is changing,” said Perry, who President-elect Donald Trump nominated to head the Department of Energy.”I believe that some of it is naturally occurring, but some of it is caused by man-made activity. The question is, how we address it in a thoughtful way that doesn’t compromise economic growth.”

Sanders then cut Perry off to say, “we’re are in danger of spending god-knows how many billions of dollars to repair the damage done by climate change … basically what I’m asking you that the majority of scientists who study this issue is a global crisis which requires massive cuts in carbon and transformation of our energy system.”

Perry responded by pointing to his record of reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and pollutants while he was governor. This wasn’t good enough for Sanders, who cut Perry off again, saying, “while what I think would be a better thing would be for you to say right now that we have a global crisis…and need to transform our energy stem.”

Sanders repeatedly stated that Perry’s position of balancing global warming with economic growth “at variance with virtually the entire scientific community on climate change.”

A study conducted by the scientist who helped expose that the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) top midwest official knew about the Flint, Mich. drinking water crisis months before telling the public.

Government funding of research produces enormous financial incentives for scientists to engage in dubious laboratory research. Academics are under serious financial pressure to rapidly and continually publish research to sustain or further their careers, even if the research is essentially useless or misleading. Even major scientific journals like Nature are asking “Is Science Broken?”

Perry’s nomination worried Democrats in light of a leaked transition team memo that had numerous questions regarding the agency’s work on global warming. That memo inquired about ways the Energy Department could keep aging nuclear reactors online. Perry disavowed the memo.

In Perry’s book, “Fed Up!” he said that global warming science is a “contrived phony mess,” and claimed “a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their projects.”

He spent much of the hearing walking back a previous pledge he made to eliminate the Department of Energy.

Perry opposed Obama administration global warming regulation over concerns they would have “devastating implications” for the Texas economy. He backs an “all of the above” energy strategy that doesn’t discriminate between oil, coal, nuclear, biofuels, hydroelectric, solar, and wind energy.

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