The Cretin in Charge of the U.S. Department of Energy


US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry addresses employees for the first time at Energy Department headquarters in Washington, DC, March 3, 2017. Image courtesy Ken Shipp/US Department of Energy. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

US Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry addresses employees for the first time at Energy Department headquarters in Washington, DC, March 3, 2017. Image courtesy Ken Shipp/US Department of Energy. (Photo via Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Former Governor of Texas, perennially embarrassing presidential candidate and chronic victim of Foot in Mouth Disease, Rick Perry, managed to step in the fresh cowpie again. You must not have to be very smart to be governor of Texas because, Lord knows, Rick Perry isn’t very smart. He is, to use a dated term, a cretin.1

Rick Perry is the Secretary of the Department of Energy, when he can remember the agency’s name. In an interview on CNBC, when asked if CO2 caused climate change, Secretary Perry said,

No, most likely the primary control knob is the ocean waters and this environment that we live in.

So Rick Perry, who has a Bachelors degree in animal science, thinks thousands of climatologists with PhDs are all wrong and he is right. Worse, he can’t even come up with a coherent alternative. Even the fringe climatologists among the tiny minority who deny anthropogenic climate change don’t think the oceans are a “control knob,” whatever that is supposed to mean.

Logically, in terms of science, his response makes no sense. He seems to have been parroting a garbled version of a clearer and more concise (if wrong) response to the same question uttered by Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt back in March. 

Perry went on to give a defense of poorly-informed, ignorant skepticism more generally.

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.[^2]

Secretary Perry’s apparently sees no distinction between the well-informed skepticism that’s the core of the scientific method and ignorant, raw, fossil fuel industry-funded denial. Not what WC looks for in a Secretary of Energy, tasked with regulation of, among other things, the fossil fuel industry.

Actually, even Exxon Mobil, the largest of the CO2=spewing companies, recognizes both the link between CO2 and climate change and the solution. True, Exxon’s response is lame, but unlike the Secretary of Energy, it’s recognizing the overwhelming scientific reality.

Think about that: Exxon Mobil is more sensible than the U.S. government.

 


  1. WC uses the term in the perjorative sense, not in the sense of a victim of hypothyroidism arising from insufficient dietary iodine. 
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