Texas Gov. Rick Perry stirred up a fresh scientific spat today with his claim that scientists were manipulating their data about climate change "so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects" — a view that serves to highlight the differences among the GOP presidential candidates on science-related issues.
The criticisms of Perry's view follow well-worn tracks as well: On the left-leaning Think Progress blog, Texas A&M climate researcher Andrew Dessler is quoted as saying that none of the credible atmospheric scientists in Texas agree with the governor. "This is a particularly unfortunate situation, given the hellish drought that Texas is now experiencing, and which climate change is almost certainly making worse," he said.
Think Progress goes so far as to list more than three dozen scientists who disagree with Perry.
The Texas governor's views come in contrast with those of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, an early front-runner in the GOP presidential field. Romney has said "I believe, based on what I read, that the world is getting warmer" and added that "I believe that humans contribute to that."
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota opposes climate change legislation, saying that carbon dioxide is a "harmless gas." During a town hall meeting in South Carolina this week, she said that all the issues surrounding climate change would have to be "settled on the basis of real science, not manufactured science."
U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas has called the concern about Earth's changing climate "the greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years, if not hundreds of years," based on the Climategate reports (see above). He's opposed to energy subsidies as well as government efforts to control greenhouse-gas emissions. "Pollution can be better taken care of under a private market system, under private property," he said.