Maybe it’s the stress of the campaign. Maybe it was another gaffe by the gaffe-prone governor. Maybe it’s just simply a change of heart.
But whatever the reason, Gov. Rick Perry exposed himself this weekend as a lover of scientific evidence. For reals.
Gov. Perry was at a stop for his sputtering presidential campaign in Iowa when he was confronted about “fracking,” a method used to extract natural gas by injecting a combination of chemicals and water into the ground.
Some, including 22-year old college student Carrie Kauffman, are concerned about fracking’s potential environmental impact. Gov. Perry isn’t. Before Kauffman could ask about fracking, Gov. Perry cut her off:
“I am truly offended that the American public would be hoodwinked by stories that do not scientifically hold up … Bring me the evidence, and once we do that, you show it to me, and I’ll be the first to say you’ve got a point.”
You see? All Gov. Perry is saying is “bring me the science and I’m with you.” And we all know how much Gov. Perry loves him some science.
OK, that’s enough sarcasm.
Gov. Perry may have been offended. Who should be truly offended, however, is the American public if the governor wants us to believe that he could be swayed if only someone presents him with scientific evidence. History has shown us that is not the case. We need only look back at the last few months on the campaign stump.
There was that time in Bedford, N.H. when Gov. Perry called climate scientists money-grubbing liars who have manipulated data to line their own pockets. He went even further by asserting that an increasing number of climate scientists are questioning global warming, a claim the fact-checking website PolitiFact rated “false.”
Then there was the infamous YouTube moment when a child asked Gov. Perry about mainstream science on evolution, or — as Gov. Perry calls it — a theory with “some gaps” in it:
And let’s not forget Gov. Perry’s appointees to chair the State Board of Education — Don McLeroy and Gail Lowe — neither of whom is a great friend to modern science.
Still, in the interest of fairness, we’ll keep an open mind. Bring us the evidence that Gov. Perry will accept evidence, and once you do that, you show it to us, and we’ll be the first to say you’ve got a point.