Rick Perry — Wildfires & Climate Denial in Texas

Posted on September 19, 2011


Texas–along with Oklahoma, New Mexico and Louisiana–has experienced its hottest summer ever this year.  In fact, Texas and Oklahoma both set records for the hottest summer for a US state, beating out the previous record, Oklahoma, 1934, a record set at the height of the Dust Bowl.

Hot. But, hot enough for Rick Perry? Nope.

The Texas daily high temperatures in August were 88.1°F, a stunning 2.4°F hotter per day than the previous hottest August in Texas.  The temperatures in Texas in August were exceeded only by the record temperatures set in Oklahoma in July of this year, 88.9°F!

Hot, but still not hot enough for Rick.

A 429 year tree ring record indicates that 2011 is tied with 1789 as the worst summer drought on record in the state of Texas.

“Pray for rain,” Rick says.

At present 88% of Texas is experiencing ‘exceptional drought,’ the most severe category.

“Pray harder,” Rick says.

As of August 1st, the drought has cost Texas $8.7 billion in agricultural loses, $2 billion in livestock, $2.3 billion in the cotton crop in the Lubbock area alone.  It is yet to be seen whether the winter wheat crop will be affected.  Rainfall is needed for that crop to be planted, and there is already a 50% chance that rain won’t arrive.

That’s what you get when you rely on agriculture for your source of income, I guess.  Rick Perry doesn’t.  He likes oil money a lot.  Everybody should try it, he suggests.

So far in 2011 Texas has experienced its worst wildfire season ever, with at least a $1 billion dollars in damage and no guarantee that its over yet.

The official response?  Governor Rick Perry severely slashed the state budget for firefighting.

More than 3.7 million acres have burned so far this year in Texas, an area larger than Connecticut and smaller than New Jersey.  2690 homes have been consumed in these wildfires.

Rick Perry doesn’t think any of the above information matters much.  He disagrees with the 97% of climate scientists who are warning us about climate change.  He thinks the notion that it will all get much worse is no big worry.

He also thinks that he’s smart and wise enough to be President of the United States. He’s presently front-runner for the Republican Party nomination for that position, meaning that a lot of Republicans apparently agree with him about it.

Texas burning down? That’s disturbing.  Rick Perry as President of the United States? Now that’s really disturbing.


See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=us-farmers-on-southern-pl