Rick Perry Is Stupid
I am the very smart! Coal good! Burn oil for peace!
At an international energy industry conference in Houston Wednesday, Rick Perry made a moral case for continuing to burn fossil fuels as much as possible, because it would be terribly selfish of the developed world to deny developing nations the opportunity to play their part in making the planet unlivable for large mammals like Donald Trump. He argued that curbing greenhouse gas emissions is "immoral," because only the energy sources that made him governor of Texas and a national political figure can possibly lift the world out of poverty. He then spent 10 minutes pushing energetically on a door clearly labeled "Pull."
"Look those people in the eyes that are starving and tell them, 'You can't have electricity,'" he said. "Because as a society we decided fossil fuels were bad. I think that is immoral."
This is something of a theme for Perry, who last year argued a global boom in fossil fuels would eliminate rape, since plentiful oil and coal could bring electric light to even the smallest villages. He probably thinks the term "Darkest Africa" was a 19th-century plea for incandescent lamps.
Perry uncorked his latest argument for fossil fuels as a moral force at the "CERAWeek by IHS Markit" energy conference. He fears the world's attempts to regulate fossil fuels, merely for the sake of keeping the planet survivable for humans and other large beasts, is terribly, terribly misguided, because he happens to know science isn't real. Perry spoke of a new era of "energy realism" under Trump, which relies on completely ignoring the reality that filling the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and methane causes it to retain heat that would otherwise be radiated into space. Oh, but once you ignore that little detail, there's a glorious future ahead for everyone:
"America is now on the cusp of energy independence, but the president wants to see this go further. He wants to share America's energy bounty with the world," Perry said. "We're going to be exporting multiple fuels, and we will export the same technologies that made us a clean, abundant energy producer."
Perry avoided mention of the terms "climate change" and "global warming" throughout his appearance Wednesday, although he was asked if the administration might rethink its decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord. All he would say was that it was "a conversation worth having," although not now. Maybe it's too soon. Perry also argued that carbon emissions will come down just fine thanks to the wisdom of the market, noting that between 2005 and 2014 the US emitted less carbon as utilities chose cheaper, cleaner natural gas over coal and oil.
"The lesson's clear," Perry said. "We don't have to choose between growing the economy and caring for the environment."
But of course, if it comes to that choice, far better to go with the dirtiest energy possible, since he owes its producers his job.
One might point out that Perry was also so worried about the poor coal producers suffering at the hand of the free market that he had pushed a plan that would have provided big government subsidies to coal-fired power plants, an outright giveaway to coal baron Robert Murray, one of Trump's noisiest backers. Happily, even Trump appointees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission voted to nix that.
Perry also likes to pretend it would simply be impossible for the world to shift to clean energy, because duh, do you see any hipsters with solar arrays in the third world? (Yes, of course we do, although they may not have trilby hats. Microgrids are a thing! ) Here's Perry showing off his smarts once again, this time for New York Times climate change reporter Lisa Friedman, with follow-ups from New York's Jonathan Chait and Yr Editrix:
Silly Rick Perry. Isn't that cute, how he pretended that a question about phasing out coal by 2030 was actually about abandoning all fossil fuels by then? The only surprise is that he chose the coal-powered Industrial Revolution as his idea of a world without fossil fuels.
Why would we want to deny Africa this glorious future?
You might almost get the impression Rick Perry is a big lying idiot.
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