USA — During a fundraising speech at the Silicon Valley home of John Thompson, chairman of Symantec Corp., President Barack Obama decided to give Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a candidate to replace him as president, a little heat.
Obama referred to Perry as “a governor whose state is on fire, denying climate change,” reports The Associated Press. The problem is the Texas wildfires have nothing to do with climate change, according to scientists in the employ of the very federal government Obama is in charge of.
Dr. Robert Hoerling, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research meteorologist, recently explained what has caused the drought that has gripped Texas for the past several months and resulted in a huge number of wild fires.
The culprit for the drought and the wildfires is La Nina, which is characterized by unusually cool temperatures in the equatorial Pacific. La Nina has lingered since the end of last winter. Because of this, storms that ordinarily pass over Texas are deflected to the north, leaving the Lone Star State high and dry. Global warming has nothing to do with it.
Why did President Obama suggest climate change was causing the Texas wildfires? For one thing, it was a great applause line for the Silicon Valley moguls from whom he was attempting to extract campaign funds. Perry, like many people, including some climate scientists, doubt that manmade global warming is a significant phenomenon. Obama was playing to that fact, painting doubt of climate change as denying settled science.
While Obama attempted to paint a potential rival, Perry, as a science-denying yokel from the Texas hill country, it turns out it was the smooth-talking, Harvard-educated president who had blown his science and committed what should be considered a major gaffe. To suggest global warming caused the Texas drought which in turn caused the wildfires is about as sensible as Pat Robertson claiming Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for America’s abortion policy.
That Obama has a somewhat casual regard for the truth has been noted by enemies and friends alike. But he undercuts his own stance as leading the party of science when he says things like he did last weekend.