Dear Governor Perry,
Just a few friendly suggestions for your presidential campaign.
Are you sure it is wise to be so cocksure about the inconclusiveness of the global warming threat? After all, there is substantial scientific data to the contrary. For example, are you aware that incidents of record-breaking high temperatures have increasingly -- and dramatically -- outpaced instances of record lows over the past 60 years, all in correlation with the rise of human-generated greenhouse gas emissions?
Your cavalier stance towards global warming in the midst of the devastating, record-shattering heat wave scorching your state with no end in sight could lead to future embarrassment and a voter backlash on the campaign trail.
What of your bleak prediction that measures to curb global warming would place the nation's economy "in jeopardy"? Step back for a moment, governor, and consider what the principle measures are: conservation and greater efficiency in the use of energy; expanded production and reliance on clean, renewable alternative fuels; and reforestation. Does that sound like the end of the world?
It also might be prudent to tone down the vitriolic attacks against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), given that your state leads the nation in a number of pollution categories. Condemning the agency for being too aggressive looks suspiciously like a Machiavellian cover up when it appears that in Texas, EPA has not been aggressive enough.
You say that if elected, you will "shake up the EPA by putting pro-business individuals in the agency at every opportunity." How will the public react when they are reminded that there is already a governmental agency in Washington championing business interests? It is called the Commerce Department. Your views might take a hit when critics note that under Republican President Richard Nixon, Congress expressly established the EPA as the people's environmental advocate. Lawmakers mandated that only health concerns be taken into account in setting anti-pollution standards, with economics not coming into play until implementation of the regulations.
Keep in mind that President Reagan also wanted to transform the EPA into a pro-business entity. A public outcry erupted and he was forced to scuttle his grand design and return the agency to at least a semblance of its original regulatory role. It was not a proud moment in Reagan's White House years of service.
In closing, I'm confident that moderation of your dismissive attitude towards climate change and the EPA would have a positive effect on your political prospects.