At the September 7, 2011 Republican Presidential Debate, Texas Governor Rick Perry was asked to identify specific scientists or theories he found credible on climate change. Here's how Perry responded:
John Harris, Politico: Governor Perry, Governor Huntsman were not specific about names, but the two of you do have a difference of opinion about climate change. Just recently in New Hampshire, you said that weekly and even daily scientists are coming forward to question the idea that human activity is behind climate change. Which scientists have you found most credible on this subject?
Rick Perry: Well, I do agree that there is ... the science is... is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans' economy at ... at ... at jeopardy based on scientific theory that's not settled yet, to me, is just ... is nonsense. I mean, it ... I mean ... and I tell somebody, I said, just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell.
But the fact is, to put America's economic future in jeopardy, asking us to cut back in areas that would have monstrous economic impact on this country is not good economics and I will suggest to you is not necessarily good science. Find out what the science truly is before you start putting the American economy in jeopardy.
John Harris: Just to follow up quickly. Tell us how you've done that. Are there specific... specific scientists or specific theories that you've found especially compelling, as you...
Rick Perry: Let me tell you what I find compelling, is what we've done in the state of Texas, using our ability to regulate our clean air. We cleaned up our air in the state of Texas, more than any other state in the nation during the decade. Nitrous oxide levels, down by 57 percent. Ozone levels down by 27 percent.
That's the way you need to do it, not by some scientist somewhere saying, "Here is what we think is happening out there." The fact of the matter is, the science is not settled on whether or not the climate change is being impacted by man to the point where we're going to put America's economics in jeopardy.