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Perry stokes climate controversy in Twitter post

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Perry snow tweet

The Carlisle region’s congressman, Rep. Scott Perry, posted a cryptic message on Twitter Tuesday afternoon that appears to attempt to discredit a congressional hearing on global warming by pointing out that it snows in parts of the United States.

Perry, a Republican, responded to a posting by Democratic Rep. Peter DeFazio, the ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. DeFazio said that he could not attend a committee hearing on climate change due to severe weather in his home state of Oregon.

DeFazio “couldn’t attend today’s hearing on #globalwarming because his flight was cancelled due to snow. How will he get to Washington once the #GreenNewDeal (he’s a cosponsor) eliminates the aviation industry?” Perry commented.

Perry’s office did not respond to a request for clarification as of this writing.

Data from NASA’s global temperature index, released earlier this month, found that the five warmest years on record have been the last five. Of the 19 years in recorded history with the highest average temperature, 18 have occurred since 2001, NASA found.

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration indicates that the severity of precipitation, including snowstorms, is likely to increase as ocean temperatures rise.

A 2014 study conducted by scientists at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center found that “while warming temperatures and a reduction in cold extremes may lead to fewer snowstorms, particularly in regions where temperatures are marginally cold enough to support snowfall, greater amounts of moisture and greater storm intensity could contribute to snowstorms of increased severity during periods of cold weather. In recent decades, major snowstorms have occurred even while temperatures have continued to rise, and in many cases, the impacts have been severe and widespread.”

Perry’s Twitter post also references the Green New Deal, a resolution on climate change and social equity introduced by Democrats in the House and Senate.

The resolution does not specifically mention aviation. But a document previously posted on the website of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, one of the resolution’s sponsors, called to “build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”

Ocasio-Cortez subsequently clarified that aircraft would still obviously be necessary for overseas travel, but that the United States should work to build out its rail infrastructure as a more energy-efficient alternative to local air travel.

During a telephone town hall this month, Perry had said he wanted to reserve judgment on the Green New Deal debate given that the resolution does not yet have hard policy details attached to it.

But he expressed concern that the proposal would involve “socializing much of American industry and putting the federal government in charge of many of our choices.”

During his 2018 campaign against Democratic challenger George Scott, Perry also said several times that he believes that climate change exists, but questioned the extent to which it is man-made, and the expediency of action by the United States.

“I think obviously man has a part to play in that,” Perry said when questioned about climate change during a debate on WGAL in October 2018.

“We know that CO2 is in the atmosphere and affects it,” Perry said. “But the question is how, and then what can we do about it, what should we do about it, and what do we do with all the other nations that pollute much more, much more than the United States.”


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