Governor Corbett’s “energy czar,” Patrick Henderson, demonstrated his ignorance and denial of climate science and smeared a distinguished Penn State professor, Dr. Michael Mann, in a comment to StateImpact. Henderson’s willful, ideology-driven ignorance of science and his personal attack on Dr. Mann and Penn State make him unsuited to direct Pennsylvania’s energy policy. The governor should fire him.
In his comment, Henderson dredged up a collection of right-wing fantasies about climate change. The StateImpact article provides a useful fact check to Henderson’s unfounded assertions that expose the deep level of his denial. But the personal attack on Dr. Mann crosses the line of what is acceptable behavior from a top advisor to the governor.
Dr. Mann has been the subject of a vicious smear campaign by right-wing Tea Partiers. Every investigation of Dr. Mann’s work has validated its integrity and supported his findings that the climate is warming and humans are the most significant contributor to our changing climate.
Henderson’s attack follows those of former Virginia Attorney General and defeated gubernatorial candidate, Ken Cuccinelli, who accused Dr. Mann of fraud and launched an official investigation. The Virginia Supreme Court ultimately ordered Cuccinelli to stop the investigation. Cucinnelli’s ideology-driven inquisition of Mann has been cited as a factor in his defeat in the Virginia’s governor’s race.
The Commonwealth’s energy policy is in the hands of someone who discounts science and engages in hateful personal attacks. Pennsylvanians deserve better than that. The governor should fire him and set Pennsylvania on course to develop an energy policy based on science.