Texas, which has an Office of State Climatologist, should be run by grownups comfortable with modern notions like meteorology. Much of our economy, from oil and gas to farming and ranching to clean energy and hi-tech, relies on a shared assumption that science is not witchcraft.
Instead, we have Miller, Patrick, and Rick Perry, who in 2011 issued an official state proclamation that Texans should pray for rain. The nitpicky among us might cite our Governor for getting his religious chocolate in our state peanut butter, but the real danger in making it state policy to pray for rain is that it makes people wonder whether the C’s he got at Texas A&M for animal husbandry and PE were the result of grade inflation.
This argument should have been settled when Thales of Miletus became the Father of Science by rejecting mythological explanations for the physical world. In his day—half a millennium before Jesus was born—people thought capricious gods caused earthquakes, which is sadly not too far afield from believing that God conferred favor on his people by making it rain.
What’s next? Thunder means God is angry we’re not limiting increases in state spending to population growth plus inflation? When a hurricane makes landfall in Texas, are we to blame Houston for passing equal rights for gays?
These Republicans are making us look stupid, but we have bigger problems. The drought has already nearly tripled inflation at the grocery and is endangering the hydraulic fracking boom that is pouring tax money into state coffers. We can’t make it rain, but we can address climate change. In fact, Texas could profit from it if we had leaders who could admit that it was real. But that would require us to start acting smarter than we are, and that means electing leaders who could pass a 6th grade science test.