Ted Cruz Doesn’t Know Climate Change

In a recent CNN interview, Ted Cruz claimed that, “Climate change, as they have defined it, can never be disproved, because whether it gets hotter or whether it gets colder, whatever happens, they’ll say, well, it’s changing, so it proves our theory.”

There’s another theory that fits every situation: It’s called the theory of God. No matter what, he is always the answer.

But climate change is actually easier to see and prove than the existence of a supreme being. Like the human body, the earth maintains a relatively constant temperature, balancing the energy coming in from the sun and the energy radiated back into space. We can be thankful for the naturally-occurring greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and water, which have helped sustain our warmer, life-inducing conditions. If we had no atmosphere, our planet’s average surface temperature would be around 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

We really don’t need degrees in chemistry or environmental science to realize that anthropogenic activities can and do result in changes to our environment, even increases in temperatures. Let’s start with something we all know. Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, heard or felt by humans, yet we can all agree that it exists and that it is harmful. What happens when you close your garage door and start your car? Your car’s engine will produce carbon monoxide because it cannot get enough air to complete combustion, resulting in C + ½ O2 . The air in your garage becomes a toxic cocktail for you to breathe, and it’s a direct result of a human activity.

We know that what comes out of the tailpipe of one car can change the air within a space in a short amount of time. Now take millions of cars and put them into the garage of our atmosphere, our breathing space, and let them run nonstop.  Although carbon monoxide is still present in our exhaust, the bigger threat coming out of our tailpipes is CO2, which acts as a blanket, trapping heat inside our atmosphere. For each gallon of gas burned, it’s a measureable fact that twenty pounds of CO2 are emitted. Every year, those of us who drive are responsible for tons of CO2 emissions. Just as clouds act as a cover, reducing the solar heat that reaches us from above on cloudy days, greenhouse gases trap and redirect infrared radiation back to the planet, reducing the heat that is transferred out. But this is not the only problem. Carbon dioxide has a 100-year life, so the emissions we spew today will outlive us and will be a problem for our kids and grandkids.

If some folks still need convincing (not us, of course, but perhaps some of our coworkers or friends), they can try this experiment: Take two large glass jars and place a thermometer inside each jar. Cover the opening of the first jar with a glass plate. Leave the second glass jar uncovered. Expose the jars to sun and record the temperature every fifteen minutes for an hour.  The covered jar will be the warmest because the plate traps the sun’s energy and increases the temperature, just as the “CO2 blanket” does in our atmosphere. The same effect happens in our cars on sunny days.

We can see that climate change is not a hoax by the liberal media. We can and do have an effect on our environment. The fact that the scientific community has shifted its focus from “Global Warming” to “Climate Change” shows an ethical and honest approach.  As we add new information and understandings, we should refine our understanding of the world around us. That’s what honest people are supposed to do.

According to the 2013 Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 70% of Texans believe that global warming is happening. More than half of us believe that the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, and 69% of us believe that individuals should be doing more to address the issue.

Mr. Cruz, along with many of our state’s politicians, do not represent the majority of us but rather a relatively small and well-organized vocal minority—The Tea Party.  Our representatives realize that, in Texas, these unhappy folks will throw money, effort and votes their way. This is too bad for all of us, especially in a state that emits more greenhouse gases than any other in our nation. We, of all states, should be addressing the issues.

But we cannot make a difference if our most influential leaders claim that climate change is just a hoax.  What will it take to get our politicians and their posse on board? Do we want to leave our children with problems we created, or do we want to acknowledge the issues and work together?

 

 

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24 responses to “Ted Cruz Doesn’t Know Climate Change

  1. Remember when “climate change” was called “global warming?”

    The hoaxers had to change the name because “global warming” was proven to be a hoax.

    God bless, Ted Cruz!!

    • I am hoping you are being sarcastic, but I fear you are not. Just in case my fears are accurate: Global warming is still called global warming, because that is what is happening. There is no hoax involved. The empirical data shows us that the average global temperature is rising, this is not disputed by the vast majority of the scientific community worldwide. The increased temperature is leading to accelerated melting of polar ice, causing gradually higher sea levels. By 2100, sea levels are conservatively projected to increase by 3-5 feet, which will cause terrible devastation in coastal and low-lying areas globally. http://www.livescience.com/39891-sea-level-rise-ipcc-report.html
      Climate change is just another term for global warming, they mean the same thing.
      Also, the know-nothings in the far right, like Ted Cruz, need to learn the difference between “weather” and :climate”. Weather is local (rain, heat, snow etc, changing by the day and by the season). Climate is the broader term, in this case, describing global trends.

  2. Very good analogies, Deb. The scientifically illiterate will continue to deny the consensus, based on nothing more than their political views.

    If/when this hits the tipping point, there’ll be no place to run.

    “We could have saved the Earth but we were too damned cheap.”

    ~ Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

  3. I have to wonder how Cruz managed to get through both Harvard and Princeton and still be so ignorant of basic science principles. Seems to be a common problem with many Tea Party leaders.

  4. Maybe they get free lobotomies as a sign up gift?

  5. Like regarding the previous blog post – there are most likely smart and compassionate Christians but they are damn hard to find because of these nutjobs. Ted Cruz is an enigma – either he is an idiot or then he´s playing his census like fools like you said Deb. Stupid he is not – religiously lobotomized however may be the case.

  6. Excellent piece. Unfortunately it’s not just Cruz. Meet the Republican members of the Congressional “Science” Committee:

    Ralph Hall (R-TX): “We have some real challenges; we have the global warming or global freezing and then we have the space, the NASA program, that’s enough for any one committee.”

    Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI): “I personally believe that the solar flares are more responsible for climate cycles than anything that human beings do.”

    Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA): “Is there some thought being given to the clearing of rainforests so some countries can eliminate that source of greenhouse gases?”

    Paul Broun (R-GA): “Scientists all over the world say that the idea of human induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated by the scientific community. It is a hoax. There is no scientific consensus.”

    Sandy Adams (R-FL): “I am encouraging us to reduce funding for climate change research, which undercuts one of NASA’s primary and most important objectives of human spaceflight.”

    Mo Brooks (R-AL): “We have higher levels of carbon dioxide. That means that plant life grows better. Does that mean I want more of it? I don’t know about the adverse effects of carbon dioxide on human beings.”

    And three pearlers from Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA)

    “All that stuff I was taught about evolution and embryology and the Big Bang Theory, all that is lies straight from the pit of Hell… And it’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who were taught that from understanding that they need a savior.”

    “You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a scientist that actually show that this is really a young Earth… I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”

    “Scientists all over the world say that the idea of human induced global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated by the scientific community. It is a hoax. There is no scientific consensus.”

  7. Opinions bought and paid for, is my take on these political numb nuts. Big business needs to continue to rape and pillage the planet. The religious “spin” is just there to give gullible people reasons to believe such nonsense. It’s also how people are convinced to vote against their own best interest. Our political landscape is populated with too many greedy, self-serving individuals who will espouse any ideology if it lines their pockets. Big business has been helping ensure these are just the kinds of people that get elected for decades. Is Ted Cruz crazy? Crazy like a fox, I say. Or, should the expression be “Crazy like Fox News”? My rule of thumb is to always ask, who benefits from these opinions? In the case of climate change denial, the big manufacturing and fossil fuel companies benefit by being allowed to continue to pollute and destroy our environment with minimal oversight and pitiful penalties when something goes wrong. Is Dana Rohrabacher dumber than a 5 year old? I doubt it. Kevin Spacey, on The Daily Show the other day, described the political posturing he witnessed when researching for his role on “House of Cards” as “performance art”. Our politicians are highly paid actors (I’ve heard politics described as Hollywood for ugly people) that take to the political stage with their well-rehearsed postures and arguments on behalf of their wealthy corporate benefactors. If only it wasn’t so dangerous, it would be funny.

    • I agree. It is almost funny how insane these allegedly smart people make themselves sound just for money. As far as the religious spin, my husband and I have been saying for a while how genius it was for the right wing to rope religion into their platform. Christians will blindly follow them even though the policies aren’t in their best interests, as you said.

    • @Anne Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I saw that Kevin Spacey interview. It was good.
      No doubt there are industries who, through their lobbyists and political contributions, do what is best for their wallets–not what’s best for our collective health and well-being. So sad.

  8. Interesting tidbit on the usage of the words “global warming” vs. “climate change,” just fyi.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-global-warming.htm

    • @someone, Thanks for posting this link. It’s spot on.

      Most of the deniers don’t understand, though, that global warming continues and that it’s the planet’s average temp. Even a very slight increase has dramatic effects. They say, “Well, it’s cold this winter.” Deniers cannot see the forest for the trees, so I think, using the term “climate change” would help them understand.

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