Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said on Sunday that there is no factual basis behind research that shows that the planet is heating up. Cruz’s comments were made during a conference in California hosted by Freedom Partners -- a nonprofit that is partially funded by the Koch brothers.
Privately held Koch Industries and its subsidiaries are involved in businesses ranging from oil refining to manufacturing to high finance. And the conference, organized by the Koch brothers, at a luxury resort reportedly attracted roughly 450 conservative donors who have committed to spending nearly $900 million on the 2016 presidential election. The event also is scheduled to include Republican presidential candidates such as former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
“If you look at satellite data for the last 18 years, there’s been zero recorded warming. … The satellite says it ain’t happening,” Cruz reportedly said at the conference, accusing climate scientists and government researchers of falsifying data. “They’re cooking the books. They’re actually adjusting the numbers.”
Cruz has, in the past, likened “global warming alarmists” to “flat-Earthers,” accusing them of failing to “engage in a reasoned debate.”
“It used to be [that] it is accepted scientific wisdom the Earth is flat, and this heretic named Galileo was branded a denier,” Cruz said, in March.
However, Cruz’s claims about a perceived global warming “hiatus” -- often cited by skeptics to argue against the science of climate change -- have been refuted by several scientists.
A recent study published in the journal Science found that the rate of global warming during the last 15 years has been as fast as -- or faster than -- that seen during the later part of the twentieth century. Moreover, analysis of the long-term trend of climate change shows that since records began in 1880, global temperatures have risen by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius) and that 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have occurred since 2000 -- with 2014 being the warmest year on record.
As a result, over the past 100 years, sea levels have risen nearly seven inches, accompanied by a recent uptick in the melting of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves, which act as doorstops and hold back the frozen continent's glaciers and ice sheets from spreading outward into oceans.
“It is always disturbing to hear science use the language of theology. Deniers. Heretics. That’s not what science is supposed to be about. Science should follow the facts,” Cruz reportedly said, when asked whether his stance was one of “full on denial.”
Cruz’s comments come just hours before President Barack Obama is scheduled to unveil the “Clean Power Plan” aimed at drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power stations over the next 15 years. The plan will place special emphasis on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar energy in order to cut the use of coal.
“Climate change is not a problem for another generation. Not anymore,” Obama said, in a video released by the White House on Sunday. “My administration will release the final version of America's Clean Power Plan, the biggest, most important step we have ever taken to combat climate change.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 2, 2015