Cruz blasts 'alarmists' at climate change hearing

Cruz blasts 'alarmists' at climate change hearing
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz's Dem challenger slams Time piece praising Trump Race for Republican Speaker rare chance to unify party for election 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules MORE (R-Texas), a presidential hopeful, used a Senate hearing Tuesday to castigate environmentalists, Democrats and other “alarmists” on climate change.

Cruz, one of the most ardent deniers of climate change among the field of presidential candidates, repeatedly said that his opponents have been wrong over and over again in their predictions about climate change.

“I am the son of two mathematicians,” Cruz said in his opening statements. “I believe that public policy should follow the actual science and the actual data and evidence, and not political and partisan claims that run contrary to the science and data and analysis.”

Cruz told the story of a scientific ship that got stuck in Antarctic ice in the summer of 2013, and said that climate “alarmists” predicted that there would be no ice that year.

“On Christmas Eve, they became stuck in ice, ice that the climate-industrial complex had assured us had vanished,” he said.

Cruz, chairman of a Commerce Committee subpanel, repeatedly referred to satellite data that showed a long pause in global warming, data that recent studies have rebuked.

“According to the satellite data, there has been no significant global warming for the past 18 years,” he said. “Those are the data. Global-warming alarmists don’t like these data. They are inconvenient to their narrative. But facts and evidence matter.”

Cruz stands to the right of most in the GOP field for the 2016 election. While candidates, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have recognized that the climate is changing and questioned what the government should do about it, Cruz disagrees with the premise.

“Public policy should follow science and evidence and data,” Cruz insisted, repeating that the data shows no warming.

Sen. Gary PetersGary Charles PetersSenate confirms Trump’s pick to lead NASA Dem senators call on FCC to protect against robocalls Overnight Finance: Wells Fargo could pay B fine | Dems seek info on loans to Kushner | House to vote on IRS reform bills | Fed vice chair heading before Congress MORE (D-Mich.), top Democrat on the panel, admitted that there is some disagreement among scientists on the details of climate change, but they are largely in agreement that it is happening and humans significantly contribute to it via greenhouse gases from fossil fuels.

“We know that there will always be more to learn,” Peters said.

“But knowing that there’s more to learn should not, it should not stop us from acting on what we know now. We must discuss and determine what actions we need to take to limit the serious risks that we face.”

Sen. Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes Scott ramps up spending to million in Florida Senate race Overnight Energy: Trump NASA pick advances after drama | White House office to investigate Pruitt's soundproof booth | 170 lawmakers call for Pruitt to resign MORE (D-Fla.), top Democrat on the Commerce Committee, said communities such as Miami Beach are suffering from the consequences of climate change, like rising sea levels.

“Miami Beach is basically ground zero in the United States for what we are seeing as a consequence of global warming, and that is, sea-level rise,” he said.

“Some of us, representing our constituents, have to deal with the realities of what we see.”

A group of Democrats held a news conference earlier Tuesday to criticize Cruz, which Cruz said he views as a “backhanded compliment.”

Cruz invited three outspoken climate change deniers to outline their objections to the scientific consensus on global warming, while the Democrats brought in an expert who endorses the consensus.