As global climate negotiations unfold in Paris, my senator Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Overnight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Colin Powell's death highlights risks for immunocompromised The Senate confirmation process is broken — Senate Democrats can fix it MORE (R-Texas) is actively seeking to undermine climate action by hosting a miniature climate change meet-up of his own. Today, Cruz will convene a Senate subcommittee hearing designed to cast doubt on the scientific consensus of climate change. Each of his four invited witnesses is a climate denier from the discredited fringe of the scientific debate. This anti-science hearing would be laughable if it wasn’t putting us all in danger, a danger I know first-hand.
Last May, the worst flood in Texas history destroyed my home. Floods are common in the Texas Hill Country, but not like this one, which decimated hundreds of homes and resulted in twelve deaths. Scientists, including our state climatologist, stated that climate change played a role in this flood, and that record ocean temperatures and warmer air bolstered the heavy storm. As our planet continues to warm, epic storms like this one are expected to become commonplace.
However, despite the destruction, Cruz isn’t interested in talking about the harm climate change has caused in Texas. He dismisses decades of climate science as “religion” and still refuses to meet flood victims, like me, about our concerns of future storms.
To see who he’s listening to instead, you can research the witnesses Cruz invited to Tuesday's hearing — Judith Curry, John Christy, William Happer, and Mark Steyn. The first three are all part of the vanishingly small minority of climate denying scientists. William Happer even compared the “demonization of carbon dioxide” to “the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler,” and Styen is a conservative pundit with no scientific background whatsoever.
If you have trouble understanding why Cruz would rather listen to his hearing guests than his own constituents, take a look at his campaign coffers. Cruz has received over $1 million in contributions from the oil and gas industry. His Super PAC’s largest contribution (a whopping $15 million) is from two fracking billionaires and nearly a quarter of his personal wealth is invested in fossil fuels. Given this information, it’s easy to see why Cruz would only want to hear views that support climate change denial.
As my community sifted through the flood damage, the outpouring of support from neighbors and local volunteers overwhelmed us. We put aside our political differences and came together to clean up the mess, and our politicians should do the same. We need leaders who will put party politics aside, take responsibility for cutting climate pollution and build a more sustainable future. That's what we need from our next President of the United States, and that person should not be Ted Cruz.
Price, a Texan, is a survivor of the May flood.