Ted Cruz doesn’t believe in man-made climate change or the science behind it. So while diplomats in Paris attempt to negotiate an international deal to fight global warming, Cruz is in Washington railing against mainstream climate science and “partisan dogma and ideology.”
On Tuesday, Cruz invited scientists who doubt the scientific consensus that climate change is real and driven by human activity to Capitol Hill to testify at a congressional hearing titled “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.”
The skeptical message won’t sit well with the vast majority of climate scientists. But it’s likely to resonate with conservatives. That’s strategic: Cruz’s climate hearing wasn’t just a chance to talk about global warming. It was an opportunity for the Republican presidential contender to portray climate change as a flashpoint in a larger clash between liberals and conservatives—a chance to advance a narrative of “us” versus “them.” It arrives at a moment when Cruz is fighting to win votes in the midst of a crowded 2016 field.
If you were to ask American voters what they care about most, few would place climate change at the top of the list. The economy, jobs, national security, and terrorism are far more important to voters than the gradual warming of the planet. But at a moment when Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has struck a chord by suggesting that America is under threat, Cruz is styling himself as a defender of open inquiry fighting against fanatical ideology.