Even after the unprecedented winter storm that left millions of Texans without power, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is still hell-bent on denying anthropogenic climate change. For decades, scientists have warned that extreme weather events will become more frequent and intense as human-induced global warming progresses. Evidence of climate change has never been presented so clearly: a blazing west coast, a notably hot state now frozen, increasing species extinctions and melting sea ice. All of these consequences are happening at an alarming rate catalyzed by human emissions of fossil fuels. Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence, Republican lawmakers like Senator Cruz still deny the fact that human activity is responsible for climate change. The recent Texas weather crisis has proved how shortsighted climate skepticism is, and fighting this denial with facts is completely pointless.
According to the majority of congressional Republicans, sure, the climate is changing, but it’s a completely natural process and not intensified by human activity. For instance, in 2015, Senator Cruz falsely claimed that “scientific evidence doesn’t support global warming” and “climate change is a pseudoscientific theory for big government politicians who want more power.” An even more far-fetched argument was circulated online by Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, who believes that California’s wildfires were caused by Jewish space lasers, not climate change.
The most frustrating aspect of these blatantly false defenses is that they are not made out of good-faith disagreement with science. Congressional Republicans’ climate change denial stems from greed, exploitation and corruption. By advocating for fewer environmental regulations in order to minimize the role of the federal government, conservative lawmakers have allowed the fossil fuel industry to increase its profits. As a token of appreciation, oil, gas and coal companies have funneled generous amounts of money into Republican campaigns — essentially bribing government officials for protection. Republican leaders’ corrupt motives for denial consume all reason, rendering the factual fight with climate skepticism a fool’s errand.
Texas’s extreme weather crisis serves as a harrowing cautionary tale of the dangers of ignorance towards climate change. Despite record low temperatures causing power outages in 1989 and again in 2011, the state was unprepared, which caused history to repeat itself — this time leaving millions without electricity for days. Texas had 30 years to weatherize its power supply and infrastructure, yet authorities like Governor Greg Abbott, who has historically fought against combating climate change, turned a blind eye. Consequently, the more time government authorities spend undermining and denying the threat of climate change is less time spent preparing for inevitable natural disasters.
Congressional Republicans are perpetuating a cycle of denying the truth, fabricating facts and gaslighting experts, and thus the U.S. has yet to make significant steps towards climate change mitigation. We have been given too many warnings, and our planet has suffered too many wake-up calls. There is simply no time to waste in the battle with climate change. This cycle of denial won’t end when scientists find just the right argument or provide even more concrete evidence. The cycle ends when corrupt government officials are voted out and removed from office.