Climate

Seth Meyers Confronts Ted Cruz On Climate Change: ‘I Think The World’s On Fire, Literally’

CREDIT: Screenshot/Late Night With Seth Meyers

Despite his comments at a recent speaking event in New Hampshire, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) definitely does not think the world is on fire.

That became clear after a conversation with talk show host Seth Meyers this week, during which Meyers used Cruz’s “the whole world’s on fire” quote in reference to the Obama administration’s governance to ask the senator about climate change.

“First, I got excited, because I thought maybe you were coming around on global warming, but that’s not the case, right?” Meyers said. “Because I think the world’s on fire, literally — hottest year on record — but you’re not there, right?”

Meyers was right — Cruz isn’t there yet. The senator talked about the cold weather he experienced while in New Hampshire this weekend, and said that the climate hasn’t warmed in over a decade — a claim he’s relied on in the past.

“It’s interesting that you say that, as I just came back from New Hampshire, where there’s snow and ice everywhere,” Cruz said. “My view actually is simple. Debates on this should follow science, and should follow data. And many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up.”

Cruz continued:

“Satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years there’s been zero warming — none whatsoever. It’s why, remember how it used to be called global warming? And then magically the theory changed to climate change? The reason is, it wasn’t warming, but the computer models still say it is, except the satellites show it’s not.”

Both of Cruz’s claims against climate change are well-used by the senator, and both have been debunked by the science that Cruz claims should be at the forefront of climate change debate. Last year, Cruz also said in an interview with CNN that the Earth had experienced “no recorded warming” over the last 15 years. That’s a claim that climate scientists have dismissed. The Earth has experienced warming over the last 17 years, but much of it has been going on in the oceans.

Capture

CREDIT: NOAA

In addition, as Myers points out, 2014 was the planet’s hottest year since 1880, and this decade is on track to be the hottest on record.

Cruz’s comments about New Hampshire being cold are also an old standby for the senator. Cruz has joked multiple times about how cold weather must mean that Al Gore has been lying about climate change. Weather, of course, is not the same as climate: weather represents the day-to-day changes in the Earth’s atmospheric conditions, while climate represents long term trends in temperature, rainfall, and other weather events, and is something that 97 percent of climate scientists agree is changing.

The fact that seasonal weather events still occur doesn’t mean the climate isn’t changing, but climate change can contribute to these seasonal weather events, even the ones that bring freezing temperatures and piles of snow. Scientists have warned that climate change could bring more extreme rain and snowfall to parts of the Earth, particularly the northern U.S.

Myers let the discussion drop after that, making a joke about satellites and Direct TV. But this likely won’t be the last time we hear from Cruz on his views on climate change, especially since he’s likely going to run for president.