Ted Cruz’s Climate Commotion: Three Takeaways
The first major candidate to officially announce a run for President, Ted Cruz (R), is getting slammed in the liberal media for his criticism of climate change alarmism. Cruz was called out by Jerry Brown (D), Governor of California, who said of Cruz, “that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office” because of his position on climate change.
Cruz simply pointed out that “global warming” was conveniently changed to “climate change” when Earth stopped warming trend 17 years ago. On Tuesday, Cruz further pushed the buttons of climate change alarmists when he called them “flat earthers,” the very words President Obama used to describe global warming skeptics just over a year ago.
This week’s political dazzle with Brown, Cruz, and the media over catastrophic, man-made climate change will almost certainly position the issue as a defining one for the 2016 presidential election. So we’re likely to hear a lot about it in the next 20 months. How are we going to handle the climate craze?
Below are three helpful truths to take away from all the climate commotion.
First, Cruz mentioned in his interview with CNN the need to allow the development of all kinds of energy and that it would not come from “government picking winners and losers.” By “all” he implies that fossil fuels can’t be excluded. What he didn’t stress enough was why access to all kinds of energy is so important.
#1. Abundant, affordable, reliable fossil fuels are key to advancing human prosperity, alleviating global poverty, and in turn improving the planet. Wind, solar, and other renewables are diffuse, expensive, and unreliable, which means relying on them slows poor people’s rise out of poverty and threatens to return marginal societies to poverty.
Second, Cruz stated how the phrase “climate change” is deceptive because weather is always changing. That’s something I think we’ve all picked up on by now – but it’s not persuasive enough.
#2. We need to know solid facts. Governor Brown repeated the popular claim that an overwhelming majority (often stated as 97%) of scientists agree that global warming is a man-made threat. This is very misleading at best. We’re also going to continue to hear how most of the warmest years on record have occurred since 1997, and 2014 was the warmest. While the latter point is contested, the fact is that when the planet is warming out of the Little Ice Age it’s no surprise – and certainly no proof that humanity is the primary cause – that the most recent years are the warmest.
Furthermore, the global warming alarmists’ case leaves God entirely out of the picture. It considers Earth and its climate system highly fragile and thus susceptible to catastrophic changes due to comparatively minor stimuli – like raising CO2 concentration in the atmosphere from around 28 thousandths of a percent to about 54 thousandths of a percent over a course of about 200 years.
Instead, both the scientific observation that natural systems are dominated by feedbacks (internal responses) that minimize rather than magnify the effect of new stimuli, and the Biblical teaching that the world is the product of an infinitely wise Designer, infinitely powerful Creator, and infinitely faithful Sustainer tell us the climate system is robust, resilient, and self-correcting.
That makes catastrophic warming from our addition of CO2 to the atmosphere very unlikely – an expectation consistent with the fact that real-world observations show warming over the last 30+ years that is less than half the average simulated by the computer models on which the alarmists rely, and no warming at all for the last 18+ years. Both of these facts suggest that the computer models provide no rational basis either for fears of dangerous warming or for expensive policies to “prevent” it. So …
#3. God, not man, is ultimately sovereign over both weather events and the outcome of elections. The Bible teaches that the Lord governs the affairs of man and nature. A few verses reminding us of this are: “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). “The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes” (Proverbs 21:1). “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect” (Psalm 33:10). “For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’; Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength” (Job 37:6).
In the coming election campaign, we can take at least two lessons from these three helpful truths: First, don’t be suckered by those who, viewing climate as fragile, exaggerate risks from fossil fuels. Those fuels were essential to lifting the West out of poverty, and they’ll be essential to lifting the rest out as well. Second, don’t fret the elections’ outcome. Yes, be a responsible citizen. Choose carefully whom to support, talk with your friends and neighbors, and go to the voting booth on election day. But remember that God is in control of the outcome, and those who trust in Him need not be afraid.
J.D. King is a filmmaker who produced the documentaries Crying Wolf and BLUE, exposing the poor science and ethics of the Green movement. He is a contributing writer for The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation.