Ted Cruz Calls Obama's 'Radical' Climate Plan 'Tyranny'
Sen. Ted Cruz said in a video released earlier this week that "one of the worst examples of the left's scare tactics is the lies they continue to spread concerning the issue of so-called global warming."
His taped remarks were delivered Thursday at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's second annual At the Crossroads: Energy & Climate Policy Summit. The two-day event in Austin, Texas included speakers such as Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Congressman Lamar Smith (R-TX), Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Stephen Moore of the Heritage Foundation, Marc Morano of Climate Depot and James Taylor of the Heartland Institute.
"The president's radical attempt to destabilize the nation's energy system is flatly illegal," Cruz said. "And unless it is invalidated by Congress, struck down by the courts or, hopefully, rescinded by the next administration, it will cause Americans' electricity costs to skyrocket at a time when those who are struggling can least afford it. What the Obama administration is doing to harm the American economy is the sort of power grab that our founders would have recognized as tyranny."
His comments came just a day after he and 51 other senators approved two resolutions rejecting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's carbon rules for power plants, the Clean Power Plan. President Obama has vowed to veto the measures.
Republicans are also taking aim at Obama's Green Climate Fund. The $3 billion fund was set aside by the Obama administration last year as something the president hopes to be able to bring to the negotiating table at the COP21 Paris climate talks.
“We pledge that Congress will not allow U.S. taxpayer dollars to go to the Green Climate Fund until the forthcoming international climate agreement is submitted to the Senate for its constitutional advice and consent,” 37 Republican senators wrote in a letter to Obama Thursday.
“The world should feel just fine ignoring these Senate Republicans on this one," Sierra Club Global Climate Policy Director John Coequyt said. "What’s more interesting than who signed this letter is who did not, because it’s clear that the Green Climate Fund already has bipartisan support in the Senate. That’s why an amendment supporting the GCF already passed through the Senate’s appropriations committee while under Republican control."
Paris. But unless the deal is "deemed to be a treaty," thus requiring Senate ratification, explained The Hill, then Republicans will not vote on it.
“These same Republicans who have argued against climate action by saying the U.S. shouldn’t act alone are now trying to derail every effort that facilitates international action—and it's not going to work," continued Coequyt. "This is just another desperate, and ultimately futile attempt to derail action to tackle the climate crisis by extremist Senators who are putting themselves in opposition to religious and moral leaders like Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama, the 164 countries who have submitted climate action plans already, dozens of major U.S. corporations calling for climate action and the will of the clear majority of the American public. The American delegation at the COP21 will be empowered by those voices, not held back by the desperate efforts of the most extreme pro-polluter interests.”
Cruz and other GOP's, including Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), have repeatedly denied the reality of human-caused climate change. Last winter, Inhofe brought a snowball to the floor as "proof" that global warming is not occurring. He also criticized Pope Francis for speaking out about climate change. Cruz spent an entire Senate hearing badgering Sierra Club President Aaron Mair about the organization's stance on climate change. And just a few weeks ago, Cruz told Glenn Beck that "climate change is not science, it's religion."
Watch Cruz's full remarks here:
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
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