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Ted Cruz Offers Al Gore Some 'Inconvenient Truths' in Most Outrageous Climate Denier Stunt Yet
Recently, the AP asked eight scientists to grade the comments of top presidential candidates for their scientific accuracy. Coming in at dead last was Ted Cruz. For further proof of his scientific illiteracy, we now turn to the Senate hearing he hosted on Tuesday, Data or Dogma: Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate Over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth's Climate. All four of the witnesses that Cruz invited to speak are climate deniers "from the discredited fringe of the scientific debate," as The Hill's Scott Price wrote.
One of them, William Happer, a Princeton professor, was exposed in an undercover Greenpeace investigation for what is known as being an "academic-for-hire." Happer agreed to write a report for a Middle Eastern oil company but allowed the firm to keep the source of the funding secret. Another witness, Mark Steyn, does not even have a scientific background. He's a conservative radio talk show host.
Cruz's democratic colleagues assailed him for wasting taxpayers' money on the hearing. "The only thing that requires a thorough scientific investigation is why Sen. Cruz is having a hearing on climate science,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) told The Hill.
If you don't feel like watching the nearly three-hour affair, you can check out the "five dumbest moments" from the hearing, according to Inverse, who said they "monitored this farce so you could do other things."
For just a taste of what the event was like, here's Cruz's opening statement:
At the very least you should watch this unbelievable rant from Steyn, who, at one point, calls climate change a “cloud-cuckoo, fantasy-land, saving-the-planet type” concern.
And then there's this video from moments before the start of Cruz's Senate hearing, which exposes Happer for denying his ties to the fossil fuel industries.
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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