It’s not a shock that the Republican Party has a huge problem when it comes to climate change science. It’s not so much that they don’t believe in it, but that candidates like Ted Cruz rabidly deny climate change because it is what their campaign contributors and their base want to hear.
According to a fact check by The Associated Press, Ted Cruz has the absolute worst standings when it comes to climate science, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to those of us who have been paying attention to the remarks of the presidential candidates.
The AP gave eight climate and biological scientists statements made by each of the top candidates in the debates, without telling them who said what, and asked them to give each candidate a score between 0-100 grading how well the person understands science.
Ted Cruz of Texas had the lowest score, an average of 6. All eight put Cruz at the bottom of the class.
“This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner,” Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor, wrote of Cruz’s statements. “That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, with an 87, had the lowest score among the Democrats, dinged for an exaggeration when he said global warming could make Earth uninhabitable. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush scored the highest among Republicans, 64, but one grader gave him a perfect 100. Bush was the only Republican candidate who got a passing grade on climate in the exercise. (Source)
Despite Ted Cruz’s incredible ignorance of science, he is currently in place to challenge for the lead in the Republican primaries once Ben Carson and Donald Trump flame out and sputter away.
It’s not just climate change science that many of these GOP candidates deny. Ben Carson has claimed that evolution is a lie promoted by Satan. Rand Paul is a long-time friend of conspiracy nut Alex Jones and has appeared on his program to claim that vaccines are the first step towards martial law. Donald Trump has also claimed that vaccines cause autism, despite the fact that story was originally made up by a doctor who had his license revoked for conducting a rigged story to sell a competing vaccine in the United Kingdom.
To his credit, Jeb Bush has admitted that climate change is real and that conservatives should be the party of science – which probably plays a part in why he is currently doing so poorly in the Republican primary polls. This is a political party which currently has a billionaire who erected a monument to a Civil War battle that never happened on one of his golf courses, and a retired neurosurgeon who obviously believes in Creationism.
You may not think that this is a big deal because Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton would likely beat any of these GOP candidates in the general election, but the fact of the matter is that this same party of science deniers controls many of the state legislatures and governor’s mansions across the country.
Do all conservatives deny science, especially climate change? Of course not, but they’re willing to ignore scientists and other experts because the facts align with what liberals have been saying, just like liberals will sometimes ignore science on medicine and agriculture based on their mistrust of corporations.
Unfortunately for the GOP, Tea Party radicals like Ted Cruz are the new face of the Republican Party, and science proves that they’re wrong on science – in addition to nearly everything else.
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