Surprise! Ted Cruz is a moron.

The walking conspiracy theory argued with NPR’s Steve Inskeep Wednesday about how climate change is a liberal hoax. A choice exchange between the beleaguered radio host and the man who wants to be your president:

CRUZ: So let me ask you a question, Steve. Is there global warming, yes or no?

INSKEEP: According to the scientists, absolutely.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

CRUZ: I’m asking you.


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

CRUZ: OK, you are incorrect, actually. The scientific evidence doesn’t support global warming. For the last 18 years, the satellite data – we have satellites that monitor the atmosphere. The satellites that actually measure the temperature showed no significant warming whatsoever.

INSKEEP: I’ll just note that NASA analyzes that same data differently. But we can go on.

CRUZ: But no, they don’t. You can go and look at the data. And by the way, this hearing – we have a number of scientists who are testifying about the data. But here’s the key point. Climate change is the perfect pseudoscientific theory for a big government politician who wants more power. Why? Because it is a theory that can never be disproven.

Sure. Great logic. For the record, it can’t be disproven that Ted Cruz isn’t the reincarnation of my grandparents’ brain-damaged dachshund either.

The “hearing” Cruz refers to here is the Senate subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, which Cruz, for some reason, chairs. His latest antic as head of the committee was hosting a waste-of-a-Senate-hearing called “Data or Dogma,” which was supposed to reveal — finally! — if climate change is a human-made phenomenon that could very well destroy the planet or a big liberal joke. (SPOILER ALERT: It’s the first thing.) Cruz’s scientific experts, naturally, were noted climate deniers and tools of the fossil fuel industry.

“I believe that public policy should follow the actual science, and the actual data in evidence, and not political and partisan claims that run contrary to the science and data in evidence,” Cruz said at the hearing.

The entire rest of the world, of course, has accepted the actual science — and, for that matter, the actual data in evidence — that carbon dioxide is heating up the planet, but Cruz, for some reason, just can’t wrap his cotton-candy-like brain around it.

Meanwhile at the Paris climate talks, President Obama spoke with delegates about this very issue of denialism. “You travel around Europe, and you talk to leaders of governments and the opposition, and they’re arguing about a whole bunch of things,” he said at the start of the conference. “One thing they’re not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether we have to do something about it.”

Maybe that’s because they don’t have Ted Cruz in office.

Unfortunately, it isn’t just embarrassing that American political leaders are still seeped in climate-denial: It’s a big problem. While the leaders from 190 nations are gathered in Paris to decide what should be done about climate change, Republicans have been doing their best to derail the process both in Paris and back home.

Fortunately, not all of our leaders are lost. “The only thing that requires a thorough scientific investigation is why Sen. Cruz is having a hearing on climate science,” Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey said before the hearing.

Now that would be an investigation worth watching.