Here we go again. PolitiFact has a new fact-check out, this time on Sen. Ted Cruz and a statement he made on climate change while on Seth Meyers’ show:
“My view actually is simple. Debates on this should follow science and should follow data. Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up. In particular, satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming. None whatsoever. It’s why — you remember how it used to be called ‘global warming’ and then magically the theory changed to ‘climate change’? The reason is it wasn’t warming, but the computer models still say it is, except the satellites show it’s not.”
Their verdict, “mostly false”:
Except when PolitiFact explains its ruling, they basically say Cruz is correct, but cherry-picking:
Cruz said, “Satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming.”
Cruz does have a point: There’s been little global temperature change since 1998, and the temperatures measured are lower than what many computer models had predicted.
However, focusing on that period essentially means cherry-picking a timeframe that starts at an extremely warm year and ignores that the first decade of the 21st century — even as it’s been stable — has been the warmest on record. While scientists don’t deny that there’s been a recent “pause” in warming, they expect it to be a temporary trend. Not only is one anomalous period not enough to undercut longer-term projections, but other types of measurements do show evidence of continued global warming over the past two decades, including rising ocean temperatures and shrinking sea ice.
Cruz’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.