[Commentary] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Blasts Ted Cruz For Paris Climate Agreement Lie

The Paris Agreement is not about “the views of the citizens of Paris.” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called out Senator Ted Cruz for a misleading tweet that falsely suggested it did.

Ted Cruz tweets false infor about Climate Agreement, AOC calls him out
[Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Can we assume Senator Ted Cruz knows what the Paris Accord is?

Well, he was a member of the U.S. Senate at the time the agreement was entered into, and is clearly capable of reading and understanding law, contracts, and legislative matters. There’s no evidence whatsoever to suggest he would not have the information to understand this particular treaty.

So, why would he tweet this?

This tweet strongly implies that the author — Senator Cruz — either believes, or thinks that his audience will believe, that the Paris Agreement is some consensus of Parisians, imposed upon Americans.

Representative Ocasio-Cortez addresses this.

In her response, Ocasio-Cortez uses the Geneva Convention (treaties that define humane treatment of prisoners) as a parallel, asking Cruz if he would also portray those rules as being about the beliefs of the citizens of Geneva.

Truth about the Paris Agreement:

If Cruz truly doesn’t know the background of this treaty, a quick internet search would surely take him to the United Nations site on climate change, and a backgrounder here. The second and third sentence on the page (the first being actually a question asking what the Paris Agreement is) would surely correct any misunderstandings behind such a tweet.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016.

Does Cruz know this?

Does Cruz know that the agreement on climate efforts isn’t named for Parisians forcing it on the rest of the planet, but for the location of that meeting of leaders?

There are only two possible answers to that: either yes, Cruz knows, in which case he’s deliberately misleading his constituents, or no, he does not, in which case, a responsible legislator should do at least minimal research before tweeting.

AOC putting Cruz on blast for this lie effectively directs voters across America to try to answer that question for themselves. Cruz’s constituents, in particular, should be determining what they believe: do they have a Senator who has failed to minimally understand the treaty he so vehemently opposes, or one who assumes that they, his voters, will so easily accept a lie?

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