Ted Cruz shocked and horrified America when news broke that in the midst of a terrible power outage and winter storm in Texas, the state he represents, he dipped out for Cancún.
Now, fellow Texan Kacey Musgraves has found a unique way to support her home state. Musgraves has been selling shirts reading ""CRUZIN' FOR A BRUZIN'" on her website for $29.99 a pop, with each shirt's profits donated to aid effort for Texans affected by the storm.
"All proceeds will directly support Texans affected by the storm and also to homeless immigrants seeking shelter and food," Musgraves wrote. Shirts can be purchased here.
All proceeds will directly support Texans affected by the storm and also to homeless immigrants seeking shelter and… https://t.co/E78HZM1Yzw— K A C E Y (@K A C E Y) 1613697115.0
Earlier this week, a brutal winter storm slammed Texas, leaving millions without power and leaving behind a rising death toll. Families have been pushed to undertake increasingly desperate measures to combat the storm. Homes have been flooded thanks to bursting pipes, and many people are still trapped in freezing houses.
"I'm in Houston, Texas freezing to death," wrote a Twitter user named Chris Price. "No power, no heat, no water. I have four young children. How is this happening right now?"
so today even with freezing weather, our apartment complex didn’t drain the sprinklers so it busted in one of the r… https://t.co/9CMKBnsF2x— Jesus Cortez (@Jesus Cortez) 1613542299.0
In the midst of it all, on Wednesday, Rep. Ted Cruz was photographed in an airport on his way to Cancún.. Reports later revealed that his wife had texted a group of friends that their house was "FREEZING" and invited them to join her for three nights at a Ritz-Carlton in Cancún. "Anyone can or want to leave for the week?" Heidi Cruz wrote. "We may go to Cancún."
Cruz cited his daughters' desire to go to Cancún. (and his desire to be a good dad) as the reason why he embarked on this ill-advised trip, but his constituents and Americans weren't buying it.
The rage only heightened when it was revealed that Cruz and his family had left their dog, Snowflake, back in their freezing house. After the backlash started, Cruz immediately returned to the US, but the damage was done.
Rage at Cruz shows little sign of abating, as he's become a kind of figurehead for the wealthy political elite's ignorance of ordinary people's problems. The memes (and saucy political insults) are abundant.
Cruz has long been loathed by Democrats and Republicans alike, but this has pushed general disgust with Cruz to new heights. Many are referencing the fact that Cruz voted against sending federal aid to support victims of Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, as well as his many other reprehensible and hypocritical policy decisions.
In his last effort to be evil before this, Cruz threw himself behind Donald Trump's effort to violently overthrow American democracy (despite slandering Trump back in the 2016 election cycle).
Of course, many have leapt to Cruz's defense (despite his own admission of his mistakes). "Look, it was obviously a mistake and in hindsight I wouldn't have done it," Cruz said.
Misinformation about the crisis is rampant. Some news services have even blamed the grid failures on renewable energy, when natural gas failures, the state's deregulated energy grid, and mass failures to prepare for winter weather are the main cause for the dysfunction.
"From freezing gas wells and gas lines, to depressurization of our natural gas infrastructure because so many homes and businesses are calling for gas at the same time, we just don't have enough fuel," said Joshua Rhodes, a power grid specialist at the University of Austin.
The colossal failure of fossil fuel-powered systems amidst an unprecedented natural disaster is a chilling image of climate change — and there will only be more issues like this to come. Climate change will continue to cause weather-related natural disasters, from floods to wildfires to — yes — snowstorms.
A growing body of research concludes that as the climate changes thanks to human-caused activities, this may result in the weakening of jet streams that trap Arctic weather. This may lead to freezing weather conditions drifting down to lower latitudes, a phenomenon called the "polar vortex."
The world's lack of preparation for these extreme weather events will continue to result in situations like what we are seeing in Texas. The state's failure to plan for these conditions is exemplary of the world's failure to plan for climate disaster.
"The future is not going to be like the past," says Melissa Finucane, a co-director of the Rand Climate Resilience Center. "If we could just plan a little better, we could anticipate some of these problems." Instead of planning, though, politicians continue to debate whether climate change is even real.
People in Texas are still suffering deeply at the moment. To help, consider purchasing one of Musgraves' excellent shirts, or donate to any organization working on the ground. A list of resources, food banks, mutual aid groups, warming centers, and more can be found here and at bit-ly.com/texas-resources.
Nearly half a million Texans still lacked power Thursday and millions now face water disruption. Here's how to help… https://t.co/tMpBL1hznv— TIME (@TIME) 1613739705.0
TX Ds doing presser now on R response to winter crisis. @JulianCastro: "Do not ever put people in charge of gov't w… https://t.co/o4ggYwvDAf— Patrick Svitek (@Patrick Svitek) 1613760583.0