A Reminder: Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe Has Dangerously Ridiculous Ideas About Reality

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 30 2014 1:01 PM

James Inhofe Slammed on Global Warming

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Drawing by lilmallugirl/Shutterstock

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) is more than just a global warming denier. He’s a conspiracy theorist (calling warming a “hoax”) and, shockingly, hugely funded by the oil industry. Reading things he’s said about global warming is like perusing a denier’s playbook of nonsense.

So this story comes as no surprise to me, even as it elicits a long sigh: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) submitted a resolution simply acknowledging that global warming exists and poses a threat to the interests of the United States—which it does, on both counts.

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Of course Inhofe blocked it.

Inhofe’s action was so egregious, so ridiculous, that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) took to the floor and magnificently schooled him on reality. Watch:

It should be said that Whitehouse is a new hero of mine. Inhofe’s stance is stupidly dangerous: Global warming is real, the climate is changing faster than it has in thousands of years, and the fault lies in ourselves.

But denial is in the blood of too many of our representatives. It’s become a Republican mantra to say, “I’m not a scientist, but …” as if that excuses them to say any nonsensical thing they want. The proper response to a statement like that is what Charlie Crist, gubernatorial candidate for Florida, said: “I'm not a scientist either, but I can use my brain and I can talk to one.”

If only all politicians did that … and actually listened to them, instead of to the pipeline of dollars flowing to them to which they’re apparently beholden.

Tip o’ the thermometer to Amy Klobuchar and Michael Mann.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

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