It seems somewhat appropriate that a social dinosaur like Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) would find it hard to believe that the earth's climate has changed since the Jurassic Period, but there he was on the floor of the United States Senate earlier this week, like a crazy man on a street corner, decrying the focus these days on the effects of climate change -- or, as Inhofe calls it, "the most media-hyped environmental issue of all time."
Inhofe gave a speech on Monday to vent his frustration over what he believes is an overblown non-issue and to take the media to task for covering it.
"I want to challenge the news media to reverse course and report on the objective science of climate change, stop ignoring legitimate voices in this scientific debate, and stop being used by the hysterical left," said Inhofe. "Breaking the cycles of media hysteria will not be easy since hysteria sells and it is very profitable, but I really believe the issue is getting worn out."
The Oklahoma Republican also took a considerable amount of time to minimize former Vice President Al Gore's work on climate change and, in particular, to thoroughly ridicule Gore's new film, An Inconvenient Truth.
"In May, our nation was exposed to perhaps one of the slickest science propaganda films of all time -- former Vice President Gore's 'An Inconvenient Truth,'" said Inhofe, who, in what typifies the twisted, GOP-led Congress, chairs the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. "In addition to having the backing of Paramount Pictures to market this film, it had the full backing of the media, and leading the cheerleading charge was none other than the Associated Press, and of course they had the elitists, from Hollywood."
I won't even bother to refute Inhofe's babbling by quoting Gore and the Climate Crisis web site extensively. After all, people like Inhofe will only sneer at Gore and the filmmakers saying things like "the vast majority of scientists agree that global warming is real, it's already happening and that it is the result of our activities and not a natural occurrence." And having Al Gore cite facts such as the number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes almost doubling in the last 30 years is just plain tiresome to a guy like Inhofe.
Instead, I'll go straight to the Bush Administration's own Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is clearly also in bed with Gore on this one. Apparently -- and obviously unbeknownst to the crack research team in Inhofe's legislative/climatological office -- the EPA's web site gives a description of global warming that could very well have come right out of one of Gore's books.
"There is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities. Human activities have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere through the buildup of greenhouse gases - primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide," says the EPA web site. "Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide have increased nearly 30 percent, methane concentrations have more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen by about 15 percent."
Those hysterical leftists at Bush's EPA go on to say that "The 20th century's 10 warmest years all occurred in the last 15 years of the century. Of these, 1998 was the warmest year on record. The snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere and floating ice in the Arctic Ocean have decreased. If emissions of greenhouse gases continue unabated, scientists say we may change global temperature and our planet's climate at an unprecedented rate for our society."
And even if Inhofe manages to smear the EPA's analysis, we can take a look at the scientific research the EPA cites in their Global Warming and Our Changing Climate FAQ. For that document, they use as their primary authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which, according to the EPA, "brings together the world's top scientists in all relevant fields, synthesizes peer-reviewed scientific literature on global warming studies, and produces authoritative assessments of the current state of knowledge of climate change."
Which leads to the following answer from the EPA when their frequently-asked-questions document addresses this question: "What are the potential impacts of global warming and a changing climate?" Here's their answer:
"Our health, agriculture, water resources, forests, wildlife and coastal areas are vulnerable to global warming and the climatic changes it will bring. The IPCC concluded that 'climate change is likely to have wide-ranging and mostly adverse impacts on human health, with significant loss of life.'"
Now, I'm not trying to get any of the young College Republicans on Senator Inhofe's staff fired, but it's got to be tough enough on Inhofe to look like such a nut case when his rantings on the Senate floor are taken at face value -- much less, when compared to the government's own assertions as reported from within the Bush administration.
But that doesn't stop Chief Climatologist Inhofe.
"During the past year, the American people have been served up an unprecedented parade of environmental alarmism by the media and entertainment industry, which links every possible weather event to global warming," said Inhofe on Monday, adding "I firmly believe that when the history of our era is written, future generations will look back with puzzlement and wonder why we spent so much time and effort on global warming fears and pointless solutions, such as the Kyoto Protocol."
Of course, what's got to add to the Senator's ire is the Clinton Global Initiative, which just last week, raised $7.3 billion from 215 wealthy donors to help with the "most serious issues affecting the world today" including Energy and Climate Change. And, among those contributing, were those wacky liberals Laura Bush and Rupert Murdoch.
It's a world gone mad, isn't it, Senator Inhofe?
You can read more from Bob at BobGeiger.com.