WASHINGTON -- Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, became the object of global ridicule recently when he sauntered onto the floor of the world's greatest deliberative body with what he declared was persuasive evidence climate change was a hoax. In his hands was a snowball.
Inhofe is not some backbench member of the upper chamber, but is in fact the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, with jurisdiction over the allegedly non-existent climate problem. And so it may have been deeply disturbing for a man with so much power over the fate of the planet to display such stunning ignorance.
Indeed, even on his own terms, the snowball doesn't make the point he thinks it does. Climate change produces wild and extreme swings in weather. That Washington, D.C., is experiencing record cold and snowfall is not refutation of climate change, but rather one more data point to add to the pile in support of it.
Those concerned for themselves and future generations should take heart though. Inhofe doesn't misunderstand the science; rather, he doesn't need science as his guide, because God has already assured him there is nothing to fear.
In his recent book on climate change, which he titles The Greatest Hoax, he assures readers that the scientists -- which he refers to as "alarmists" throughout the book -- can be ignored because a greater Authority has already spoken.
"I take my religion seriously," Inhofe writes. "[T]his is what a lot of alarmists forget: God is still up there, and He promised to maintain the seasons and that cold and heat would never cease as long as the earth remains."
For those still skeptical of his climate change skepticism, Inhofe quotes from the source material, "one of my favorite Bible verses," Genesis 8:22:
As long as the earth remains
There will be springtime and harvest
Cold and heat, winter and summer
Inhofe was asked about this particular piece of Scripture during a radio interview when his book came out. The passage, he said, is so conclusive that it's simply outrageous that scientists continue to address the matter.
"The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous," he said.