The Massachusetts Senate race has just become a battleground in the fight against climate change.
In the debate between Democratic nominee Elizabeth Warren and incumbent Republican Scott Brown last week, Warren brought up a great point about the consequences of voting for Scott Brown (and by extension, ushering in a Republican majority into the Senate): Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) would take over Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) role as Chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. This committee makes all decisions related to bringing environmental legislation to the floor of the Senate for a vote, whether it originates in the Senate or is sent over by majority vote from the House of Representatives. So, if you’ve been frustrated by the speed of progress on federal climate change legislation…well, then lets talk about James Inhofe for a moment…
- Inhofe’s 2003 speech to the U.S. Senate: “With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it.” (Same speech: “C02 does not cause catastrophic disasters-actually it would be beneficial to our environment and our economy.”) Sigh…I look forward to the day when we don’t need to point out, prior to engaging on all conversations concerning climate change, that there is global, scientific consensus that global warming is both occurring, and is primarily man-made.
- Proving his scientific mettle following a speech on global warming by the (WHEW!) current chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Barbara Boxer: “We went out of that natural warming cycle about nine years ago.” Mr. Inhofe, NASA scientists say otherwise. And the NOAA. And the EPA. Meh…scientists. What do they know, right?
- False equivalencies a.k.a. “talking about global warming is like the Nazis”: Said Inhofe in a radio interview: “It kind of reminds… I could use the Third Reich, the Big Lie. You say something over and over and over and over again, and people will believe it, and that’s their strategy… A hot summer has nothing to do with global warming. Let’s keep in mind it was just three weeks ago that people were saying, ‘Wait a minute; it is unusually cool.’” Yeah…that sounds just like the Nazis…jerk.
- “Party” Crasher: Feeling slightly miffed when his invitation failed to materialize in his mailbox, Inhofe lead a “truth squad” to the UN Climate Change Conference in 2009 to assure world leaders that, regardless of what the President says, the U.S. won’t pass any legislation to tackle the issue. When push came to shove, however, the high profile squad consisted of James Inhofe and…one of his staff.
- Belief in global warming is an affront against God: “…God’s still up there. 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.” Don’t you see, its not that climate change isn’t happening, its that God is making it happen…and who are we to fight it?
In truth, as Inhofe admitted earlier this year to Rachel Maddow, its all COMPLETE BS: “I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing (the Senate Environment and Public Works) committee and I first heard about this. I thought it must be true until I found out what it cost.” Well, at least he’s honest.
In a Republican-held Senate, this man will effectively be in charge of enacting environmental laws and policies of the U.S. Together with its sister committee in the House, the Energy and Commerce Committee, wherein all 31 Republican committee members voted against simply acknowledging the science of climate change, we would face an unstoppable force against any progress on the global warming front.
Sane? Realistic? Believe in science and facts? Vote Democrat.