Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Climate Denier-in-Chief Inhofe to Head Senate Environment Committee

Climate

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, the author of the 2010 tome The Greatest Hoax: How The Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, is in line to become the new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and climate denier-in-chief.

Senator James Inhofe thinks global warming is a hoax—and he'll be in charge of Senate environmental policy hearings.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

“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?" said Inhofe. "It sure sounds like it."

Clearing addressing something he believes is a "hoax" won't be at the top of his to-do list. Crippling the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its ability to enforce regulations such as the Clean Air and Clean Water acts will be likely priorities, since he has compared the EPA to "Gestapo" and said the movement to address climate change reminds him of the "Third Reich" and the "Big Lie." That's a reference to a term invented by Hitler to describe a lie so extreme that people believe it must be true or no one would say it.

Inhofe's record of trying to block, hamstring or delay messages to address climate change isn't pretty. In 2012, he sponsored a bill to overturn an EPA-issued regulation to cut certain toxic emissions such as mercury from coal-fired plants. It garnered a majority of votes, including several from Democrats, but not the 60 required to pass legislation in the Senate. In September he demanded a delay in action on curbing methane emissions from the oil and natural gas industries, claiming the EPA was using outdated information to implement them and that there needed to be more discussion i.e. more time of doing nothing. In October, he demanded that the EPA refrain from looking into the risks fracking posed to water supplies and what states were doing to handle those risks.

Inhofe claimed in The Greatest Hoax that God controls the world not humans, therefore global warming cannot exist.

“Genesis 8:22 said that as long as the Earth remains there will be springtime, harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night," he said. "My point is, God's still up there, and the arrogance of people who think that we, human beings, would be able to change what he is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

That's the platform on which he builds a larger argument, accurately described by a commenter at Amazon.com accurately as "Red Scare Meets Green Scare," about political forces trying to use the climate change "hoax" to seize control of the world, take over the U.S. and limit our freedoms. He sees a plot to pretend climate change is happening in order to tie the hands of business and impede economic growth with an endless pile of regulations.

Probably not coincidentally, his biggest campaign donors are the oil and gas industries, which have donated millions of dollar to his campaigns since he entered the U.S. Senate in 1987. Koch Industries, Oklahoma-based oil and natural gas producers Devon Energy, ExxonMobile and Ohio coal company Murray Energy were among his most generous benefactors.

RL Miller, founder of the California-based grassroots environmental watchdog group Climate Hawks Vote, offered some minor comfort.

“I expect we are going to see less headline-grabbing efforts on the EPA and more of simply throttling their budget,” Miller told the London Guardian. “If he touches climate denial at all he is going to be ridiculed in public and in the media. If he is smart, he is going to be very quiet publicly, and it will be death by a thousand cuts in the kind of budget battles that people like Jon Stewart don’t pay attention to."

How smart or how restrained he is remains to be seen.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Why So Much Climate Denial in Congress? Follow the Money

Dark Money Fuels Election Wins for Climate Deniers

8 Ways GOP Leadership Plans to Trash the Planet

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Deserted view of NH24 near Akshardham Temple on day nine of the 21-day nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus on April 2, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Raj K Raj / Hindustan Times via Getty Images

India is home to 21 of the world's 30 most polluted cities, but recently air pollution levels have started to drop dramatically as the second-most populated nation endures the second week of a 21-day lockdown amidst coronavirus fears, according to The Weather Channel.

Read More Show Less
A Unicef social mobilizer uses a speaker as she carries out public health awareness to prevent the spread and detect the symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus by UNICEF at Mangateen IDP camp in Juba, South Sudan on April 2. ALEX MCBRIDE / AFP / Getty Images

By Eddie Ndopu

  • South Africa is ground zero for the coronavirus pandemic in Africa.
  • Its townships are typical of high-density neighbourhoods across the continent where self-isolation will be extremely challenging.
  • The failure to eradicate extreme poverty is a threat beyond the countries in question.
Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The outside of the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in White Oak, Md. on Nov. 9, 2015. Al Drago / CQ Roll Call

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of two malarial drugs to treat and prevent COVID-19, the respiratory infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, despite only anecdotal evidence that either is proven effective in treating or slowing the progression of the disease in seriously ill patients.

Read More Show Less
Some speculate that the dissemination of the Antarctic beeches or Nothofagus moorei (seen above in Australia) dates to the time when Antarctica, Australia and South America were connected. Auscape / Universal Images Group / Getty Images

A team of scientists drilled into the ground near the South Pole to discover forest and fossils from the Cretaceous nearly 90 million years ago, which is the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, as the BBC reported.

Read More Show Less
The recovery of elephant seals is one of the "signs of hope" that scientists say show the oceans can recover swiftly if we let them. NOAA / CC BY 2.0

The challenges facing the world's oceans are well known: plastic pollution could crowd out fish by 2050, and the climate crisis could wipe out coral reefs by 2100.

Read More Show Less