Quantcast
Politics

Senator James Inhofe to Pope Francis: Butt Out of Climate Debate

The world of climate denial has converged on the Washington Court Hotel in Washington DC this week as the rightwing Heartland Institute's 10th annual Climate Conference fills its ballrooms with a parade of denial notables intent on proving that climate change isn't occurring.

They include discredited fossil fuel-funded scientist Willie Soon; Marc Morano, executive editor of the denial website ClimateDepot.com and one of the main subjects of the documentary Merchants of Doubt; and two congressmen, including the infamous, snowball-throwing chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, James Inhofe. When you've got the author of The Solar Fraud: Why Solar Energy Won't Run the World and Bass Ackwards: How Climate Alarmists Confuse Cause With Effect (those are written by retired University of Connecticut physics professor Howard Hayden) and another speaker whose touted as "a popular guest of America's number one radio show, the Rush Limbaugh Show," it's pretty clear what direction the event is going to take.

And according to The Guardian of London, "Lamar Smith, the Texas congressman who heads the science, space and technology committee, raised cheers from the room when he said he proposed a 40 percent cut in NASA’s budget for Earth sciences last week." So the crowd clearly heard what they came for.

Inhofe opened the conference with a keynote address flogging the same narrative he's been putting out there since the 2012 publication of his book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, passing out sheets with 12 talking points for those intent on refuting the evidence of climate change.

He dismissed the upcoming Paris climate summit as nothing  but a bunch of talk, saying, "They talked about it—very good. Now they say it is all going to come together in Paris, and I don’t think it is.” And he assured his audience that the Republican Party will stand firm with them on climate change, saying, "If you look at Republican candidates, they are all denying this stuff with the exception of Lindsey Graham. They're all with the people in this room."

He also took potshots at Pope Francis, who has spoken out repeatedly on climate change and is expected to deliver his long-awaited encyclical on the topic next week.

"Everyone is going to ride the Pope now. Isn’t that wonderful,” said Inhofe sarcastically. “The Pope ought to stay with his job, and we’ll stay with ours.”

"I am not going to talk about the Pope," he said, immediately after doing so. "Let him run his shop, and we’ll run ours.”

Never mind that Inhofe's "shop" is fueled by millions from the oil and gas industry, he's already trespassed on the Pope's "shop" to make his hoax argument. In 2012, he appeared on a Christian radio program where he said, "The Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.’ My point is, 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." He repeated the "God is still up there" line in his speech at the Climate Conference.

Inhofe also warned his audiences against "appeasers," Republicans tempted by the money spent by people such as Republican businessman Jay Faison, who has committed $175 million to encourage them to address climate change as a reality.

"When they see how much money is there, and they see that the bureaucracy is on their side, they might be tempted to give them a vote,” said Inhofe. “This is why you have this last guy with $175 million claiming to be a Republican, and all it takes is one or two or three of the senators to say, maybe I’ll appease them.”

Not only was Inhofe honored with the opening keynote slot, he was also one of five individuals given awards by the Heartland Institute for "decades fighting the politicization and misinterpretation of climate science." He joined three scientists—only one a climatologist—and a TV weatherman in receiving the honor.

"The Climate Change Awards were started in 2014 as a way to recognize individuals of extraordinary ability and unflagging commitment to restoring sound science and common sense to the debate over global warming," according to the Heartland Institute. "The awards serve to increase public awareness of the global warming realism movement and send a signal to the academy and other elite institutions saying if they won’t recognize these genuine heroes, then the sponsors of these awards will. And finally, they encourage otherwise silent scientists, philanthropists, and civic and business leaders to speak up on behalf of sound science and common sense."

Listen to Sen. Inhofe and other climate deniers speak at the Heartland Institute's Climate Conference:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Watch Sen. Inhofe Throw a Snowball on Senate Floor to Prove Climate Change Is a 'Hoax'

Heartland Institute Attacks Senators for Questioning Funding of Climate Deniers, Calling It a 'Witch Hunt'

Climate Denier’s Funding from Fossil Fuel Industry Exposed at a Staggering $1.25 Million

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Popular
Thomas Barwick / DigitalVision / Getty Images

10 Tips for Hosting a Wonderful and Waste-Free Holiday

By Clara Chaisson

For many, the holiday season is a time of plenty. But with all the feasting, the decorations and the gift swapping, it can be easy to go overboard. And for hosts, especially, there's a lot of pressure to make sure guests feel adequately stuffed and the house looks sufficiently bedecked.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
Taylor Energy spill seen from space in 2017. SkyTruth

Clean Up 14-Year Oil Spill or Face $40K Daily Fine, Feds Tell Taylor Energy

The U.S. Coast Guard has ordered Taylor Energy Co. to clean and contain a 14-year chronic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico or face a fine of $40,000 a day.

Environmentalists had warned about the unrelenting leak for years after the Gulf Restoration Network and the watchdog group SkyTruth discovered oil slicks via satellite imagery while investigating the BP Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Amitabh Bachchan TeachAids / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Indian Cinema Legend Clears Debts of 1,398 Farmers

Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan said he has "taken care" of 1,398 farmers by wiping out more than $560,000 (40m rupees) of their debt, BBC News reported.

"Gratitude leans across to the desire of removing some of the burdens that farmers continue to suffer from ... and the inner peace it generates when the desired is completed," the 76-year-old Indian film legend wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
A Chinese sturgeon, one of a handful on display, is seen at the Chinese Sturgeon Aquarium in Hong Kong. Shankar S. / Flickr

After 140 Million Years, Chinese Sturgeons May Soon Be Extinct

By Jason Bittel

More than 16 feet long and weighing up to 1,100 pounds, Chinese sturgeons are among the world's largest freshwater fish. They're big and they're ancient. According to fossil records, they've been swimming China's Yangtze, Qiantang, Minjiang and Pearl Rivers since the time of the dinosaurs.

And now they're on the brink of oblivion, having disappeared from all of their former range except for small portions of the Yangtze.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health
Dewayne Johnson, the first man to bring Monsanto to trial over Roundup and win, now faces an appeal. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

A Roundup Trial Roundup

Tuesday was a big news day for the growing legal movement to hold Monsanto accountable for selling a widely-used weed killer that plaintiffs say gave them or their loved ones cancer.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
"Nature's heterogeneity and biodiversity are at the epicenter of my thankfulness and happiness. Here, deep within a saline wetland, morning light shines through the dew covered understory revealing an orb-weaver's web." Dakota Altman

'Everything Is Interconnected': Photo of Radiant Spider Web Wins EcoWatch Contest

EcoWatch is excited to announced the winner of our first-ever Gratitude Photo Contest. Participants sent us their best shots of what in nature they were most thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Our three amazing judges—Greenpoint Innovations founder Stephen Donofrio, marine scientist Gaelin Rosenwaks and documentary photographer Marc Bryan-Brown—picked their favorites from more than 70 photo entries of breathtaking landscapes, incredible wildlife and majestic waterways.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Food
Health agencies say avoid romaine lettuce as they investigate an E. coli outbreak. Agricultural Resources Service / USDA

E. Coli Outbreak Linked to Romaine Lettuce

If you're hosting Thanksgiving tomorrow, be sure to leave romaine lettuce off the menu! The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are warning everyone to avoid the classic salad green until investigators can pinpoint the exact source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states.

The FDA advised Americans to stop eating romaine and to toss any that's left in the fridge. Restaurants and retailers should also stop serving it until more is known.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Map of damage to the town of Paradise from the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in California history. NASA / JPL-Caltech

Heavy Rain Could Trigger Mudslides in Fire-Weary California

Northern California, which is already reeling from the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history, is now bracing for heavy rainfall this week.

The forecasted rain could bring much-needed relief for the firefighters battling the Camp Fire in Butte County. However, it could also bring new hazards due to possible ash, mud and debris flows triggered by the rain.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!