Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

Climate

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

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Shawna Foo

Anyone who's tending a garden right now knows what extreme heat can do to plants. Heat is also a concern for an important form of underwater gardening: growing corals and "outplanting," or transplanting them to restore damaged reefs.

Read More Show Less
Malte Mueller / Getty Images

By David Korten

Our present course puts humans on track to be among the species that expire in Earth's ongoing sixth mass extinction. In my conversations with thoughtful people, I am finding increasing acceptance of this horrific premise.

Read More Show Less
Women sort potatoes in the Andes Mountains near Cusco Peru on July 7, 2014. Thomas O'Neill / NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Alejandro Argumedo

August 9 is the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples – a celebration of the uniqueness of the traditions of Quechua, Huli, Zapotec, and thousands of other cultures, but also of the universality of potatoes, bananas, beans, and the rest of the foods that nourish the world. These crops did not arise out of thin air. They were domesticated over thousands of years, and continue to be nurtured, by Indigenous people. On this day we give thanks to these cultures for the diversity of our food.

Read More Show Less
A sand tiger shark swims over the USS Tarpon in Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Tane Casserley / NOAA

By John R. Platt

Here at The Revelator, we love a good shark story.

The problem is, there aren't all that many good shark stories. According to recent research, sharks and their relatives represent one of the world's most imperiled groups of species. Of the more than 1,250 known species of sharks, skates, rays and chimeras — collectively known as chondrichthyan fishes — at least a quarter are threatened with extinction.

Read More Show Less
The Anderson Community Group. Left to right, Caroline Laur, Anita Foust, the Rev. Bryon Shoffner, and Bill Compton, came together to fight for environmental justice in their community. Anderson Community Group

By Isabella Garcia

On Thanksgiving Day 2019, right after Caroline Laur had finished giving thanks for her home, a neighbor at church told her that a company had submitted permit requests to build an asphalt plant in their community. The plans indicated the plant would be 250 feet from Laur's backdoor.

Read More Show Less
Berber woman cooks traditional flatbread using an earthen oven in her mud-walled village home located near the historic village of Ait Benhaddou in Morocco, Africa on Jan. 4, 2016. Creative Touch Imaging Ltd. /NurPhoto / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Jason Flatt

The world's Indigenous Peoples face severe and disproportionate rates of food insecurity. While Indigenous Peoples comprise 5 percent of the world's population, they account for 15 percent of the world's poor, according to the World Health Organization.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Danny Choo / CC BY-SA 2.0

By Olivia Sullivan

One of the many unfortunate outcomes of the coronavirus pandemic has been the quick and obvious increase in single-use plastic products. After COVID-19 arrived in the United States, many grocery stores prohibited customers from using reusable bags, coffee shops banned reusable mugs, and takeout food with plastic forks and knives became the new normal.

Read More Show Less