On Wednesday Morning, Sen. James Inhofe officially became the chairman of the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee. Later that day, he took the floor and delivered a speech arguing that climate change caused by humans is a hoax.
Inhofe was joined on the floor by a group of scientists who disagree with a majority of climate scientists who believe that climate change is caused by human activity. One of those in attendance was Richard Lindzen, an MIT professor that has long believed global warming not to be real. Lindzen has notably held contradicting scientific opinions to many of his peers on a number of issues, even arguing that evidence to prove that smoking causes lung cancer is not strong enough to “rule that any questions were out of order.”
“All they say now is ‘the science is settled, the science is settled,'” Inhofe maintained during his speech. “The science is not settled.”
The Senator criticized a number of scientific arguments and findings that have supported climate change, including Michael Mann’s infamous Hockey Stick Graph, which despite some controversy was deemed “good science” in 2006 by the National Academy of Sciences.
Here is the graph, which displays the world's temperatures going back half a millenium, and which clearly shows just how sharply temperatures are currently rising:
“Climate deniers like to make it seem like the entire weight of evidence for climate change rests on the hockey stick,” Mann told The Atlantic in 2013. “And that’s not the case. We could get rid of all these reconstructions, and we could still know that climate change is a threat, and that we’re causing it.”
Inhofe made it clear that the climate change debate was just beginning, and that he would continue to defend his opinion on the controversial subject as the new chairman of the committee.
“Now I’m back in that position so we’ll have a chance to have hearings, and Mr. President, we’re going to have hearings with prominent scientists to come in and talk about this thing,” he said. “We’ll be there to be the truth-squad.”
Watch video of Inhofe’s speech below.
Despite Inhofe's parade of a handful of scientists who do not believe humans are causing climate change, 97% of climate scientists acknowledge the reality of human-influenced climate change. As Bill Nye succinctly explains, we are "releasing carbon dioxide in the air at a prodigious rate and the world's getting warmer ... the earth's getting warmer faster than it has ever gotten before ... it's not that the world hasn't been warmer. The problem is the speed at which things are changing.
"... It looks like the United States' strength is its weakness. So people came here from all over the world for freedom to think and act the way they want ... There's no police for that sort of thing, you're allowed to believe whatever you want. It's great. But ... the consequence of that was you could also ignore facts of science for a while and now it's coming to a head ... if you had somebody who strongly believed the earth was flat, you wouldn't have to have that person on a television show with the people who believe the earth is round."
While the reality of climate change is not a mystery to 97% of climate change scientists, one mystery still remains - how in the world did Sen. Inhofe become the chairman of the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee?
Photo Credit: thinkprogress.org, WikiCommons