Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank writes today about how very lonely it must be, to be one of the only dinosaurs left in the US Senate who actually believes climate change is some kind of hoax or socialist conspiracy to take over the world.
“It must be very lonely being the last flat-earther.
Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, committed climate-change denier, found himself in just such a position Tuesday morning as the Senate environment committee, on which he is the ranking Republican, took up legislation on global warming. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was in talks with Democrats over a compromise bill – the traitor!”
Climate policy can make for strange bedfellows – perhaps none as strange as the former vice president and Republican senator from Oklahoma, whose views on most issues could not be more divergent. Yet on one issue – related to climate change, no less – they agree: black carbon, or, as it’s more commonly known, “soot,” is a dangerous pollutant that deserves more study.
And while the insufferable Oklahoman may insist that his support for the legislation in no way contradicts his established denier bona fides – for good measure, he unleashed a typically scathing critique of the Obama administration’s proposed environmental policies the same day the bill was introduced – there is no denying that black carbon, the product of fossil fuel consumption and biomass burning, is a major agent of climate change.
Earlier in the week we reported that the favored list of climate doubters Senator Inofe’s political assistant Marc Morano relies on to stoke the global warming is a hoax echo chamber had been discovered by the researchers at ThinkProgress.
In turn, our research team has taken Mornano’s list and added in all of the information we have here on DeSmogBlog about each of the indivuduals and made it into a handy referal page here: Researching Marc Morano’s Climate Denier Gang.
We are working to research the individuals on Morano’s list that we didn’t have information on and will be adding what we find.
We created this page to aggregate all of the information we have here on DeSmogBlog that relates to the recently uncovered list of climate deniers used by Senator James Inhofe’s assistant Marc Morano to sow doubt about the realities of global warming.
Much like trusting your mechanic when he says you need new brakes or a doctor when he tells you that your cholesterol is too high, you would hope that elected officials would listen to the experts in a particular field when it comes to developing common sense government policies.
On the issue of global warming, that is happening now for the vast majority of the world’s leaders and their political colleagues. Even former US president George W. Bush came to be convinced of the need to action on global warming. Pretty hard not to be when you consider the mountains of evidence produced, tested and re-tested by scientists at top institutes like NASA, the Royal Society and the American Academy of Sciences.
And President Obama needs no convincing, nor does his Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Today, the Nobel-prize winning Chu said that, “California could lose all its agriculture by the end of the century, and that a number of its cities are also in peril due to worsening global warming.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Chu said the state’s award-winning vineyards, as well its farms, could be wiped out in the starkest warning yet from the Obama administration.
“I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,” Chu said. “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California,” adding, “I don’t actually see how they can keep their cities going.”
This is where the waste of taxpayer’s dollars comes in in the form of Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) who continues to spend his days ignoring the expertise of the best in the field and grasping onto a delusion that he and his handful of conspiracy theorists are somehow “winning,” as if science is a high school popularity contest.
Honestly, how much money would it take to defeat Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) the next time he runs for Senate? Because I don’t know about you, but I’m more than a little tired of Inhofe’s messed up logic when it comes to the science of climate change.
In a radio program today, Inhofe declared his victory because, ” the science is totally changed.” As Inhofe explains it,
“It was the IPCC, those intergovernmental panel on climate change with the United Nations. But keep in mind, the only report you get from them is their summary for policy docs. And those are not scientists. There’s only 52 scientists that signed on to those, to that, as opposed to what? Some 650 who now have rebuked that. And one last thing on my check list that has to be said is on Gore’s science fiction film, every assertion that he’s made has been refuted. I’m talking about hurricanes, sea level rises, ice caps, polar bears, you know. So, the science has turned around, but the economics has not turned around. And that’s what we need to remind people.”
One tired argument that he and his oily friends have consistently brought up is that global warming is cyclical, and is caused by sunspots. Regardless of the fact that the “sunspots and cosmic rays” theory of global warming has been conclusively disproved (multiple times), Inhofe brought it up in today's Senate Environment and Public Works Committee meeting, citing the Farmer's Almanac as his “research” source.
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.