Echo Chamber: It Doesn't Have to be True to Start Sounding Familiar

Here comes Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe again, this time on the blogsite Human Events.

(It is, of course, untoward to accuse a particular site of being “right-wing,” but HR telegraphs its politics with a very funny ad for a dating service that will spare you the irritation of ever sharing your spaghetti with another liberal.)

Inhofe's “new” HR article is the same old material that he trotted out in a speech on the Senate floor in September - full of breathless claims that the current scientific concern about climate change is no different than any number of other newspaper scares in the last century.

The difference, of course, is that all of the previous stories rested on one or two fringe scientists hollering from the sidelines. This time, the concern is being voiced by every science academy in every major country in the world. Aside from Inhofe's ExxonMobil sponsors - and the “scientists” and think tanks in their employ - no one is offering a contrary opinion.

(Inhofe's imagined alternative papers cannot be found to exist outside the realm of his wishful thinking - or inside a single peer-reviewed journal. If he can prove otherwise, we'll be only too pleased to apologize.)

The single credible thing that he puts forth is his admission that the Kyoto targets will not be sufficient to save us from ourselves. But Kyoto is a step - a positive step - and the good senator must be familiar with the old aphorism that the first thing to do when you're trying to get out of a hole is to stop digging.



From a PR perspective, I have to disagree with the implications in this blog’s title: No-one’s falling for this argument, it’s just political porn for an ever-decreasing group of rightwing extremists. Unfortunately he’s been given far too much responsibility in Bush’s administration, but this has ironically become a good thing. The centre has shifted on this issue, and the majority are increasingly likely to see climate change deniers as stone-age rednecks, corporate shills, or dangerous extremists. The more Inhofe talks, the more damage he does to himself, this administration, and best of all, George Bush. Bushy himself has seen his image with voters cross over from “the good kind of redneck” to “the bad kind of redneck” in the past year, and Inhofe is an invaluable part of that process. Patience, my children, let the PR work itself out…
(PS- I always find it curious that Kyoto bashers will couple their argument that climate change isn’t happening (or not caused by humans), with the argument that Kyoto targets are insufficient. Whose climate science are they using to make that calculation? How can we be doing too much and not enough, at the same time? Not like it needed proving, but just goes to show the empty polemical nonsense that passes for “debate”. Again, I have faith that sooner of later, the truth will out, the public will come to appreciate how horribly irresponsible and dishonest the deniers have been, and they’ll be strung up for the scoundrels they are, like the tobacco execs.)

To you and me and anyone else who has read on Inhofe, we think he’s an idiot, burying himslef further into his hole. But, he is an elected official that many people see as being in a position of authority. Does inhofe embaress himself and hi party, no doubt. But when he bounces around the media in the republican echo chamber, a lot of people listen and believe him.

So sorry, but from a PR point of view, Inhofe is still creating doubt on the realities of climate change.