James Inhofe: The Senator for Suspect Science

Read time: 3 mins

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe got so beligerent with former Vice-President Al Gore at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works last week that new Chair Barbara Boxer had to cut him off (check out the video at the end of this post).

That, presumably, is because Senator Inhofe is accustomed to a different quality of input in testimony before this committee. When he was chair, he preferred likeminded lobbyists (Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute, testimony here)) and fiction writers (Michael Chrichton, testimony here) as witnesses to committee hearings.

Now, Inhofe is reduced to misleading committee members (and the public) with transparent political stunts. For example, at the 1:19 mark in Gore's testimony (realplayer file), Inhofe unveiled a chart, saying, “There are literally hundreds of scientists on this chart and all these scientists disagree with you [Gore].”

Well, that's just not true. Far from “literally hundreds” of names on the chart, we count 88, give or take a couple. At least one name is doubled and another (University of Alberta mathematician Dr. Gordon Swaters) has disavowed the deniers who, at one point, had tricked him into signing a Canadian petition looking for more global warming research.

As for their degree of expertise on climate change (or, in some cases, their demonstrated willingness to offer supportive opinions to the tobacco or energy industry), here's a selection of those “scientists” by which to judge.

August Auer (retired meteorologist, last published research in 10 years)

Nils Axel-Morner (retired, historical earthquake researcher)

Sallie Baliunas (affiliated with 9 organizations funded by ExxonMobil)

Tim Ball (retired geography professor, has not published any peer-reviewed research in over 10 years)

Jack Barrett (has not published any peer-reviewed research in 13 years)

Richard Courtney (coal union spokesperson)

Christopher Essex (mathematics professor, published one peer-reviewed research article on climate change 16 years ago)

Robert Essenhigh (researcher mainly on coal combustion)

Lee Gerhard (oil and gas geologist)

Vincent Gray (retired, coal researcher)

Howard Hayden (retired physicist. last peer-reviewed research published 12 years ago)

Zbigniew Jaworowski (retired atomic radiation researcher)

William Kininmonth (retired, has not published peer-reviewed research in over 30 years)

Hans Labohm (economist)

Douglas Leahey (retired oil and gas geologist)

Ross McKitrick (economist)

Alister McFarquhar (economist)

Patrick Michaels (affiliated with 11 organizations receiving funding from ExxonMobil)

Al Pekarek (oil exploration consultant)

Benny Peiser (3 peer-reviewed research articles, two in sports journal)

Ian Pilmer (studies ore deposits)

Paavo Siitam (no published peer-reviewed research)

Gary Sharp (studies tuna)

Gordon E. Swaters (probably not very happy to be on this list)

George Taylor (meteorologist, published 3 peer-reviewed research articles in last 17 years)

Hendrik Tennekes (retired, has not published peer-reviewed research in over 15 years)

Gerrit van der Lingen (retired, published peer-reviewed research papers over 20 years ago)

David Wojick (coal industry consultant)

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So how much peer-reviewed, published research does failed presidential candidate/self-proclaimed inventor of the Internet, Al Gore have?

Oh, right – None.

Al Gore simply tells us what the peer-reviewed, published research is.

Does Inhofe do that?

Oh right – he just lies about it.