With the Polar Vortex threatening us all this week, Senator Jim Inhofe took to the Senate floor on Monday to run through just about every reason he personally does not think climate change is a real thing. Because it's cold outside! Get it?
The Oklahoma Republican, in cause you weren't aware, believes that climate change is made up and pushed on the American public as "science" because of a giant evil conspiracy (seriously, he wrote a book about this), so his decision to take to the floor with his beliefs on Monday shouldn't be a huge surprise. Cold weather is more or less a written invitation for Inhofe to show up and talk about his personal feelings climate change. Here are his feelings today:
Inhofe has a bunch of concerns here, the first of which pertains to, in his words, "what's happening right now, up in Antarctica," a reference to the unusually thick ice forming on earth's southernmost continent. Somehow, to Inhofe, the anecdote of multiple ships getting trapped in that ice over the past months renders the evidence for climate change "almost laughable." Inhofe's counter-evidence to the consensus of over 95 percent of climate scientists also includes more anecdotes, especially those showing how it is sometimes cold when people want to talk about climate change. Here are the examples he cited:
- It was cold during a 2004 "global warming rally."
- It was also cold during a 2007 media briefing on a climate bill.
- Another 2007 rally was snowy
- Al Gore gave a speech at Harvard, and it was cold.
- The British House of Commons discussed global warming, and it snowed. It was October, and that's pretty rare.
- In 2008, Al Gore discussed global warming in Milan, and it snowed. This is also extremely rare.
- In March of 2009, Nancy Pelosi had a "big global warming rally" and it snowed.
- The Department of Public Works once had a hearing about climate change, and it snowed.
Inhofe added that he believes "the ones that were responsible for the whole global warming movement was the United Nations." And even though the scientific research into climate change actually helps to explain the unusual weather patterns behind the recent arctic chill in much of the U.S., Inhofe seems to think that the cold weather actually supports his theory, apparently because it, too, makes a good anecdote. Those ships trapped in the antarctic ice also make a good anecdote for Inhofe, because one of the vessels was carrying scientists who were researching the effects of climate change. Funny!
Inhofe then tries to transition this anecdote into a kind of unfortunate discussion of arctic sea ice (which is melting at an accelerated rate). As we've explained before, the ice near the two different poles are two very different things, suggesting that Inhofe is failing to understand not only that anecdotes aren't equivalent to data sets, but also the difference between the arctic and antarctic regions of the Earth.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.