Inhofe, who has spent several months hyping a "truth squad" he planned to lead to the climate summit in order to deny global warming facts and embarrass the U.S. delegation, was met (according to an excellent Politico piece that deserves an entire read) by "a few aides and a single reporter."
After some serious scrambling by his staff, the one-man truth squad finally pulled together a few bewildered reporters to listen to the Oklahoman:
The senator didn’t have any meetings scheduled in Copenhagen, and he did not see chief U.S. negotiator Todd Stern or the members of the House delegation, who were not scheduled to fly in until later in the afternoon.How was this uplifting message received? Not well:
But Inhofe’s aides eventually rustled up a group of reporters, and the Oklahoman — wearing black snakeskin cowboy boots — held forth from the top of a flight of stairs in the conference media center.
“We in the United States owe it to the 191 countries to be well-informed and know what the intentions of the United States are. The United States is not going to pass a cap and trade,” he said. “It’s just not going to happen.”
A reporter asked: “If there’s a hoax, then who’s putting on this hoax, and what’s the motive?”If anything, we're hoping the James Inhofe Goof Show offered the international community a compelling example of exactly the kind of absurd, factless dialogue that's hurled at climate activists and responsible lawmakers here in the U.S. (And that he stood out like a sore thumb against President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Senator Kerry hundreds of NGOs and thousands of youth activists who agree that we need real climate action now.)
“It started in the United Nations,” Inhofe said, “and the ones in the United States who really grab ahold of this is the Hollywood elite.”
One reporter asked Inhofe if he was referring to California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another reporter — this one from Der Spiegel — told the senator: “You’re ridiculous.”
Inhofe ignored the jab, fielded a few more questions, then raced to the airport for the nine-hour flight back to Washington.
After Inhofe left, some reporters were still a bit confused about what had happened and who he was.
“His name is Inhofe,” a German journalist told a Japanese reporter, “but I don’t know if it’s one or two f’s."