Saturday, December 19, 2009

Senator Inhofe's very, very, very, very bad week

Poor Senator James Inhofe. As Rachel Maddow points out, he's had a "very, very, very, very" bad week.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

Reporter to Inhofe at Copenhagen Conference: "You're Ridiculous"

Clad in black snakeskin boots, Oklahoma Sen. and Climate Denierism Grand Poobah James Inhofe delivered his conspiracy theory sermon to a small handful of reporters today at the U.N. Copenhagan Climate Conference.

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.

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.”
How was this uplifting message received? Not well:
A reporter asked: “If there’s a hoax, then who’s putting on this hoax, and what’s the motive?”

“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."
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.)

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Joe Barton's Fantasy World: Global Warming a "Net Benefit"

How out of step is Texas Rep. Joe Barton with the U.S. military and intelligence communities when it comes to global warming?

The Pentagon recently declared that global warming is now considered a national security threat to the United States. In the upcoming 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, Pentagon planners will extensively analyze global climate change as a major contributing factor to global instability (and hence future armed conflicts). Not to be outdone, the CIA in October opened an entire unit called the Center for the Study of Climate Change to analyze the impacts of global warming on military threats and geopolitics.

And yet according to Joe Barton, food and water scarcity, pandemics, and population displacement are just part of the "net benefit" of warming to mankind. Barton, nicknamed "Smokey Joe" due to his support of big polluters, maintained that because CO2 is colorless, odorless and tasteless, it is a substance that is clearly non-threatening to human health.

Watch the C-SPAN interview and be amazed (h/t Think Progress):

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Remember when Sarah Palin was all for fighting global warming?

Sarah Palin must not, even though she called for a cap-and-trade system just over a year ago in a debate with now-VP Joe Biden.

What a difference losing an election makes.

Her (former) colleague from California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger took Palin to task yesterday for this global warming flip-flop, as well as for her generally anti-science showboating on Facebook. In an interview with the Financial Times from the U.N.'s Copenhagen Climate Summit, Schwarzenegger asked:
“Is she really interested in this subject or is she interested in her career and in winning the [presidential] nomination? You have to take all these things with a grain of salt."
Ouch! But then again, the truth hurts.