By Senator James Inhofe
It has been a long time since we heard the term "global warming" from the mainstream media and the environmental left--but now that we're experiencing a hot summer, we're back to the good old days, as the left tries to drum up the hysteria they once enjoyed.
Over the past few weeks, I had the chance to welcome my alarmist friends back to the discussion about global warming: we've heard news reports with headlines proclaiming this summer is "what global warming looks like" and Senators Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) have all jumped to blame the recent heat, droughts, and--in Sen. Reid's case--even the cherry blossoms blossoming early in Washington, D.C. on man-made global warming.
When the weather is hot, according to them, we have proof of global warming. But this is a dangerous game to play because once it turns cold, they will go right back to saying it's climate change not global warming, weather is not climate, and that freezing temperatures are consistent with an overheating planet.
In the resurgence of the debate, alarmists have made a lot of the so-called "conversion" of Richard Muller from a global warming skeptic into believer--but Muller was never a skeptic. In fact, when I listed hundreds of scientists who were skeptical of man-made global warming alarmism in a Senate report, I never counted Muller as one of them. Now that so much attention has been paid to his "conversion" Muller has felt the need to clarify his stance. As he said to the U.K. Guardian recently, "Some people have called me a denier--no, that's completely wrong. If anything, I was agnostic."
Another alarmist that has received a lot of attention is James Hansen, who recently published a paper proclaiming that humans are to blame for today's droughts and heat.
The media, of course, jumped on this alarmism, but Hansen is going well beyond what any other scientist will claim: at a recent conference call held by Climate Communication between scientists and reporters, even some of the most committed alarmist scientists would not directly make that link or say if any percentage of today's warm temperatures could be attributed to man-made causes.
Remember, Hansen has earned a reputation for political activism to the point that even his supporters on the left have expressed concern that he has "become so politicized that people tend to dismiss him."
Already a number of Hansen's colleagues have disputed his most recent declaration.
As Martin Hoerling of the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration said to the New York Times about Hansen's latest paper, "This isn't a serious science paper. It's mainly about perception, as indicated by the paper's title. Perception is not a science."
Greenhouse gas link disputed
This month before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, a leading climatologist, Dr. John Christy, also disputed the link between manmade global warming and heat waves, testifying that instead of saying that this summer is "what global warming looks like" it is "scientifically more accurate to say that this is what Mother Nature looks like, since events even worse than these have happened in the past before greenhouse gases were increasing like they are today."
While my alarmist friends are making much of Muller and Hansen's claims, there is one scientific body that is glaringly absent from the debate of the good old days--and that's the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
This omission speaks volumes--why? Because the IPCC science is the very foundation of the entire manmade global warming movement--and it has been thoroughly discredited, not only by the Climategate scandal, but also by the numerous scientific errors that were discovered in its wake.
Now that the global warming movement has completely collapsed, President Barack Obama never dares to mention it. It must be very hard for my friends on the left to watch the president who promised he would slow the rise of the oceans posing in front of pipelines in my home state of Oklahoma pretending to support oil and gas.
I imagine they are trying to keep quiet because they know President Obama is still moving forward with his global warming agenda through regulations because he couldn't do it through legislation. He just doesn't want the American people to know how much economic pain it will cause--and that it will all be for nothing. In 2009, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson admitted to me that EPA global warming regulations would have no impact whatsoever on the climate.
Now that Democrats have introduced a carbon tax proposal in the House, it will be interesting to see if President Obama will embrace forcing Americans to pay more in energy costs, or if he will run far away from it.
We've been down this road many times and it always leads to failure. The time has come to put these tired, disastrous policies to rest and embrace the U.S. energy boom so that we can put Americans back to work, turn this economy around, become energy independent from the Middle East and ensure energy security for years to come.