Senator James Inhofe, (R-Oklahoma)
Oklahoma is suffering through the worst drought since the dust-bowl era, with no relief in sight. The state meteorologist has told NPR, no joke, that the only possible relief will be if a hurricane hits the Gulf Coast this hurricane season and sweeps torrential rain over Oklahoma. A little parochial in outlook, but who can blame them. No one wants to have to pack up with Ma and Pa Joad and chase the top soil to California again.
There is a little irony in the predicament that our fellow citizens are suffering in Oklahoma. Its senior U.S. senator, James Inhofe, is the Republican top-dog in terms of denying that there is a climate change crisis being experienced on what is currently our only feasible home. Before the Democrats retook the Senate after the 2006 election, he was the chairman of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works. That committee was responsible for studying and considering legislation to address climate change issues. Senator Inhofe is the chief climate change denier in the U.S. Senate. Only the Republican party would think to put someone like him in such a position.
Here is how a Roll Call magazine article on Inhofe describes him:
Even so, Inhofe has often found himself on the outside without many allies, and sometimes his position is of his own making. In 2003, for instance, Inhofe accused Sen. John McCain of trying to perpetrate "the biggest hoax" in the history of the Senate by insisting that global warming existed.
Inhofe, ranking member on the Environment and Public Works Committee, acknowledged that the two men have had intense disagreements over climate change and earmarks, a practice the Arizona Republican has long been opposed to. "I've disagreed with him on a lot of things in the Armed Services Committee," Inhofe said.
While most Members look to avoid intraparty confrontation, Inhofe appears to welcome it, taking pride in often being the most hated man in the room.
He boasted of his role at international climate change talks last year in Copenhagen, in which he was vilified by virtually the entire world. "It was really quite enjoyable," Inhofe said, recalling when he caused a commotion by announcing to attendees that the United States would never ratify a climate change deal.
"I always remember with all those people in the room, hundreds of them, and all the cameras. And they all had one thing in common: They all hated me. It's kind of like the thing I've just gone through" with earmarks, Inhofe said.Here is another fun anecdote about the Senator. I would guess that now that Jim Bunning is out of the Senate, Jim Inhofe is the dimmest bulb there.
Too many Republicans have precious little patience for facts and science where they cut against ideology. While you ponder what kind of leader Senator Inhofe has been on the Senate committee that should be addressing climate issues, here is a map to study from the National Center for Environmental Prediction of the NWS showing heat indices across the nation today. Anything yellow and up in warm colors is 100 degrees farhenheit and above. New York City had its hottest July 22 on record, beating the old record by three degrees. Today's temperature in NYC was just two degrees shy of the hottest day in the city's history. Con Edison set a new record today for power consumption. Stay cool, Mr. Inhofe! And don't buy any ocean front property along the Gulf!
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