Friday, February 27, 2015

Inhofe's Bastardization of Climate Science

Shifty self serving politicians like Senator Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma use venerable legislatures as a stage for scientific misrepresentation. To illustrate Inhofe's ignorance he recently brought a snowball onto the Senate floor and suggested that snow in Washington disproves climate change. His antics are at odds with the evidence and the will of the American people. 

There is good scientific support indicating that snow and cold in some parts of the nation are entirely consistent with climate change.

Inhofe supported his argument by pointing to 67 record lows in the US this year. What he failed to mention was that there have been 4,074 record high temperatures logged in the US in the first half of February alone. 

He ignores the fact that national and global average temperatures continue to climb. While he derides the finding that 2014 was the warmest in recorded history, he omits to acknowledge that 9 of the last 10 years are the hottest on record. He does not address the fact that the period from December 2014 to January 2015 was the sixth warmest ever recorded for the contiguous US. Nor does he mention that globally the month of January was the second hottest ever recorded.

The positions held by Inhofe and other Republicans on climate change is at odds with the views of the American people. As reported in the Washington Post, the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication indicates that 83 percent of Americans think the country should make efforts to reduce global warming, "even if it comes with economic costs," and more than half said that Congress should do more.

While climate deniers may be a dying breed, the one place they still rule is in US legislatures. Right now Republican deniers control both the House and the Senate. A total of 53 percent of Republicans in the House and 70 percent in the Senate deny humanity's role in climate change. This is a troubling statistic because it precludes the possibility of climate legislation.

It could be argued that legislators who ignore the will of the people and eschew reams of peer reviewed science are unfit to hold public office. Given the magnitude of the repercussions from unchecked climate change it could even be argued that they are criminally liable.

A 2012 report from climate change advocacy group DARA stated that global climate change and pollution from the use of fossil fuels killed nearly 5 million people around the world in 2010 alone.

The refusal of legislators to act has deadly consequences which will get far worse in the future. Those who play politics with this globally devastating issue may even be seen as complicit in murder.

The misrepresentation of climate science for political gain suggests a degree of moral turpitude that is beyond the pale. Inhofe's callousness and intellectual vacuousness will be remembered by future generations with the utmost scorn.

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