For nearly a decade, Sen. Jim Inhofe's (R-OK) biggest claim
to fame has been his oft-repeated line that global warming is "the greatest hoax
ever perpetrated on the American people."
While Inhofe has been a consistent opponent of science,
that's where his consistency ends. In
2003, he conceded
that the earth was warming, but denied it was caused by human activity and
suggested that "increases in global temperatures may have a
beneficial effect on how we live our lives."
In 2009, however, he appeared on Fox News to declare that
the earth was
actually cooling, claiming "everyone understands that's the case" (they
don't, because it isn't).
Inhofe's battle against climate science kicked into
overdrive when a series of illegally obtained emails surfaced from the Climatic
Research Unit at East Anglia
University. The emails allegedly showed climate
scientists had tampered with data and engaged in a conspiracy to falsify the
science proving climate change. The
ensuing scandal, dubbed "Climategate," provided Inhofe with an opportunity to
amplify his message
When the dubious reports surfaced about flawed science,
manipulated data, and unsubstantiated studies, Inhofe was ecstatic. In March, he viciously attacked former Vice
President Al Gore for defending the science behind climate change, saying:
After weeks of the global warming scandal, the world's first
potential climate billionaire is running for cover. Yes, I am talking about Al
Gore. He is under siege these days. The credibility of the IPCC is eroding,
EPA's endangerment finding is collapsing, and belief that anthropogenic global
warming is leading to catastrophe is evaporating. Gore seems to be drowning in
a sea of his own global warming illusions. Nevertheless, he is desperately
trying to keep global warming alarmism alive.
Unfortunately for Senator Inhofe, none of those things are
true. One by
one, the pillars of evidence supporting the alleged "scandals" have shattered,
causing the entire "Climategate" storyline to come
crashing down. For instance:
the hacked emails drew criticism, a panel established by the University of
East Anglia to investigate the integrity of the research of the Climatic
Research Unit wrote: "We saw no evidence of any deliberate
scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit
and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have
to allegations that Dr. Michael Mann tampered with scientific evidence, Pennsylvania State University
conducted a thorough investigation. It concluded:
"The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available
evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against
Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The
Pennsylvania State University. More
specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E.
Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly,
any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the
academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or
other scholarly activities."
- London's Sunday Times retracted its story, echoed
by dozens of outlets, that an IPCC issued an unsubstantiated
report claiming 40% of the Amazon rainforest was endangered due to
changing rainfall patterns. The Times wrote:
"In fact, the IPCC's Amazon statement is supported by peer-reviewed
scientific evidence. In the case of the WWF report, the figure had, in
error, not been referenced, but was based on research by the respected
Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) which did relate to the
impact of climate change."
- The Times also admitted it misrepresented the views of
Dr. Simon Lewis, a Royal Society research fellow at the University of Leeds,
implying he agreed with the article's false premise and believed the IPCC
should not utilize reports issued by outside organizations. In its
retraction, the Times was forced to admit: "Dr
Lewis does not dispute the scientific basis for both the IPCC and the WWF
reports," and, "We accept that Dr Lewis holds no such view... A version of
our article that had been checked with Dr Lewis underwent significant late
editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of his views on
these points. We apologise for this."
Given his history of ignoring
facts, there's little hope that this new information will change Senator
Inhofe's mind regarding climate change.
But the rest of the world must know that Climategate, not climate
change, is the real hoax.
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