Jim Inhofe – Global Warming Debate


Rob McClendon: Now while there may be some consensus over global warming in the scientific community, in the halls of congress the debate itself is getting pretty heated. Oklahoma Senator, Jim Inhofe, is an outspoken opponent of the Kyoto Agreement that would limit the amount of greenhouse gases the U S could emit. In fact, last fall, as the Senate debated a bill that would have created regulations to combat global warming, Senator Inhofe led the opposition, and went so far as to call global warming a hoax. I sat down with him earlier this week to find out why he feels so strongly about the global warming debate and its threat to our economy. Senator, we hear a lot about global warming these days, but you like to use the word climate change. Why is that? Senator Inhofe: Well, first of all, the liberals like to use climate change just in case they’re wrong and it ends up getting cooler.

Climate change and global warming are actually synonymous. The whole idea is that the alarmists, and I call them the alarmists, the same ones who said back in 1975 that an ice age was coming and we were all going to die, they contend that the weather is getting warmer, and it has since the turn of the century, and that’s due to anthropogenic gases, or manmade gases, CO2, methane, and that kind of thing. So really, you could use the term synonymously. Rob: Now, much of the world is critical of the U S, for not doing more. What would you say to those critics that criticize the U S? Inhofe: Well, I say first of all, that this has been an orchestrated event started by the United Nations back in the late 90s to make people, using scare tactics, think that global warming is coming and all kinds of bad things are going to happen to us. So, when I became chairman of the environment and public works committee three and a half years ago, I thought, let me find out. If it’s going to cost this much money to sign the Kyoto Treaty, as the Horton School of Economics, the Horton Econometric Survey stated, then let’s make sure the science is right, only to find out that almost all of science since 1999 has refuted what one man, Michael Mann, said about the hockey stick.

Remember the thing with the hockey stick?, where he plotted out the temperatures from about third century to the 20th century, then all of a sudden, they started getting warmer? What he forgot to do, he neglected to do, intentionally, I think, was put in the medieval warming period, when temperatures were warmer than they are today. That was around 800 to 1200 AD. Then we went into the little ice age, and came out of that around the turn of the century. Now, if they really believe that there’s a relationship between CO2 and climate change, then how can they explain the fact that the largest emission of CO2 in recorded history occurred in the middle and late 40s, and that precipitated a cooling period, SO SEVERE, that the same magazines like, TIME magazine, who is now trying to scare people into thinking that all the ice is melting and all that, they were writing articles that another ice age is coming and we’re all going to die.

So, the thing has been, well orchestrated, and when I became chairman of this committee I thought, why are politicians so afraid of the environmental extremists? And the answer, I guess, a lot of it is, they’re the ones who pump the money into the campaigns. Rob: Let’s talk economics then. If the U S did adhere to the Kyoto standard, do you think that would make our country vulnerable to other economies that maybe weren’t adhering to it? Inhofe: Well, first of all, we know that China is not going to do it. We know that India is not going to do it. And so if we did it according to the Econometric Survey that Horton put on, that would cost the average family of four 2,750 dollars a year. It would increase the cost of our energy. It would be, almost, economic destruction of our nation.

Would the other countries that are competing with us do it? NO! They wouldn’t do it. China’s not going to do it; they’ve never indicated that they would do it. India’s not doing it. So, it wouldn’t put us in a less competitive position with other countries. Now, let’s keep in mind also, of these some 17 nations in Western Europe, only two have met their Kyoto standards. So, you know, they’re not doing it anyway. Rob: Despite what we hear, both sides of the debate, would it not be prudent, to control the level of CO2, in some way, in the United States? Inhofe: Well, if they can show scientifically that there is a problem with it, then I’d say go ahead and do it. But science is now showing that there’s not a relationship between manmade gases or CO2 and climate change. For that reason, the only justification for using it, is if they can make things more economical, and just the reverse is true. So, I would probably say, no.

Let’s keep in mind, these countries, who signed on to the Kyoto Treaty early on, like Canada, they’re now reexamining their positions. In the 60s, scientists in Canada, are now petitioning Prime Minister Harper to re look at perhaps getting out, since the science is showing that the relationship between CO2 and climate change doesn’t seem to exist..