Pursuing Publicity

Image of Jim Inhofe

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, one of the world’s best-known skeptics of global warming science, weighed in recently with his typical hyperbole over a report warning that climate change could threaten our country’s national security.

The report, prepared by the CAN Military Advisory Board, a group of retired military officers, argues, “The nature and pace of observed climate changes—and an emerging scientific consensus on their projected consequences—pose severe risks for our national security.” It goes on to point out:

The projected impacts of climate change—heat waves, intense rainfall, floods and droughts, rising sea levels, more acidic oceans, and melting glaciers and arctic sea ice—not only affect local communities but also, in the aggregate, challenge key elements of our National Power. Key elements of National Power include political, military, economic, social, infrastructure, and information systems.

Inhofe, of course, wasn’t buying any of it. In response to the report, according to The New York Times Inhofe said:

There is no one in more pursuit of publicity than a retired military officer. . . . I look back wistfully at the days of the Cold War. Now you have people who are mentally imbalanced, with the ability to deploy a nuclear weapon. For anyone to say that any type of global warming is anywhere close to the threat that we have with crazy people running around with nuclear weapons, it shows how desperate they are to get the public to buy this.”

Note the ad hominem attack against retired military officers. This is coming from the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. Inhofe’s wistful Cold War memories have absolutely nothing to do with global warming or how we should respond to it. He can’t argue with evidence so Inhofe attacks and qualifies. So who is really seeking publicity and who is really “desperate”?

There’s a consensus among the world’s climate scientists that manmade carbon emissions, produced by the burning of fossil fuels, are causing the planet to warm at an alarming rate.

Inhofe, 79, is expected to easily win reelection this November. He represents a state in which the legislature just voted for permanent tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, and he has received $318,850 in campaign contributions from that same industry since 2009.