U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works
Speeches & Statements
 
AMERICA REACTS TO SPEECH DEBUNKING MEDIA GLOBAL WARMING ALARMISM

September 28, 2006

SENATOR JAMES INHOFE, CHAIRMAN, SENATE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMITTEE SENATE FLOOR SPEECH DELIVERED THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2006

Contact: Marc Morano (202) 224-5762 ( marc_morano@epw.senate.gov ) Matt Dempsey ( matthew_dempsey@epw.senate.gov ) (202) 224-9797

Click Here To Watch or Read Full Speech from Monday Debunking Global Warming Hysteria ( http://epw.senate.gov/speechitem.cfm?party=rep&id=263759 )

This past Monday, I took to this floor for the eighth time to discuss global warming. My speech focused on the myths surrounding global warming and how our national news media has embarrassed itself with a 100-year documented legacy of coverage on what turned out to be trendy climate science theories.

Over the last century, the media has flip-flopped between global cooling and warming scares. At the turn of the 20th century, the media peddled an upcoming ice age -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 1930s, the alarm was raised about disaster from global warming -- and they said the world was coming to an end. Then in the 70’s, an alarm for another ice age was raised -- and they said the world was coming to an end. And now, today we are back to fears of catastrophic global warming -- and again they are saying the world is coming to an end.

Today I would like to share the fascinating events that have unfolded since my floor speech on Monday.

CNN CRITICIZES MY SPEECH

This morning, CNN ran a segment criticizing my speech on global warming and attempted to refute the scientific evidence I presented to counter climate fears.

First off, CNN reporter Miles O’Brien inaccurately claimed I was “too busy” to appear on his program this week to discuss my 50 minute floor speech on global warming. But they were told I simply was not available on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I did appear on another CNN program today -- Thursday -- which I hope everyone will watch. The segment airs tonight on CNN’s Glenn Beck Show on Headline News at 7pm and repeats at 9pm and midnight Eastern.

Second, CNN’s O’Brien falsely claimed that I was all “alone on Capitol Hill” when it comes to questioning global warming.

Mr. O’Brien is obviously not aware that the U.S. Senate has overwhelmingly rejected Kyoto style carbon caps when it voted down the McCain-Lieberman climate bill 60-38 last year – an even larger margin than its rejection in 2003.

Third, CNN’s O’Brien, claimed that my speech earlier contained errors regarding climate science. O’Brien said my claim that the Antarctic was actually cooling and gaining ice was incorrect. But both the journals Science and Nature have published studies recently finding – on balance – Antarctica is both cooling and gaining ice.

CNN’s O’Brien also criticized me for saying polar bears are doing well in the Arctic. But he ignored that the person I was quoting is intimately familiar with the health of polar bear populations. Let me repeat what biologist Dr. Mitchell Taylor from the Arctic government of Nunavut, a territory of Canada, said recently:

“Of the 13 populations of polar bears in Canada, 11 are stable or increasing in number. They are not going extinct, or even appear to be affected at present.”

CNN’s O’Brien also ignores the fact that in the Arctic, temperatures were warmer in the 1930’s than today.

O’Brien also claimed that the “Hockey Stick” temperature graph was supported by most climate scientists despite the fact that the National Academy of Sciences and many independent experts have made it clear that the Hockey Stick’s claim that the 1990’s was the hottest decade of the last 1000 years was unsupportable.

So it seems my speech struck a nerve with the mainstream media. Their only response was to cherry pick the science in a failed attempt to refute me.

It seems that it is business as usual for many of them. Sadly, it looks like my challenge to the media to be objective and balanced has fallen on deaf ears.

SPEECH BYPASSED THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA

Despite the traditional media’s failed attempt to dismiss the science I presented to counter global warming alarmism, the American people bypassed the tired old traditional media by watching CSPAN or clicking on the Drudge Report and reading the speech online.

From the flood of overwhelming positive feedback I received, I can tell you the American people responded enthusiastically to my message.

The central theme was not only one of thanks, but expressing frustration with the major media outlets because they knew in their guts that what they have been hearing in the news was false and misleading.

Here is a brief sampling:

Janet of Saugus, Massachusetts: “Thank you Senator Inhofe. Finally someone with the guts to stand up and call it what it is -- a sham. I think you have taken over Toby Keith's place as my favorite Oklahoman!!”

Al of Clinton, Connecticut writes: “It's about time someone with a loud microphone spoke up on the global warming scam. You have courage - if only this message could get into the schools where kids are being brow-beaten with the fear message almost daily.”

Kevin of Jacksonville, Florida writes: “I’m so glad that we have leaders like you who are willing to stand up against the onslaught of liberal media, Hollywood and the foolish elected officials on this topic. Please keep up the fight!”

Steven of Phoenix, Arizona writes: “As a scientist, I am extremely pleased to see that there is at least one member of congress who recognizes the global warming hysteria for what it is. I am extremely impressed by the Senator's summary and wish he was running for President.”

Craig of Grand Rapids, Michigan writes: “As a meteorologist I strongly agree with everything you said.”

Dan of Westwood, Massachusetts writes: “This is the most concise, well researched, eloquently presented argument against Global Warming I have ever seen. Somebody in Congress has finally gotten it right!” 

Adam of Salmon, Idaho writes: “Thank you for the brave speech made about all of the hyping about alleged global warming and its causes. It took guts.”

My speech ignited an internet firestorm. So much so, that my speech became the subject of a heated media controversy in New Zealand. Halfway across the globe, a top official from the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition challenged New Zealand’s television station to balance what he termed “alarmist doom-casting” and criticized them for failing to report the views of scientists in their own country that I cited here in America.

( http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0609/S00306.htm )

As the controversy in New Zealand shows, global warming hysteria has captured more than just the American media.

The reaction to my speech keeps coming in: Just this morning, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review newspaper wrote an editorial calling my speech “an unusual display of reason” on the Senate floor.

I do have to give credit to another publication, Congressional Quarterly, or CQ for short. On Tuesday, CQ’s Toni Johnson took the issues I raised seriously and followed up with phone calls to scientist-turned global warming pop star James Hansen’s office. CQ wanted to ask Hansen about his quarter of a million dollar grant from the left-wing Heinz Foundation, whose money originated from the Heinz family ketchup fortune.

As I have pointed out, many in the media dwell on any industry support given to so-called climate skeptics, but the same media completely fail to note Hansen’s huge grant from the partisan Heinz Foundation. It seems the media makes a distinction between ketchup money and oil money.

But Hansen was unavailable to respond to CQ's questions about the 'Ketchup Money’ grant, which is highly unusual for a man who finds his way into the media on an almost daily basis. Mr. Hansen is always available when he is peddling his increasingly dire predictions of climate doom.

ABC NEWS PROMOTES CLIMATE HYSTERIA

I have been engaged in this debate for several years and believe there is a growing backlash of Americans rejecting what they see as climate scare tactics. And as a result, global warming alarmists are becoming increasingly desperate.

Perhaps that explains why the very next day after I spoke on the floor, ABC News’s Bill Blakemore on Good Morning America prominently featured James Hansen touting future scary climate scenarios that could / might / possibly happen. ABC’s “modest” title for the segment was “Will the Earth Become Too Hot? Are Our Children in Danger?”

The segment used all the well worn tactics from the alarmist guidebook -- warning of heat waves, wildfires, droughts, melting glaciers, mass extinctions unless mankind put itself on a starvation energy diet and taxed emissions.

But that’s no surprise – Blakemore was already on the record declaring “After extensive searches, ABC News has found no such [scientific] debate” about manmade catastrophic global warming.

( http://abcnews.go.com/US/print?id=2374968 )

You have to be a pretty poor investigator to believe that. Why would 60 prominent scientists this last spring have written Canadian Prime Minister Harper that “If, back in the mid-1990s, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist, because we would have concluded it was not necessary.” ( http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=3711460e-bd5a-475d-a6be-4db87559d605 )

On Tuesday’s program, the ABC News anchor referred to Blakemore as “passionate” about global warming. “Passionate” is one word to describe that kind of reporting, but words like objectivity or balance are not.

I believe it’s these kinds of stories which explain why the American public is growing increasingly skeptical of the hype. Despite the enormous 2006 media campaign to instill fear into the public, the number of people who believe that weather naturally changes -- is increasing.

A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll in August found that most Americans do not attribute the cause of recent severe weather events to global warming, and the portion of Americans who believe that climate change is due to natural variability has increased over 50% in the last five years.

Given the diminishing importance of the mainstream media, I expect that trend to continue.

I hope my other colleagues will join me on the floor and start speaking out to debunk hysteria surrounding global warming. This issue is too important to our generation and future generations to allow distortions and media propaganda to derail the economic health of our nation.