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Inhofe: Al Gore, Global Warming Alarmists Running for Cover After Climategate
Inhofe Floor Speech: "Don't Feel Sorry For Al Gore"
Inhofe Senate Floor Speech: The Inhofe Family Igloo
Articles Mentioned by Senator Inhofe in Speech:
Transcript of Inhofe Floor Remarks from the Congressional Record
Mr. President, after weeks of the global warming scandal--and we talked about it on the floor, what happened with climategate just prior to the Copenhagen convention--I had the opportunity to visit and to uncover some of the things we had suspected were going on for a long period of time. Five years ago, I had occasion to give a speech on this floor, where I outlined, from information that had come through the backdoor to me from scientists, how bad the science was and how it had been, in fact, cooked. Then, of course, along came climategate.
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.
It is my understanding that tonight he is having a high-level meeting of all his global warming alarmists around the country to see how they can resurrect this issue and regroup.
Consider Gore's nearly 2,000-word op-ed piece that recently appeared in the New York Times. It is a sure-fire sign of desperation. Gore's piece was about China, solar and wind power, globalization, rising sea levels, big polluters, melting glaciers, and cap and trade. One searches in vain for any explanation of the IPCC's errors and mistakes or of Phil Jones, the former director of the Climate Research Unit. That is in East Anglia. We heard a lot about him. He was the one who was actually assembling a lot of the science--or so-called science--or creating the science, I should say, to support the position of those who believe anthropogenic gases cause global warming.
Seven years ago, I believe this month, I had occasion to study on the floor and find out that, in fact, we had spent so much time on this issue that everyone was believing this to be true. When we realized the science was not there, I made the statement that the notion that anthropogenic gases are causing catastrophic global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.
What is Gore's take on the climategate scandal? Climate scientists, he wrote, were ``besieged'' by an ``onslaught'' of hostile information requests from climate ``skeptics.'' That is it, nothing else. Even the IPCC announced last week an independent review of its process and procedures.
You see, former Vice President Gore was saying: Oh, that was nothing; that was just a few comments. I might add, one of the largest and most respected publications in the UK, which is called the UK Telegraph, said this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation.
The Atlantic Monthly, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek and Time and many others are saying this is a legitimate scandal and reform of the IPCC is absolutely essential. Let's keep in mind, IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is the United Nations. They put this together back in 1988 to try to scare people into changing our policy in this country.
By the way, I mentioned Time magazine as one of the many magazines and publications that have now said, looking at climategate, this investigation should be there. This is the same Time magazine--and I don't blame them for doing this; I would have done the same thing--that back in 1975, on the cover they had: Another Ice Age is coming, we are all going to die. A couple years ago, you might remember the last polar bear standing on the last cube of ice and it said: Global warming is coming; we are all going to die. Anyway, the publications are coming around.
When it comes to reform, openness, transparency, and peer review, when it comes to practicing good science, Gore stands alone. He wants the world to put its head in the sand and pretend nothing is happening.
It reminds me of the story of the two boy ostriches chasing two girl ostriches through the woods, and they were catching them. One girl ostrich said to the other, when they came up to a clearing: What do we do? Well, let's hide. Each of the girl ostriches stuck their heads in a respective hole, and the boy ostriches came galloping up to the clearing and one looked at the other and said: Where did the girls go?
That is what we are looking at here. They are hiding their heads in the sand. Then Gore is writing in this op-ed piece, even if all these disasters will not happen, we still have to deal with national security risks and energy independence. Of course, Gore fails to mention that the United States leads the world in technically recoverable resources of oil, coal, and natural gas.
According to a recent release from a report from the Congressional Research Service, America's combined recoverable natural gas, oil, and coal endowment is the largest on Earth. America's recoverable resources are far greater than those of Saudi Arabia, China, and Canada combined, and that is without including America's absolute immense oil shale and methane hydrate deposits.
It is always kind of humorous when people say: We have to get rid of our oil and gas and our coal. Yet those are the things which we are using to generate the energy necessary to run America.
They say: Well, we have to become independent. But they want to do away with all of that. We have enough oil and gas and coal--and now nuclear, which we are expanding--to take care of our needs so we wouldn't have to be dependent upon any foreign country for any of our energy. The problem is a political problem. Democrats will not allow us to go ahead and explore our own resources and exploit them. We are the only country that doesn't do that.
Gore has to know the edifice of alarmism is starting to crumble, so he is swinging for the fences, hoping for a home run to change the game. But Gore is striking out, as he loses his support almost daily in Congress and from the American people. Let's face it; Gore's side of the argument is collapsing. He and his allies are running short on facts, and Gore's criticism of recent events rings hollow. For example, after the climategate scandal broke, Gore was asked by an online publication called Slate as to what he thought of it.
Gore's response: Well, I haven't read all of the e-mails, but the most recent one is more than 10 years old. Obviously, of course, that is not true because they go all the way up to 2009. So all he is left with is a two-pronged fork of anger and attack. Just read the New York Times op-ed piece.
By the way, I was told his op-ed piece in the New York Times was three times larger than that which they normally will receive. He wrote that those who question climate alarmism are members of a ``criminal generation.'' That is me--a criminal? Is Roger Pielke, Jr., a criminal? How about Dr. John Christy of the University of Alabama, Richard Lindzen of MIT, Chris Landsea of the National Hurricane Center? No, they haven't committed any crimes. They just want honest, open scientific debate.
I might add that thus far the only scientists who commit crimes are those at the CRU. Again, that is the collection point of all the science that the United Nations has put together in this thing called IPCC--those involved in climategate, according to findings of the UK's Information Commissioner.
The Weekly Standard recently placed Al Gore on its cover--we have that right here--showing that the emperor has no clothes. The cover story, by Steven Hayward, of the Weekly Standard is entitled, ``In Denial: The Meltdown of the Climate Campaign.''
Hayward writes a compelling narrative of climategate and its consequences. This story is a must read for anyone interested in the recent implosion of global warming alarmism.
Let me mention this: If you look at the movie ``An Inconvenient Truth,'' the one where he made, I guess, most of his money, the last sentence says, I believe: Are you willing to change the way you live?
Well, we thought that was probably a good idea, so let's put that up here. It has now been 1,009 days since we have invited Al Gore to sign this pledge. Here is what it says:
As a believer that human-caused global warming is a moral, ethical, and spiritual issue affecting our survival; that home energy use is a key component of overall energy use; that reducing my fossil fuel-based home energy usage will lead to lower greenhouse gas emissions; and that leaders on moral issues should lead by example; therefore, I pledge to consume no more energy for use in my home, my residence, than the average American household 1 year from today.
Well, it hasn't been a year; it was 3 years ago. It was 1,009 days ago.
Then, of course, there is always the question: What if we are wrong? What if we should do something? Since the Kyoto treaty failed--and we came this close, Mr. President. You weren't in your current position at that time, but this is how close we came to actually signing on and ratifying the Kyoto treaty. We didn't do it.
Then along came Members of Congress in 2003, where we had the McCain-Lieberman bill--cap-and-trade bill--and in 2005 we had the McCain-Lieberman bill, then the Warner-Lieberman bill in 2008, we had the Boxer-Sanders bill in 2009, and now it looks as if we are going to have the John Kerry and Lindsay Graham bill that is up. What do they all have in common? It is all cap and trade.
Mr. President, I have some respect for James Hansen. But the one thing I really respect is that he has made this statement about cap and trade. He said cap and trade is a devious way of getting away from the issue. The main issue is that we have to do something about greenhouse gas emissions, anthropogenic gas, CO2. Well, why not just go ahead and have a tax on them? There is a good reason the cap and traders don't want a tax. Because then the American people would know what it is costing them.
What is the cost of cap and trade? With any of these bills I just mentioned, it is approximately the same because cap and trade is cap and trade. You have to somehow make everyone think they are winners and everyone else is a loser. So we had the ranges come from the Wharton School of Economics, from MIT, from the CRA, and the range is always somewhere between $300 billion and $400 billion a year. Now, that is significant--$300 to $400 billion a year.
Mr. President, if you are like I am, it is kind of hard to relate to billions and trillions of dollars. So what I try to do is relate it to what it would cost the average family that pays taxes in my State of Oklahoma. How much would this cost that family? It comes out to be a little over $3,000 a year. Now, $3,000 a year is an awful lot of money.
What do we get for that? Let's get the other chart up here. I had occasion the other day to hear from Lisa Jackson, who is President Obama's Administrator of the EPA, the Environmental Protection Agency--a fine lady whom I think an awful lot of--when she was testifying before us. Now, this chart--and people are not questioning this chart's reliability--reflects what would happen: U.S. action without international action will have no effect on world CO 2. It just stands to reason. And these are the bills that have been introduced that I mentioned before--the McCain-Lieberman bill in 2003, McCain-Lieberman in 2005, Warner-Lieberman in 2008, and some of the rest of them. It reflects what would happen if we had passed those and what would happen if we don't pass them. The chart shows nothing.
I asked the question of Lisa Jackson, President Obama's Administrator of the EPA. I said: This chart up here, is this an accurate chart? In other words, to put it in plain words, to better understand it, if we were to pass--at that time it might have been the Markey bill. I am not sure which one it was, but it doesn't matter because cap and trade is cap and trade. If we had passed that bill or any of the Senate bills we have talked about, how would that have reduced CO2 worldwide?
Her response: Well, it wouldn't really reduce it because we are doing that unilaterally in the United States of America.
What happens when we take away our ability to have energy in America? We have to manufacture it somewhere, and they have estimated how many thousands of manufacturing jobs if we were to pass any of these bills.
Those are polar bears, by the way, and they are all smiling in case you can't see that too well, Mr. President.
We would lose our manufacturing jobs to countries such as China and Mexico and India. Right now, in China, they are cranking out two new coal-fired generating plants every week. Some people are saying: Oh, they are going to follow us and our example and start restricting their CO2. No, they are not. They are preparing right now to be able to generate the electricity necessary as the people start coming in. So that is what is happening right now.
I would say this, though. I don't want you to feel--even though his world is crumbling, don't feel sorry for Al Gore because he is doing all right. There is actually an article that just came out--this is the National Review--at the same time a New York Times article did, and I have kind of put together things from both of them. This from the New York Times says:
Former Vice President Al Gore thought he had spotted a winner last year when a small California firm sought financing for an energy-saving technology from the venture capital firm where Al Gore is a partner. The company, the Silver Spring Networks, produces hardware and software to make the electricity grid more efficient. It came to Mr. Gore's firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of Silicon Valley's top venture capital providers, looking for $75 million to expand its partnership with utilities seeking to install millions of so-called smart meters in homes and businesses.
Mr. Gore and his partners decided to back the company, and in gratitude Silver Spring retained him and John Doerr, another Kleiner Perkins partner, as unpaid corporate advisers. The deal appeared to pay off in a big way last week, when the Energy Department announced $3.4 billion in smart grid grants. Of the total, more than $560 million went to utilities with which Silver Spring has contacts.
Wait a minute, we are talking about Silver Spring, the company with which Al Gore is connected.
Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr. Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in the coming years.
Silver Spring Networks is a foot soldier in the global green energy revolution Mr. Gore hopes to lead. Few people have been as vocal about the urgency of global warming and the need to reinvent the way the world produces and consumes energy. And few have put as much money behind their advocacy as Mr. Gore and are as well positioned to profit from this green transformation if and when it comes.
Critics, mostly the political right and among global warming skeptics, say Mr. Gore is poised to become the world's first ``carbon billionaire,'' profiteering from government policies he supports that would direct billions of dollars to the business ventures that he has invested in.
Representative Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, asserted at a hearing this year that Mr. Gore stood to benefit personally from the energy and climate policies he was urging Congress to adopt.
Mr. Gore says that he is simply putting his money where his mouth is. ``Do you think there is something wrong with being active in business in this country?'' Mr. Gore said. ``I am proud of it. I am proud of it.''
In an e-mail message this week, he said his investment activities were consistent with his public advocacy over the decades. ``I have advocated policies to promote renewable energy and accelerate reductions in global warming pollution for decades, including all the time I was in public service.'' Mr. Gore wrote: ``As a private citizen, I have continued to advocate the same policies. Even though the vast majority of my business career has been in areas that do not involve renewable energy or global warming pollution reductions, I absolutely believe in investing in ways that are consistent with my values and beliefs. I encourage others to invest in the same way.''
Mr. Gore has invested a significant portion of the tens of millions of dollars that he has earned since leaving government in 2001 in a broad array of environmentally friendly energy and technology business ventures, like carbon trading markets, solar cells, and waterless urinals. He has also given away millions more to finance the nonprofit he founded, the Alliance for Climate Protection, and to another group, the Climate Project, which trains people to present the slide show that was the basis of his documentary ``An Inconvenient Truth.'' Royalties from his new book on climate change, ``Our Choice,'' printed on 100 percent recycled paper, will go to the alliance, an aide said.
Other public figures, like speaker Nancy Pelosi and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., who have vocally supported government financing of energy-saving technologies have investments in alternative energy ventures. Some scientists and policy advocates also promote energy policies that personally enrich them.
As a private citizen, Mr. Gore asked not to have to disclose his income and assets, as he did-- as I do, as others do in this Chamber in his years in Congress and the White House. When he left government in 2001, he listed assets of less than $2 million, including homes in suburban Washington and in Tennessee. Since then his net worth has skyrocketed, helped by timely investments in Apple and Google, profits from books and his movie, and the scores of speeches for which he can be paid more than $100,000 .....a speech. I suggest now that price may be going down a little bit for Al Gore.
Mr. Gore's spokeswoman would not give a figure for his current net worth, but the scale of his wealth is evident in a single investment of $35 million in Capricorn Investment Group. .....
It goes on and on. I ask unanimous consent to submit the rest of this for the Record because it is pretty good reading.
``Marc Morano, a climate change skeptic who was recently a top aide to [me], Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, said that what he saw as Mr. Gore's alarmism and occasional exaggerations distorted the debate and also served his personal financial interests.''
I say don't feel sorry for Al Gore. He is doing fine right now.
Last, on this subject, my wife and I have been married for 50 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. They are achievers. They are great people. All 20 of them, all but 6, live within walking distance of my home in Tulsa, OK. Not many people can say that. The one who doesn't is the family of six of my daughter Molly, her husband, and four children.
It happens one of these children you can't see very well right here, Zegita Marie, actually was one we found in Ethiopia. My daughter adopted her. Molly only had three boys and always wanted a girl so she adopted this cute little girl. This little girl, by the way, is 9 years old. She is reading at college level. She came up to Washington to speak to a group I sponsor every year. It is called the African Dinner, about 400 or so of them.
Anyway, when they are up here, I say to my friend in the chair, they found, because of the global warming problem we had, we had all these snowstorms and blizzards and consequently the airport was closed and they were stuck here. What do you do with a family of six when they are stuck? They went out and built, of all things, an igloo. They are kind of engineering oriented. This is not an igloo. It sleeps four people with ice bricks and all that. On top of that they put ``Al Gore's New Home.'' It is right next to the Library of Congress. This is a picture of it. I thought that was fun.
I regret to say one of the real liberal stations, Keith Olbermann, declared my daughter's family as ``The Worst Family in America.''