The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted, 98-1, that climate change was real and not a hoax. The vote came after Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) added the amendment to a bill seeking to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
Emily Atkin, writing for Think Progress, explains that the amendment
… was widely seen as a way to troll Republicans — a way for Democrats to say “Fine, if you want to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, you have to go on record about whether you think global warming is real.”
The use of the word “hoax” was a reference to Republican Senator James Inhofe‘s prior contentions (including those made in the book he wrote on the topic, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future) that climate change was just that. Inhofe, the new chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, was up to the challenge — adding his own name as a co-sponsor, with the caveat,
Climate is changing, and climate has always changed. There’s archeological evidence of that. There’s biblical evidence of that. There’s historic evidence of that Man cannot change climate. The hoax is that there are some people that are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change climate.
This is a reiteration of opinions Inhofe has expressed in the past — that man cannot subvert the course of nature that God oversees:
Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that “as long as the earth remains there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.” My point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.
While Inhofe and others were able to bring themselves to admit that there is truth to the idea of climate change, unsurprisingly, when it came time to vote on a second resolution — that humans significantly contribute to it — they were less agreeable. The measure need sixty votes, which it failed to garner, on a 50-49 margin.
Oh, and just in case you hadn’t gotten the sense from his earlier comments that Inhofe was still very much a science-denier, later in the day he spent some time explaining what had happened with Senator Whitehouse’s amendment, and how climate change is… pretty much a hoax.
While re-iterating his typical counter-factual positions, he notes again that climate change has nothing to do with humans because it’s always been happening. And there’s proof:
The scriptures talk about it…
Did I mention that he’s the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee?