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Inhofe's Myths on Maddow

Posted on 21 March 2012 by dana1981

Skeptical Science was recently referenced on The Rachel Maddow Show in debunking the Climategate-related 'hide the decline' myth prior to an interview with Senator James Inhofe.  During the interview (which you can see here: Part 1 and Part 2), Inhofe repeated quite a few climate myths, which we will debunk here.

Misrepresenting Climategate

Since Rachel Maddow introduced the interview by debunking Climategate myths, Inhofe started out the interview by doubling-down on those myths.

"Climategate was a big deal...you can't find anyone who's whitewashing this thing but you...everyone you named was someone investigating themselves"

There have been 9 separate investigations into the Climategate emails, each of which found the scientists guilty of no significant wrongdoing.  Some of the investigations were conducted by the universities employing the scientists whose emails were stolen, but certainly not by the scientists themselves.  Additionally, investigations were conducted by:

Inhofe was factually incorrect to claim these groups were all investigating themselves, or that the investigations were "whitewashed."  Inhofe also cited a few media articles which chastised the Climategate scientists; however, it is rarely  if ever a good idea to take the word of a mainstream media article about a report or investigation over the report or investigation itself.  The source documentation is far more reliable than the media's spin of that documentation.

Inhofe also attempted to link Climategate to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

"Everything that is coming out in terms of regulation, or I should say, over-regulation, is going to be predicated on this [IPCC] science..."

However, the Climategate emails had very little to do with the IPCC reports.  Some of the scientists whose emails were stolen have been IPCC lead authors; however, few the emails themselves were even related to the IPCC report.  The IPCC reports are summaries of the best and most up-to-date climate science research, and none of the 9 investigations found that the scientists involved inappropriately manipulated data.

Climate Mitigation Will Help the Economy

Inhofe revealed that his denial of the body of climate science research is motivated not by science, but by a misunderstanding of economics.

"the cost to the American taxpayers [of climate legislation] would be between 3 and 4 hundred billion dollars a year...Do you realize I was actually on your side of this issue when I was chairing that committee and I first heard about this.  I thought it must be true until I found what it cost"

First, it should go without saying that it is inappropriate to base one's opinions about a scientific issue on its economic costs.  The physical reality is that humans are causing global warming, regardless of whether the solutions to the problem cost a trillion dollars or save a trillion dollars.  The science is the science, independent of the economics.

Second, while it's true that the costs of CO2 limits will be high, the benefits will far outweigh the costs.  As prominent Yale economist William Nordhaus recently noted,

"...the cost of waiting fifty years to begin reducing CO2 emissions is $2.3 trillion in 2005 prices. If we bring that number to today’s economy and prices, the loss from waiting is $4.1 trillion....The claim that cap-and-trade legislation or carbon taxes would be ruinous or disastrous to our societies does not stand up to serious economic analysis."

The flaw in Inhofe's argument is that he's only considering the costs of CO2 limits and ignoring the benefits.  In a valid cost-benefit analysis, we must consider both, and economic research consistently shows that the benefits will far outweigh the costs (Figure 1).

Figure 1:  Approximate costs of climate action (green) and inaction (red) in 2100 and 2200. Sources: German Institute for Economic Research and Watkiss et al. 2005

Scientific Consensus on Human-Caused Global Warming

Later in the interview, Inhofe denied that there is a scientific consensus about anthropogenic global warming.

"this 97% [of climate scientists accepting human-caused global warming], that doesn't mean anything.  I named literally thousands of scientists on the floor...and these were top people."

"That's not true [that a majority of scientists accept human-caused global warming]...everyone believes that because it came from the IPCC."

There are undoubtedly thousands of scientists who doubt the anthropogenic global warming theory.  There are millions of Americans with scientific degrees, so finding a few thousand who are climate "skeptics" is simply not noteworthy.  Inhofe may refer to this list compiled by his former employee Marc Morano which boasts "More than 1,000 dissenting scientists."  However, as documented by Barry Bickmore, even the scientists most prominently highlighted on that list have little to no climate expertise.

As Rachel Maddow noted, there are very few "skeptics" amongst scientists with climate expertise.  It is indeed true that 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming, as demonstrated by Oreskes 2004, Peiser 2005, Doran 2009, and Anderegg 2010.

Additionally, contrary to Inhofe's assertion, the IPCC report summarizes the most up-to-date climate science research, but does not discuss the scientific consensus.

Richard Lindzen

Inhofe specifically named one "skeptic" climate scientist, Richard Lindzen.

"I know that you get tired of hearing from Richard Lindzen from MIT, but he's the guy who was talking about the severity of this.  He said...regulating cap and trade is a bureaucrat's dream.  If you regulate carbon, you regulate life."

As a climate scientist, we're not sure why Lindzen's opinions regarding legislation are particularly relevant.  Nor are we sure what "regulating life" even means.  Perhaps the implication is that CO2 limits will regulate breathing; however, this is simply false, because breathing does not contribute to the increase in atmospheric CO2, nor has any proposed climate legislation even suggested that "life" or breathing be regulated.

It's also worth noting that Richard Lindzen has a very long history climate contrarianism, and a very long history of being wrong on his climate positions.

The Flawed Climate Shift Report

Inhofe then made a series of false claims about a rather controversial report.

"There's an article...in Nature magazine, a very liberal publication, or publication on your side, and they talk about this thing from American University, and they analyze it.  They say 'why is it that we on the global warming side are not winning?  We're spending more money, we have the media on our side 8 to 10, and 80% of the media is on our side, and yet we're losing'...the environmentalist groups raised - and this is in the period of 2009 to 2010 - $1.7 billion as opposed to the other side $900 million...this is in their article"

Inhofe refers to a 2011 editorial in Nature magazine, which is one of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world, not a political publication.  The editorial discussed a report by American University professor Matthew Nisbet, regarding the reasons behind the USA's failure to pass climate legislation.

However, the report's conclusions are controversial, as documented in detail by Joe Romm at Climate Progress.  One of the report's reviewers, Dr. Robert J. Brulle of Drexel University had his name pulled off the report’s list of expert paid reviewers when he finally saw the whole finished report.  Brulle said the study has "many flaws," and “selectively used the literature," and that "I gave him refereed articles that countered his thesis and he ignored them."

The flaw in Nisbet's numbers resulted from counting the entire lobbying budget on all issues from major corporations like BP, Bank of America, GE, and ConocoPhillips, in the total of what was "representative of the capacity for power and influence" that the environmentalists supposedly had to bring to bear on the climate bill debate.  However, in reality these corporations only spent a small fraction of those budgets on climate issues.

In fact, a re-analysis of Nisbet's data suggests that opponents of climate legislation outspent proponents by approximately 10-to-1 on election spending, 8-to-1 on lobbying and Congressional donations, and 4-to-1 on advertising.

Nisbet's media coverage conclusions were also only based on a few select print media sources (The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN's online site, and The Wall Street Journal), but did not include television media coverage.  The report's results are simply not accurate or reliable. 

Educating vs. Brainwashing

Finally, the interview concludes with Inhofe accusing public schools of brainwashing children with climate science.

"my granddaughter...she was in a public school.  Everything came from the Environmental Protection Agency brainwashing my grandkids in school. this is my goal to stop, that is unelected bureaucrats taking positions, contrary to the elected officials in brainwashing our kids."

While some of the administrators at the EPA may be described as "unelected bureaucrats," there are also a great many scientists working at the EPA.  If educational material in public schools comes from the EPA, it undoubtedly originates from those scientists, not bureaucrats.  Indeed, educational scientific material should come from scientists, not bureaucrats or politicians, contrary to Inhofe's wishes.

The Hoax of the Climate Hoax

Ultimately, Inhofe's climate "skepticism" derives from his conspiratorial thinking, as is evident from the title of his book.  He admits that his opinions are based not on science, but economics (and a misunderstanding of economics at that), and rejects the vast body of climate science literature which contradicts his beliefs.  In short, Inhofe is probably the last person anybody should rely on for accurate climate-related information.

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Comments 1 to 49:

  1. The essay here says that you do not know what "regulate life" means. I hope you are not serious when you say you think it means regulating breathing. I hope you are just being sarcastic.

    "Regulate life" means that if you are really serious of really regulating carbon, you are affecting virtually all aspects of life, often to the point of regulating choices. Regulating energy use by transportation means that you affect the production of food and other business enterprises. Fuel prices affect how people commute to work and take vacations. Operating and regulating the "smart grid" to limit CO2 production means you have the technical ability to regulate when people choose to use certain appliances in their own homes and what temperature they choose to keep their homes. People have argued that to limit (regulate) CO2 we should limit the meat that we choose to eat, the types of light bulbs we choose to buy, the number of children we choose to have, the size of TVs that we are allowed to buy, the size of cars that we choose, how much vacation travel we are rationed (yes, all of these have been proposed).

    Someone a long time ago said that "the power to tax is the power to destroy", or in this case, the power to highly influence many personal choices we make in everyday life. The idea has been recently proposed in Scientific American that a more powerful UN or other world government body needs to be instituted to enforce CO2 regulations. Having unelected elites with such power is truly frightening.
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    Response:

    [dana1981] By your definition all regulations "regulate life".  For example, environmental regulations take away your choice to dump hazardous waste into public water ways.  Also what "people have proposed" is irrelevant.  What is relevant is what is being proposed in legislation considered by policymakers.

  2. Also, to advocate for certain measures (for any purpose)--which is what I would understand as being the meaning of "we should" do this or that--is quite different from "regulation."

    Of course transforming our energy economy into a susatainable one will change lives. But so did public health measures--which also involved some share of regulation. It seems perverse to assume that, simply because regulation may be required to achieve some end, therefore the real end is in fact regulation.
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  3. SirNubWub
    What is even scarier is that no one , elected or unelected, will have the political will to make the changes that are needed to keep warming to 2C or less.
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  4. SirNubwub:

    "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."

    FDR
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  5. SirNubwub,

    This thread is about Inhofe making misleading and fallacious arguments.

    Going by your odd comment it seems fair to say then that you endorse Inhofe's myths and misinformation? If not, please let us know which of his myths you do not agree with. Thanks.
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  6. I was surprised that Rachel did not mention the Berkeley study. I had emailed her several months ago about it, emphasizing that it was a vindication of ClimateGate, a confirmation of Global Warming, AND a defeat of the Koch Brothers - kind of a Climate Change hat trick. I thought the last one especially would get her attention, and she might do a story on it. I at least thought she would use it against Inhofe - "OK, maybe you don't trust the EPA, but how about the Koch Brothers, are they trustworthy?" Alas, I guess she doesn't read all her emails after all.
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  7. SirNubWub's mumbo-jumbo seems carefully chosen to scare, but is only loosely related to any reality: The this and that we are "allowed" to do, as if some gestapo type of body is going to monitor you and come knock on your door in the night if you're not compliant; it makes for splendid emotional reactions in the audience, no doubt.

    In my experience, that kind of talk is most often associated with mind manipulation attempts. It's nonsense and indicates SirNubWub is the one mired in misunderstanding.

    Smart grids detect use and react accordingly. One is still free to run the oven and a pressure washer at 3 am if he choses to do so, it won't affect anything other than his reputation with neighbors.

    Regulations will not dictate the size of the TV one can buy. It may very well make that TV more expensive, by including in its price costs that are currently externalized. Perhaps NubWub's argument is that, in effect it will make it unaffordable, thereby "dictating" that it is not "allowed." That is so much of a stretch that I might as well say I am not "allowed" to buy a yacht or a 12 room mansion. I certainly can't afford either one of them.

    We all pay at some point or another for externalized costs. Sometimes it's immediate: SUV drivers increase demand by using more gas than efficient car drivers for the same mileage. By increasing demand, they force prices up, but pay the same at the pump as efficient car drivers. So they externalize some of their costs (that of higher demand for the commodity) to efficient car drivers. That happens in the here and now. Some costs are externalized in much more diluted ways.

    Some seem to believe externalizing costs is OK, as long as they are diluted enough that someone else, either in time or space, will have to deal with it. I'm sure the ones who will have to deal with it would disagree. The precious "freedoms" so vociferously touted by a certain ideology is nothing but that of externalizing costs to others.
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  8. On another note, it is worth noting that speculation affects energy prices in ways more significant than regulations, although much more unpredictable. Speculation can make the price of the oil barrel vary on scales that make regulation costs look like child play.

    By NubWub's reasoning, speculation will then "affect the production of food and other business enterprises." It will also "affect how people commute to work and take vacations."
    There is no doubt that it actually does that, and it does it now, as it is not, like emission regulation, something proposed for the future.

    I am sure that SirNubWub's concern on individual freedoms then must imply some strong, current action against speculation, the terrible speculation that is unduly affecting so many areas of our lives, to the point of limiting choices for individuals.

    I also note the "some people have argued" section in post #1 (end of 2nd paragraph), leading to the really scary stuff, is not accompanied by any quote of reference.
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  9. (language warning)

    It seems rather silly to hear both scientific and economic high risk language coming from a US Senator. Inhofe seems to be pissing directly into the wind and yet insists on standing upwind and telling us it's rain,
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  10. @Philippe Chantreau:

    I suspect that SirNubwub is just a drive-by blogger who will not be back to engage us in any meaningful conversation.

    His post suggests to me that he is a die-hard Libertarian whose political ideology rules supreme. If so, he does not subscribe to the concept of the "common good." Attempting to discuss the realities of manmade climate change with someone of this ilk is an exercise in futitlity.
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  11. John, you're probably right, although someone by that screen name has posted here before. On other venues I found trying to discuss anything with the libertarian types and try to keep it grounded in reality was indeed a futile exercise. It is always to be hoped that one could prove otherwise.
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  12. SirNubWub, I've heard "free market" proponents say that air as a commodity is fair game (I think one even claims it in the documentary The Corporation. A few decades ago, the privatization of water would have seemed ridiculous. Bechtel doesn't think so.

    You're right, though: regulation limits economy. It doesn't bound economy, though. It might stretch economic growth temporally, or it might reorganize the existing structure of production. It might prevent certain forms of production and products. Eventually, all the recoverable FF carbon in the ground will be recovered. Will it happen as fast as possible, with no thought for the future (none possible in the unregulated free market -- government is, by definition, the vision, whether it is government by democracy, government by CEO, or government by direct capitalist), suspending 10-12 billion people into an econo-chronotope (historical moment) that cannot support their weight? Will the free marketers like Inhofe then say, "Well, it's not our fault! We just made stuff. We didn't force people to buy it." Therein the great lie. A libertarian's analysis is as good as the information the libertarian chooses to freely accept.
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  13. “Despite claims to the contrary, planetary sh*t does happen”

    Source: “Climate, Science, and Religion” by Bill Chameides, The Greengrok Blog, Scientific American, Mar 19, 2012

    This hard-hitting commentary was prompted by Inhofe’s new book.
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  14. One thing is certain: the large scale industrial use of fossil fuels will be eradicated from this world in the future. How it happens and how difficult it is to cope with is up to humans. There is a wide variety of ways to accomplish it with minimal pain, but no way to do it entirely pain free. Some ways to do it could be extremely painful, like waiting for resource exhaustion without developing alternatives. In fact, it is obvious that this would be the worst possible way.

    Any way to do it with minimal pain implies a gradual transition and has to be started as early as possible. It is possible, even likely that the transition can be completed before significant resource exhaustion sets in. This can be regarded as a problem only by the few drawing large profits from FF use, who are not willing to change and would like to extract every last drop of profit from their activity. Their opinion should be be ignored, as their input in this whole debate is only self-serving.

    These are plain and self evident truths that no level of denial can alter.
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  15. IMO SirNubWub's claims fall even from a libertarian perspective on rights.

    I note that all humans are possessed of certain rights to person & property which, I am led to believe, liberatians assert are not to be violated by others (least of all governments).

    However, it is fairly clear that climate change, given its anthropogenic origins, violates the person and property rights of those who are subject to predicted and actualized negative impacts - Texas ranchers & farmers subject to drought, Pakistani farmers inundated in floods, heat wave deaths in Moscow, and the like.

    So anyone contributing to climate change is contributing to an illegitimate violation of others' inalienable rights. As far as I know, most libertarians are not opposed to government action to defend people's rights to person & property (e.g. the "nightwatchman state") - even though such defence will of necessity abridge rights somewhere down the line.

    What makes the property/person rights of Texas ranchers, Pakistani farmers, Tuvaluan property owners, &c less valid than those of gasoline buyers?

    Finally, it should be noted that pricing carbon and regulating emissions is effectively similar to the special taxes & regulations levied on alcohol & tobacco products. My freedom of action to drink alcoholic beverages, smoke tobacco products, or consume fossil fuels, is subject to abridgement where such freedom of action would violate others' rights to person & property. From a libertarian perspective I do not see any reasonable objection I could make to such abridgement.
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  16. Philippe@14,

    Why is waiting for resource exhaustion a bad way to accomplish a switch to new energy sources (Aside from AGW implications)?

    Resource exhaustion causes the cost of the resource to increase, creating incentive to develop alternative technology. And, the resource will not become exhausted overnight. It will slowly become more and more scarce. That gives alternative energy sources time to be developed and phased in.

    Of course, if using the original resource will cause mass extinction and all the water on the planet to vaporize, then resource exhaustion is the least of our worries.
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  17. "...this is my goal to stop, that is unelected bureaucrats taking positions, contrary to the elected officials in brainwashing our kids."
    Except neither should be setting curriculum, let alone brainwashing.

    In every other subject the material and curriculum are established by educators, authors, and the academics working in the field. No one in government, elected or appointed, decides what is taught in math, literature, history or anything else.

    Truth is not established by democracy. We don't vote on the truth. Truth is not defined in elections by the opinion of the majority.

    So why does Inhofe think he has any right to determine what science, climate science, is taught in schools? Or the EPA?

    Where's his evidence that any such direction came from the EPA, for that matter?

    It's simple. What do the scientists say? What do people doing research and teaching at higher level educational institutions say? That's what should be taught.

    So what are they saying and teaching, Inhofe?

    Gee, I wonder.
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  18. There's an article...in Nature magazine, a very liberal publication, or publication on your side,


    Interesting. Science journals are liberal publications, and Nature is a *very* liberal publication. Must be all those articles on stem cells, evolution, warming, and closer geographical proximity (than the U.S.) to some suspect socialist/communist countries.

    Since Nature (and other science journals that reflect reality) is "liberal" that allows him to dismiss anything in science journals as something from the liberals (unless it is something he agrees with, of course, in which case he'll wave it around for all to see). It is nice though that he recognizes we're on the side of science, except he doesn't know what science is. Sigh. Reality...still has a liberal bias apparently.

    Might be fun to collect Inhofe quotes/ideas.
    Science journals are liberal publications.
    Global warming can't be happening because fixing it would be too expensive.
    It can't be happening because God said there'd always be a spring, summer, winter, fall (wonder what happened during the flood? Or in tropical countries? Or what happens when spring floods, summer bakes, winter washes away the soil)?

    Religion has no business in science...except when global warming can't happen because God said it won't.

    The job of brain-washing the kids falls to elected officials, not unelected bureaucrats. ;) Well, maybe that one is a strawman argument, but it was the first thing that came to mind when I heard him talk about it.
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  19. jzk @16
    This may make interesting reading. The suggestion is that Peak Oil (resource exhaustion) will give rise to wild fluctuations in price - which, I would suggest, is not a good backdrop for a stable economy in which to develop alternatives.
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  20. @Dana:

    Have you forwarded this and your prior article to Maddow?
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    Response:

    [dana1981] Yes, both

  21. "Of course, if using the original resource will cause mass extinction and all the water on the planet to vaporize, then resource exhaustion is the least of our worries"

    Actually, the argument is that getting off fossil fuel is cheaper in the long run than adapting to AGW. Burning every piece of carbon will not vaporize the oceans but there a lot of unpleasant/expensive things a long way short of that happening. I think it would be easier to discuss if you confined your statements to what scientists have actually predicted as summarized in IPCC AR4 reports.

    But to the real argument, it seems quite likely rising petroleum prices will indeed make for useful cuts in fossil fuel use, but combatting AGW is really all about coal. Our reserves are vast and you will do serious damage to the climate long before resource restriction has much effect on price.
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  22. scaddenp@21,

    I was under the impression that James Hansen was asserting that if we continue burning fossil fuels that one half of all species will go extinct. I also read in Storms of my grandchildren a strong implication that in 400 years we will vaporize all of the water on the planet.

    Am I wrong on those counts?
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  23. 22, jzk,

    Your impressions of what you think maybe someone else wrote are of zero value. Make an actual statement, and support it with facts, or withdraw your crap.

    Yes, as of this moment, until you prove otherwise, you are wrong on "those counts" because what you have posted amounts to wishy-washy hearsay.

    This site is about science, not your vague impressions about what you think you maybe remember someone implied in their writing.
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  24. jzk, I can only assume that your question is rethorical. If not, then I have to refrain from describing it by the only appropriate qualificative, as it may go against comment policy.

    What will happen to the world economies and to the poorest nations if we go into resource exhaustion without alternative is also self evident. The strain will lead to conflict, likely violent, probably widespread. I am not sure what exactly can be your purpose in asking such a question. Your subsequent posts hint at some vague intent of provocation. It does not speak in your favor, nor in that of your argument, whatever that may be.
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  25. jzk - Vaporize the oceans? Hardly. Temperatures would be a number of degrees C warmer than present if we burn all the fossil fuels (5-8C?), but not boiling temperatures.

    As to species extinction, we appear to already be on the path to one of the great extinctions. Thomas et al 2004 predicted 18-35% of species 'committed to extinction' by 2050 (depending on emission scenarios), with more in the future. That's an ongoing major extinction event, no matter how you slice the numbers.

    As with the previous posters, I would suggest you find references for these claims.
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  26. @ jzk

    Not to pile on, but also do your due diligence and find a more appropriate thread (Search function...) to post those comments on, should you ever find links to support your position.
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  27. I havent read James Hansen's book, but I doubt you can find either assertion in any peer-reviewed science paper, and especially not in the IPCC reports. I would very strongly doubt Hansen made such an assertion about vaporising all the water on the planet. This is good physical reasons to believe that this is not possible, but sure, find me the quote. Guessing the level of mass-extinction - that is much harder, but a long way from inconceivable when considering what happened in other times of very rapid change.

    Perhaps I should be more explicit - stick to the peer-reviewed literature. That's where scientists speak when they have something of value to say.
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  28. (-snipNot in a peer reviewed paper that I know of, but right out of Hansen's mouth:

    Hansen says “When there have been warmings of several degrees Celsius, which is what we will get if we will follow business as usual, the earth lost more than half of its species.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zi12lZIdGjQ

    @1:20 in the video.Hidden obnoxious comment here
    -)
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    Response:

    [DB] Off-topic snipped.

  29. Which is an extrapolation from what has happened in past period of rapid climate change, so not unreasonable, and assumes that we are stupid enough to allow several degrees of warming. But its still unpublished opinion, and (And as such has provided an unneeded distraction on this thread about economics.)
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    Response:

    [DB] Thank you for attempting to redirect this thread back the the general vicinity of the OP.

  30. (-snipHansen also makes a "ticketed for extinction" by 2100 citation to the IPCC in his recent TED speech as well. I haven't been able to find what "ticketed for extinction" means, but I am looking.Hidden obnoxious comment here-)
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    Response:

    [DB] This thread is about Inhofe's Myths on Maddow.  James Hansen and any of his non-peer-reviewed publications are not on-topic for this thread.

    Off-topic snipped.

  31. Here's a quote from an online excerpt from Storms of My Grandchildren:

    If we continue business as usual fossil fuel use, a conservative estimate is that by the end of the century, we will have committed to extinction 20% of the Earth's species, that is, about 2 million species.

    There's no indication of the source or accuracy of this excerpt, other than the fact that the poster linked to amazon in Canada.

    But the book is about future storms and this thread is about Inhofe. Chasing snippets of who-said-what in unrelated books and video is clearly an exercise in taking the thread off-topic.
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    Response:

    [DB] Agreed.  Everyone, do not buy into the thread being diverted OT.

  32. Further to commenting on unpublished opinion -
    With peer-review, you have scientists speaking to other scientists about their science. Ideally, peer-review means that reviewers are satisfied with the methods, analysis, and that the conclusions follow logically from the analysis. Its a minimum bar to be taken seriously.

    Everyone has opinions,( they may even be right) but just because a scientist is stating them, doesnt imbue them any authority unless that opinion is rooted in published research. Can we get back to economics?
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  33. Putting the discussion back on track. Note this:
    "The total CO2 potential of the earth’s proven reserves comes to 2795 GtCO2. 65% of this is from coal, with oil providing 22 % and gas 13%."
    Source which in turn is based on BP Statistical Review of Energy
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  34. Let's also be aware of Inhofe's position on the Keystone XL pipeline:

    U.S. Sen. James Inhofe says he supports a bill being introduced in the U.S. Senate that will bypass the president and provide congressional approval to the Keystone XL pipeline.

    That's a runaround of the executive authority given the President by these self-same Republicans.

    Maddow has covered the over-hyping of the number of jobs to be 'created' by this project. She's also covered the oil spill from the existing tar sands pipeline (starting at about 6:50 of the video).

    The Republican Party lampooned her position on this issue, in their characteristically juvenile fashion.

    But also note that she actually read Inhofe's book before interviewing him. What a concept.
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  35. From the OP:
    Inhofe's climate "skepticism" derives from his conspiratorial thinking
    That is generous to Inhofe, IMHO. I get the impression that he is smart, cunning like a fox and knows very well that he is saying things which may not be representative of the truth. The only conspiratorial thinking in Inhofe's head would appear to come from the way he is apparently picking up his misinformation from the FF industry, which some might characterise as a conspiracy to delay action on AGW.
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  36. DougH@35,

    "The only conspiratorial thinking in Inhofe's head would appear to come from the way he is apparently picking up his misinformation from the FF industry,...."

    I agree with most of your post. However, we have to remember that Inhofe and his pal Marc Morano are actively engaged in spreading misinformation and FUD. Inhofe's ramblings in his book are part of that ongoing misinformation campaign and outright attack on science and scientists. Speaking of which, don't forget Inhofe's infamous list of 17.

    Maddow did an OK job reigning him in, but as others have noted, she also missed a good few opportunities to call him on his nonsense.
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  37. Dana,

    IIRC, when I read the Climategate emails a substantial plurality of them did relate to the drafting of the paleo chapters of 4AR and TAR. Saying that the emails had very little to do with the IPCC is therefore incorrect. Inhofe was also incorrect in saying that these emails a lot to do with the review of these chapters, however. Most of them were routine (read heated) discussion between scientists holding differing, although not widely differing, opinions of where various papers fit into the puzzle of the evolution of climate over the past few millenia.
    0 0
  38. "If you regulate carbon, you regulate life."

    For Snubwub@1, it was basically a left-wing plot to institute state control over the individual(a Big Brother by e-outlet). Dana's take is it's a fraud smokescreen to prevent common sense regulation - like speed limits on roads. The first reaction here was more basic - haul out the pro-life vote - by making this seem like a backdoor form of birth control. It is really sleazy at any level.

    It's the same with the cap-and-trade tirade. If C&T hadn't worked as well as it did for the reduction of the acid-rain problem, that could be the US equivalent of the ABC crisis.

    Check the rollup on Inhoffe's presentation - big government, socialism, regulation, private science clubs, anti-life, brainwashing. He's pushed every button to avoid addressing the pollution problem. Maddow should have asked for a longer explanation of how God was going to solve it.
    0 0
  39. Albatross @ 36, thanks for the link to the 'list of 17' article. Living in Australia, that sort of information does not hit our headlines, so I was unaware of the depth of his iniquity. I knew he was anti-science and wanted to investigate 'climate scientists' in general, but had not realised he had actually named his targets! What a buffoon. What a dangerous fool.
    0 0
  40. To mods: apologies for entertaining trolls and contributing to pull the thread off-topic. Won't do it again.
    0 0
  41. DoughH @39,

    No worries. And yes you are correct, Inhofe is a "dangerous fool"...unfortunately he will probably take that as a compliment.
    0 0
  42. @Dana:

    Recommend that you append the following statement to your OP.

    The climate change hoax”, Miami Herald, Mar 21, 2012

    This is an essay written by Andrew J. Gunther and James J. McCarthy, scientists who sit on the Board of Directors of the Union of Concerned Scientists,
    0 0
  43. Why not have a Maddow page (and of any other interested media channels)?

    It would draw extra attention the the site and help Maddow and others who will not be able to do real-time correction of guests. She need only mention[*] that "as usual, our expert friends at sks will be documenting rebuttals and corrections to this and past climate interviews at http sks MoreMaddow."

    [*] I'm assuming certain details will be taken care of, such as how to refer to the site to limit everyone's liabilities, offer appropriate disclaimers, adhere to any legal restrictions, etc.
    0 0
  44. "Big oil" isn't so big?

    Does anyone have figures on revenues by that industry? I know the profits of numerous individual firms are gigantic, and profits don't even include costs the firms may take to promote their causes and let their many employees know what is in their best interest. If you have such a sweet income stream on the line, what might you do with that money (assuming you did not want to know too much about "hypotheticals")?
    0 0
  45. Does anyone have figures on revenues by that industry? I know the profits of numerous individual firms are gigantic...


    The apocryphal figure is one billions dollars profit globally per day.

    At first blush that might sound an exaggeration, but when one starts to look at the profits of individual companies, it suddenly becomes very reasonable.

    So, for every day that action is delayed, that day's one billion dollars is added holus-bolus to the profit pile. It's no wonder that the industry seeks to stir FUD where it can - and there is no end of ignoramus prepared to do the grunt-work for free.

    The fossil fuel suits are laughing all the way to the bank.
    0 0
  46. The fossil fuel suits are laughing all the way to the bank.
    I hope they're stacking all those dollar bills in a vault that's above the new high tide line "8-)
    0 0
  47. Dana1981 @1:
    Yes, all regulations affect life, but full-blown regulation of CO2 will affect more aspects of life than most (if not all) other regulation programs

    Albatros @5
    Yes, I have been strongly skeptical in the past, but this website has made me acknowledge that maybe the alarmists have a point. BUT...what I am discussing here is that I have problems with are writers who say plainly wrong things, like “Perhaps the implication is that CO2 limits will regulate breathing“. I hope you have problems with statements like that too. The ramifications of the laws will affect so many different aspects of life that we need to take the discussion seriously.

    Philippe Chantreau @7
    Here are newspaper articles that are the foundation of what you consider to be my scare tactics.

    Food control:
    (-sniphttp://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/30/food.ethicalliving
    People will have to be rationed to four modest portions of meat and one litre of milk a week if the world is to avoid run-away climate change, a major new report warns.
    The report, by the Food Climate Research Network, based at the University of Surrey, also says total food consumption should be reduced, especially "low nutritional value" treats such as alcohol, sweets and chocolates.here
    -)

    Population control:
    (-sniphttp://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=2314438
    In an article in the Financial Post, Tuesday, December 8, Diane Francis called for population control as a means of fighting global warming.
    “The 'inconvenient truth' overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.”
    She goes on to the extol China's one-child policy - a policy of forced abortions and mandatory sterilization - as the only way to halt the impending climate catastrophe. “None [of the solutions proposed in Copenhagen] will work unless a China one-child policy is imposed.”here
    -)

    Person fuel control:
    (-sniphttp://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/05/moving_toward_rationing.html:
    Just Monday, a British parliamentary committee proposed that every citizen be required to carry a carbon card that must be presented, under penalty of law, when buying gasoline, taking an airplane or using electricity. The card contains your yearly carbon ration to be drawn down with every purchase, every trip, every swipe.
    There’s no greater social power than the power to ration. And, other than rationing food, there is no greater instrument of social control than rationing energy, the currency of just about everything one does and uses in an advanced society.here
    -)

    Vacation control:
    (-snipFrom http://www.wiseupjournal.com/?p=783
    Lord Turner wants the Government to restrict the number of flights individuals can take each year
    Millions of families could be barred from taking holidays abroad under a proposal to ration flights.
    Gordon Brown’s ‘environment tsar’ is calling for limits on how many plane journeys travellers can take each year.here
    -)

    Television control:
    (-snip(from 2007, so it’s a bit dated and the weakest of my arguments) http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/268295/Plans-to-ban-plasma-TVs.html
    (from the Sun in the UK) THE Conservatives will propose banning plasma screens and other energy-guzzling electrical goods in a report to be unveiled next week.
    The proposals target white goods like fridges and freezers, as well as TVs, personal computers and DVD players that use too much energy or operate on stand-by.here
    -)


    John Hartz @10
    I use this website as my main source of clear understandable pro-AGW arguments. This website has actually moved me from being a scoffing adamant denier to one who is now willing to admit that the case is not so clear cut and the pro-AGW may be right. I will engage in meaningful conversation. My only point in my comment is that the authors statement of “Perhaps the implication is that CO2 limits will regulate breathing” is NOT meaningful conversation and seems to be made in a disingenuous way.

    Composer99 @15
    What claims are you referring to?
    I have no problem with the legality of the government imposing cap and trade taxes, My problem is with people claiming that legal limits on CO2 mean that the government will regulate breathing.
    0 0
    Response:

    [DB] Skeptical Science keeps the focus on the science of climate change.  Typically this means an emphasis on peer-reviewed published studies appearing in reuptable journals to support one's position.  A reliance on newspaper articles to support a position far off-topic to the OP of the thread is a call for moderation.  This thread is on Inhofe's Myths on Maddow.

    Off-topic snipped, as applicable.

  48. This is probably the one and only chance I'll ever have of voicing my extreme irritation about the Inhofe quote of Lindzen's saying: “He who controls carbon controls life. It is a bureaucrat’s dream to control carbon dioxide.”

    This is true of all primary needs and all those philosophically challenged.

    It echoes on and on and on ...
    0 0
  49. DB@ response to 47
    Fair enough.

    Philippe Chantreau @7
    I found the articles supporting my statements with minimal effort on Google. You can do the same to find them.
    0 0

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