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Jim Inhofe





 



EPA Study Again Shows The Benefits Of The Clean Air Act To U.S. Economy

Wed, 02 Mar 2011 21:26:06 +0000

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday released its Second Prospective Report examining the benefits of the Clean Air Act amendments from 1990 up to 2020. The study confirms that the EPA’s clean air protections are not only vital for safeguarding the physical health and longevity of Americans, they are also extremely good for our economy.  While the cost of implementing the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments was just $65 billion, the direct benefits from these protections are projected to reach almost $2 trillion for the year 2020. In 2020, the study projects the Clean Air Act will prevent more than 230,000 cases of premature mortality, 200,000 heart attacks,
 17 million lost work days
 and 2.4 million asthma attacks.From the EPA’s findings: Our central benefits estimate exceeds costs by a factor of more than 30 to one, and the high benefits estimate exceeds costs by 90 times. Even the low benefits estimate exceeds costs by about three to one.This net improvement in economic welfare is projected to occur because cleaner air leads to better health and productivity for American workers as well as savings on medical expenses for air pollution-related health problems. The beneficial economic effects of these two improvements alone are projected to more than offset the expenditures for pollution control. Once again, it is clear that reducing dangerous pollution pays for itself, many times over. But don’t expect the anti-science crusaders who control the Republican party agenda to feel persuaded by plain facts and economic data.  Science deniers like Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), remain steadfastly in favor of slashing the EPA’s budget and undermining the very protections that deliver these economic benefits and save American lives. Unless it benefits Koch Industries or ExxonMobil, these GOP “leaders” aren’t interested in hearing it.In fact, Rep. Upton suggested recently that EPA administrator Lisa Jackson ought to reserve a permanent parking spot outside the Rayburn Office Building where she’s expected to face a barrage of hearings to defend her agency’s budget and listen to plenty of GOP anti-science grandstanding that will waste taxpayer money and certainly won’t save any American lives. Upton even offered to “paint the curb yellow” for Jackson’s parking ease. What a gentleman.Guess where Lisa Jackson spent her afternoon today? Yup, parked at the curb in front of another hearing to defend the EPA’s already shrinking budget in front of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee – a budget request for EPA that President Obama proposes to slash by 13 percent from current levels, no doubt to show that good ole “bipartisan” polluter-friendly spirit.Just in case her “friend” Sen. Inhofe had not yet read the latest data confirming the cost-effectiveness of EPA’s work to safeguard public health and the economy, Ms. Jackson summed up the consequences in plain language for him and the rest of the committee in her prepared testimony: “If Congress slashed EPA’s funding, concentrations of harmful pollution would increase from current levels in the places Americans live, work, go to school, fish, hike, and hunt. The result would be more asthma attacks, more missed school and work days, more heart attacks, more cancer cases, more premature deaths, and more polluted waters.” Well said.  Here’s another way of putting it: slashing the EPA budget right now would be akin to cutting back on one of America’s best performing investments, our cheapest insurance policy.  Surely the economics experts in the GOP can understand that? No?  How about putting it this way: The lives they save by funding EPA might just be their own.  After all, air and water pollution affect everyone, even science deniers.Tags: Sen. James Inhofeclean air actasthmaEnvironmental Protection AgencyLisa JacksonRep. Fred Uptonpublich healthClean Air Act Second Prospective Reportheart attackspremature death[...]



The Koch-Exxon-Skeptic Argument Went Up In Smoke On Eve Of Upton's Show Trial

Wed, 09 Feb 2011 22:39:59 +0000

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its authority to regulate global warming pollution went through its first shakedown today before the Koch Industries and ExxonMobil funded [pdf] House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Energy and Power Subcommittee. The show trial was a chance for the Kochtopus, fossil fuel interests, and global warming skeptics (including Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) who announced he is releasing a denialist book) to cry foul that industry is being victimized and that global warming is not a threat, and does not pose any risks to the health and well-being of Americans, and the planet.But Chairman Fred Upton’s (R-MI) and co-author Sen. Inhofe’s polluter-friendly bill, “The Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011” (see memo [pdf]) had to contend with the “bombshell” revelations released late on the eve before the meeting. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the ranking Democrat on the Committee, posted a particularly relevant January 2008 letter [pdf] from former EPA Administrator Steven L. Johnson to then President George W. Bush. Reported first by Climate Progress, Johnson’s letter instructed President Bush “to use EPA’s authority under the Clean Air Act to reduce” global warming pollution and that his administration must release an “endangerment finding” since carbon emissions endanger public health and the environment: “The Supreme Court’s Massachusetts v EPA decision still requires a response. That case combined with the latest science of climate change requires the Agency to propose a positive endangerment finding….  the state of the latest climate change science does not permit a negative finding, nor does it permit a credible finding that we need to wait for more research.” Johnson also told the President that his administration must cut global warming pollution: “Within the next several months, EPA must face regulating greenhouse gases from power plants, some industrial sources, petroleum refineries and cement kilns.” Prior to today’s trial, Waxman wrote to Upton reminding him that: “…both Republican and Democratic Administrations have had the same view of the science:  carbon emissions are a serious threat to our nation’s welfare.  I urge you to leave the science to scientists and drop your effort to use legislation to overturn EPA’s endangerment finding.” Releasing the Johnson letter effectively undermined any legitimacy that the polluter-funded attacks on the EPA may have had in asserting that there are no health risks from global warming pollution. As well, overturning the Upton-Inhofe economic “argument” that curbing carbon emissions means the loss of jobs, CERES has just released a new report which specifies that the EPA’s new air pollution rules are expected to create high-skilled and well-paying jobs, nearly 1.5 million over the next five years. So much for “job killing”.At the very least, the next time Sen. Inhofe declares that the “EPA’s regulations will impose enormous costs for no meaningful benefits—in other words, all pain for no climate gain” - tell him he really does need to have scientists attest to his personal claims (or at least have one attend his meetings) - and that you won’t be buying his book.Tags: exxonEnvironmental Protection Agencyhenry a waxmanjames inhofe (R-OK)Bush EPARep. Fred UptonKoch Congress[...]



Inhofe's 3 hour island tour to Copenhagen

Thu, 17 Dec 2009 15:24:03 +0000

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The great leader of the Copendeniers, US Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), showed up on the Danish island of Copenhagen for a fly-by press event here at the international climate treaty.

If the lack of significant media coverage is any indication, it was a waste of time for the lonely fringe Senator from Okalahoma,

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the press conference, as it was organized very last minute. But if I had, these are the questions I would have asked:

1. Given that you are one of the largest recipients of funding from the oil and gas industry in the Senate, I am interested in knowing who paid for your flights over to Copenhagen?

2. Is your former assistant Marc Morano and/or CFACT providing support for your trip here?


3. What do you think of your top climate science adviser, Christopher Monckton, calling young Americans “Nazis” and “Hitler youth”?

4. Why did you not bring any of your Republican Senate colleagues? Your colleagues on Capitol Hill and the media have repeatedly stated that you’re all alone in your stance on climate change. What makes you think you’re in a position to say a US clean energy and climate bill
will never happen?

5. Is it just a coincidence that you get so much money from the oil and coal industry and believe that climate change is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?

I’m not holding my breath that any mainstream media asked a question remotely close to these. After all, this is the same press corp that took the East Anglia leaked email spin job hook, line and sinker.




Marc Morano Jumps the Sinking Inhofe Ship

Fri, 06 Mar 2009 20:51:33 +0000

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Republican spindcotor Marc Morano is leaving his $134,000 post with Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) to start a *groan* “fledgling Web site that will serve as a ‘clearinghouse and one-stop shopping’ for climate and environmental news.”

See you in the real world Morano, you’re going to find it a lot harder to spin your climate change hoax message without the help of the government trough.

Here’s a backgrounder on Morano.




Reading The Climate Change Czars

Sun, 18 Jan 2009 20:46:01 +0000

“Few challenges facing America – and the world – are more urgent than combating climate change…Many of you are working to confront this challenge….but too often, Washington has failed to show the same kind of leadership. That will change when I take office.” So began Barack Obama in a video message addressed to the Bi-Partisan Governors Global Climate Summit just weeks after the election. However, while he supports an 80 percent reduction of emissions by 2050 through a cap and trade bill, Obama’s nominations leave us uncertain of how the new administration intends to take on global warming.   The President-elect’s energy team marks a stark contrast from George W. Bush’s inertia on climate change. Consider Steven Chu, our next Secretary of Energy: As a leading voice in the science community on the dangers of excess CO2, he will be an advocate for the development of alternatives to limit fossil fuel consumption. Likewise, former head of the Environmental Protection Agency Carol Browner will serve as Assistant to the president for energy and climate change. Her appointment makes additional strides toward an aggressive approach because she will coordinate agency climate change policies while balancing economic and national security considerations. Another strong pick is Lisa Jackson to head the EPA who is expected to play a critical role toward establishing cap-and-trade legislation. These nominations demonstrate that science will once again be taken seriously in government. The science team looks equally promising. John Holdren as science advisor provides Obama with an international expert on climate and energy who has long advocated for firm government regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Adding momentum, marine scientist Jane Lubchenco should guide the Commerce department’s focus on climate policy through her role as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Taking stock so far, the forecast looks bright, but do not declare victory quite yet.  There are also signs that the administration could falter when it comes to dealing with global warming in the strongest possible fashion. In particular, Obama’s other high level picks suggest there may be  serious impending battles in the White House over climate policy. Consider economist Lawrence Summers’ appointment as director of the White House National Economic Council. The former Harvard President has taken vocal and controversial positions on the environment, describing the Kyoto protocol as “idealistic and visionary yet impractical, ultimately ineffective and perhaps even counterproductive because of the valuable political capital it consumes.”  He will be the president’s senior economic adviser and supports a carbon or gasoline tax over cap and trade regulation. Summers’ stance on energy decisions and their financial impact may be at odds with others in the Cabinet. Or consider that last week, Cass Sunstein was chosen to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, part of the larger Office of Management and Budget. While the Harvard law professor’s writings support a cap and trade system, his is the office that was accused of taking the lead on assaults to scientific integrity during the Bush Administration. As my colleague Chris Mooney points out, let’s hope he rejects the idea OIRA should be in the business of questioning the scientific determinations made by expert agencies. And it’s not just the administration, it’s also Congress. While global warming may be the world’s greatest threat, the climate in Washington, DC is probably tepid at best toward taking on the massive challenge of emissions policy reform. Our looming economic crisis gets priority this year and change will most likely be achieved by way of developing green technologies and creating green jobs, not sweeping regulatory action.  Emphasis will be placed on achieving less dependence on foreign oil f[...]



Never Mind the Science: Belief in Climate Change Still Largely Dictated by Ideology

Thu, 18 Sep 2008 06:08:24 +0000

“With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it.” – Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), July 28, 2003.Few issues in recent memory have riven the body politic as profoundly as climate change. A matter, which, by all accounts, has long been considered fait accompli by the scientific community, has – to the outside world’s great surprise – remained a point of deep ideological dissent within the United States. Opinion polls taken over the past few years have consistently demonstrated a yawning partisan divide over the issue, with Democrats claiming, often by substantial margins, that the effects of climate change have already begun to manifest. And while the likes of Senator Inhofe certainly exemplify the very worst of climate demagoguery, it is not hard to find others, within government, academic and business circles, who refuse to acknowledge the evidence for man-made climate change – let alone climate change.In a fascinating article published in the latest issue of Environment Magazine, Riley E. Dunlap and Aaron M. McCright, sociologists from Oklahoma State University and Lyman Briggs College, respectively, explore this phenomenon, its origin and its implications for the 2008 presidential election. They trace the roots of this ideological gap to the early 1980s, when the “Reagan Revolution” ushered in a wave of pro-market, anti-environmental policies that helped lay the ground for the full-blown partisan warfare that would erupt during the second Bush administration. Up until then, Republicans and Democrats had worked together to enact some of the most significant pieces of environmental legislation – culminating in a series of landmark bills signed into law by President Nixon during the early 1970s – and had enjoyed a shared responsibility for the stewardship of the country’s natural resources. That all began to change once President Reagan took office, bringing a deep-seated distrust of environmental policy and government intervention to his administration. As Dunlap and McCright note, the divide became particularly noticeable among members of Congress, reaching a new apogee under the tenure of House Speaker Newt Gingrich during the mid-1990s, when he and his colleagues sought to thwart every one of the Clinton administration’s major initiatives. Clinton’s embrace of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 was a watershed moment in environmental politicking, prompting Republicans and their conservative allies in the media to angrily denounce climate science and disavow any evidence suggesting the existence of climate change. This marked the beginning of a long period of ideological jousting during which partisan divisions over climate change only seemed to deepen – this despite the fact that a scientific consensus was growing that climate change was man-made and already underway.     Indeed, the results of a Gallup Poll taken over the last decade show that Republicans have become less likely to believe that the effects of climate change are already taking place – shrinking from 48 to 42 percent. On the other hand, the number of Democrats who hold this belief has steadily increased – growing from 52 to 76 percent. While a slim majority of Republicans now say that there is a scientific consensus on climate change, the authors point out that this percentage has remained virtually static during the last 7 years (strangely coinciding with a certain presidency). More worrying are results indicating that the number of Republicans who believe climate change is man-made has dropped 13 percentage points from 2001 to 2008 (53 to 40 percent). Overall, though the poll findings suggest Americans have become more cognizant of climate change, and generally more concerned about its potential repercussions, they also lay bare the yawning[...]



Echo Chamber: Morano's Distortions Have Staying Power

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 16:31:06 +0000

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Dismissing the risks of global warming as “baseless and undisguised propaganda,” a John Birch Society blogger has pronounced that evidence for climate change is “shoddy,” and that, on the basis of Bjorn Lomborg's (thoroughly discredited) analysis, “a little warming wouldn't be such a bad thing after all.”

None of this is news. At least, none is “new.” The logic for this attack on conservation legislation traces back to the work of Swiftboater Marc Morano, whose flagrant distortions get such good reviews on the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works minority weblog.

This is classic “Echo Chamber” PR: you start with a lie; you pass the lie around; and after you repeat it enough times, it starts to sound like the truth.

In this case, it's hard to know whether the guileless John Bircher is even to blame - hard to know whether she has been sucked in by Morano's sleazy tactics or whether she is consciously part of the campaign to confuse. But there's no question that Morano and his boss, the Senator for Oil and Gas James Inhofe, are in this - consciously - up to their slippery chins. At the risk of sounding like someone who actually believes in government: there oughta be a law.




Newsweek Chronicles the Long, Relentless History of Climate Denialists

Sun, 05 Aug 2007 16:46:53 +0000

If you think those who have long challenged the mainstream scientific findings about global warming recognize that the game is over, think again.  The denial machine is running at full throttle – and continuing to shape both government policy and public opinion.



James Inhofe: The Senator for Suspect Science

Tue, 27 Mar 2007 17:27:04 +0000

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe got so beligerent with former Vice-President Al Gore at the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works last week that new Chair Barbara Boxer had to cut him off (check out the video at the end of this post). That, presumably, is because Senator Inhofe is accustomed to a different quality of input in testimony before this committee. When he was chair, he preferred likeminded lobbyists (Joseph Bast, Heartland Institute, testimony here)) and fiction writers (Michael Chrichton, testimony here) as witnesses to committee hearings.Now, Inhofe is reduced to misleading committee members (and the public) with transparent political stunts. For example, at the 1:19 mark in Gore's testimony (realplayer file), Inhofe unveiled a chart, saying, “There are literally hundreds of scientists on this chart and all these scientists disagree with you [Gore].” Well, that's just not true. Far from “literally hundreds” of names on the chart, we count 88, give or take a couple. At least one name is doubled and another (University of Alberta mathematician Dr. Gordon Swaters) has disavowed the deniers who, at one point, had tricked him into signing a Canadian petition looking for more global warming research.As for their degree of expertise on climate change (or, in some cases, their demonstrated willingness to offer supportive opinions to the tobacco or energy industry), here's a selection of those “scientists” by which to judge. August Auer (retired meteorologist, last published research in 10 years)Nils Axel-Morner (retired, historical earthquake researcher)Sallie Baliunas (affiliated with 9 organizations funded by ExxonMobil)Tim Ball (retired geography professor, has not published any peer-reviewed research in over 10 years)Jack Barrett (has not published any peer-reviewed research in 13 years)Richard Courtney (coal union spokesperson) Christopher Essex (mathematics professor, published one peer-reviewed research article on climate change 16 years ago)Robert Essenhigh (researcher mainly on coal combustion)Lee Gerhard (oil and gas geologist)Vincent Gray (retired, coal researcher)Howard Hayden (retired physicist. last peer-reviewed research published 12 years ago)Zbigniew Jaworowski (retired atomic radiation researcher) William Kininmonth (retired, has not published peer-reviewed research in over 30 years)Hans Labohm (economist) Douglas Leahey (retired oil and gas geologist)Ross McKitrick (economist)Alister McFarquhar (economist)Patrick Michaels (affiliated with 11 organizations receiving funding from ExxonMobil)Al Pekarek (oil exploration consultant)Benny Peiser (3 peer-reviewed research articles, two in sports journal)Ian Pilmer (studies ore deposits)Paavo Siitam (no published peer-reviewed research)Fred Singer (affiliated with 11 organizations funded by ExxonMobil)Gary Sharp (studies tuna)Gordon E. Swaters (probably not very happy to be on this list)George Taylor (meteorologist, published 3 peer-reviewed research articles in last 17 years) Hendrik Tennekes (retired, has not published peer-reviewed research in over 15 years)Gerrit van der Lingen (retired, published peer-reviewed research papers over 20 years ago)David Wojick (coal industry consultant)Tags: James Inhofebarbara boxeral goresenate committee on the environment[...]



James Inhofe: The Senator for Oil and Gas

Thu, 22 Mar 2007 19:04:58 +0000

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James Inhofe, former chair of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works and the leading Republican climate change denier spent more than his fair share of time last week interrupting and abusing former Vice-President Al Gore during a committee hearing.

Partisan politics aside, Inhofe has good reason to fight the climate change message. In the 2002 election cycle, Inhofe received more in donations from the oil and gas sector than any other Senator. According to the latest available election financing data, in the last five years Inhofe has received just over $3.4 million in donations from 20 industry sectors - almost $1 million (29%) is from the Energy/Natural Resources Sector and their respective PACS. The next closest sector is the financial/insurance/retail sector at $464,680 (13%).

Here is a list of the top industry contributors to Sen. Inhofe over the last 5 years:

1. Murray Energy (private coal company)

2. Koch Industries

3. National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

4. Cummins Inc.

5. OGE Energy





Disappointing State of the Union

Wed, 24 Jan 2007 16:37:06 +0000

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It was a night of disappointments as President G.W. Bush delivered his State of the Union Address to the joint Houses of Congress Tuesday.

First, the rumoured White House policy shift on global warming never materialized. It's true that President Bush mentioned climate change for the first time in a State of the Union address, but it was a less-than stirring reference:

“America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. These technologies will help us become better stewards of the environment – and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.”

In fact, in asking Congress to “double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” and to “step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways,” the President seemed to indicate that he would leave no park untramelled in his effort to stay the oily course.

The second disappointment was the First-Ever Live Senate Blog During State of the Union Address, ” that had been advertised by Republican attack dog Marc Morano. Currently the communications aid to Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, Morano is also a former Rush Limbaugh researcher credited with creating the controversial swiftboat veterans attack on Senator John Kerry during the last presidential campaign. Regrettably, Morano came up with nothing so juicy last evening and we had to settle for this tepid policy discussion from Inhofe instead.




Hot Off the Presses: Warmed-over Denial

Mon, 22 Jan 2007 19:00:58 +0000

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The Heartland Institute, one of those think tanks that Exxon may or may not have stopped funding to misrepresent climate science, has this new feature on its Environment & Climate News website. Dated February 1, 2007 (ony 10 days from now), the article is actually an edited version of the tired speech that Senator James Inhofe delivered last year when he was still the Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee.

Wrong then. Wrong now. But with a smaller audience.




Deniers Attack Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen

Fri, 19 Jan 2007 18:01:40 +0000

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The Weather Channel's Heidi Cullen has found herself in a hailstorm of abuse after having had the impertinence to suggest that the science behind climate change is compelling and the deniers are politicizing the issue for their own purposes.

Cullen is a great deal more polite than we have ever been about the flagrant self interest of oil-soaked politicians (Senator James Inhofe), scientists for hire (Pat Michaels) and think tanks that Exxon used to pay (the Competitive Enterprise Institute) to lobby against government regulation. She is also an extremely impressive scientist in her own right.

The viciousness of the attack against her, however, seems to illuminate a cornered-rat reaction among Inhofe, his “pet weasel ” Marc Morano and others who are feeling their ill-earned public support on this issue wane away.

So, bravo Heidi, and stand your ground. We can all use a greater helping of the kind of evidence-based reportage that does not come attached to an oil-industry cheque or a matchbook-college meteorology diploma. 




A little taste of Inhofe's Committee of Misinformation

Tue, 05 Dec 2006 23:12:20 +0000

It is an early Christmas gift indeed to be writing on what will most likely be Sen. Jim Inhofe's last kick at the climate change misinformation can. Tomorrow morning, the Committee for Public Works and the Environment will hear testimony on the media's reporting on the issue of climate change. Thanks to DeSmog's vast information network and army of DeSmog Detectives, we have received advanced copies of the all of the testimony, but I think we'll just give you a teaser today. Attached is the testimony of Dan Gainor who has absolutely no background in climate change and boasts a Master's Degree in Production Design. Mr. Gainor is a staffer at the Business and Media Institute, a subsidiary mouthpiece of the ExxonMobil funded Media Research Centre. The introductory paragraph sets the tone for Gainor's unsubstantiated rant on the unfair treatment fringe scientists get from the media: “Thank you Mr. Chairman, Senators, ladies and gentlemen. We’re here to discuss the media coverage of the climate change debate. But there’s only one problem, there is almost none of that debate actually in the media.” Of course, Gainor is compeletely incorrect according to this 2004 study by actual, real live researchers (attached), who found that, “of 636 stories published by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal between 1988 and 2002. They found that 53 percent of these articles “gave roughly equal attention to the views that humans contribute to global warming and that climate change is exclusively the result of natural fluctuations.” The rest of Gainor's testimony pretty much speaks for itself. Same old song and dance, and hopefully the last for Gainor and his ilk in front of the Senate Committee on the Environment. AttachmentSize Gainor testimony.pdf16.54 KB Boykoff.Boykoff.GEC_.2004.pdf377.93 KB Tags: U.S. Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Worksdan gainorboykoff and boykoff[...]



Inhofe's last stand

Thu, 16 Nov 2006 22:26:20 +0000

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Senator Jim Inhofe, outgoing Chair of the Senate Committee of the Envrionment and Public Works, and one of the most infamous climate change deniers in the GOP Caucus, now claims that the United Nations meeting on climate change currently underway in Nairobi is nothing more than a “brainwashing session.” So what are we to make of this? Who cares? Inhofe will be gone soon and with his diminished status will come a severly diminished voice on the issue of climate change and anything else for that matter. So let Inhofe get in his last outrageous quotes, he is only making himself look sillier and soon enough a new year will ring in and his bully pulpit will be gone.