Monday, August 4, 2014

Dissecting An Anti-Global Warming Crackpot: Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK)

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NASA imagery
Satellite image of Arctic at point of maximal Arctic melting. Increasing warmth in the Arctic is destabilizing the polar vortex causing cold to  intermittently spill southward into North America

Let’s admit that considering all the morons who know little or nothing about climate change,  the potential for education (or re-education) is minimal - given most have likely never even taken a high school physics course.  This is important because if they had taken such a course, they’d at least know the differences between heat and temperature, radiation and conduction, as well as between weather and climate.  At the very least, we’d expect them to be familiar with fundamental physical principles such as entropy (2nd law of thermodynamics),  and not to be running their gums off making criticisms they can’t support and which problems at root they have little insight into.

Even granted all this, it still leaves a ‘grade A’ asshole like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) as a standout among the morons inhabiting the country – given this joker is actually a so- called “leader”.    How stupid is this asshole? Inhofe is probably the most vocal global warming denier in the US Congress, and has virtually declared War on Science in the process. According to Inhofe, anthropogenic global warming is "the second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state."  Is he serious? Evidently! Also evidently – they teach history as poorly in Okieland as they do science.

If not they’d have been cognizant that the “wall of separation of church and state” – while not explicitly in the Constitution, was formulated by Jefferson in his (1802) letter to Danbury Baptists:

“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."

It thereby became an unspoken, unwritten principle that has been practiced on many judicial levels since.

Why am I picking on this cornpone,  cornball fool? Well, because he’s once more stepped into a mammoth clump of cowshit regarding global warming (which I will get to) and likely is too dumb to even know it. Recall, Inhofe is one of the leading global warming deniers in Congress, and is well known for having called global warming  "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."  Which makes one wonder if this Okie yokel even knows the definition of “hoax”. Sure, it’s a one syllable word but even those can give a dimwit fits and Inhofe fits the bill.   He is also one of the Republican Party's leaders in the culture wars and is why many of those with similar IQ love to jump on his bandwagon.

Even before he became one of the biggest, proudest global warming deniers Inhofe already made a name for himself as noted by “Rational Wiki”. Thus, “in the hours following the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Inhofe made a statement on TV that pissed off a lot of federal employees. When asked about casualties, he said that he doubted that there would be many because, since the federal offices opened at 9 a.m., most of the employees would probably still be somewhere else drinking coffee” (The bombing occurred at 9:02 a.m.)

This was after a building had been blown up by a domestic terrorist named Timothy McVeigh  in April, 1995 killing 168 innocent people and injuring 680 others. It shows clearly the level of assholinity at work in this troll’s brain – making you wonder how a state could  be so clueless (i.e. have so many clueless, lamo voters) as to catapult him into any position above dog catcher.

Back to global warming!

Reading things he’s said about global warming  is like  perusing a denier’s playbook of nonsense” according to one Slate piece on him. Readers can check them out to see if they agree.

This brings us to his more recent anti-global warming nonsense. His most recent exhibition occurred barely days ago (July 30) and some readers may recall the context. That is, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) had submitted a resolution simply acknowledging that global warming exists and poses a threat to the interests of the United Stateswhich it does, on both counts.

But it was all too much for Inhofe who saw to it the resolution was scrapped – since as usual it didn’t get the absurd 60-vote filibuster proof majority- thanks to the Repukes siding with Inhofe’s denial. After the Dem’s failed effort, Inhofe  came unhinged with his usual claptrap against global warming and calling it a “hoax” and a “waste of money”.

Inhofe’s action was so egregious, that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) took to the floor and magnificently schooled him on reality.

But Inhofe’s shenanigans echoed his stance from back in January this year, when – after the polar vortex had made itself known (bringing sub-freezing temperatures to much of the nation) he promptly jumped onto the bandwagon of the ignorant dolts by proclaiming global warming was “therefore laughable” because no predictions based on it squared with the extreme cold temperatures.

He must have forgotten or never processed that-  as originally proposed by Prof. Gunther Weller (of the Geophysical Institute)  more than 25 years ago, a polar vortex  (Weller called it  a stable polar cyclone  existed and was subject to instability as the Arctic warmed. Weller was one of the first to predict back in 1986, when I was also at the Geophysical Institute in Fairbanks, AK, that the Arctic would warm up to 7F faster than the rest of North America. His predictions have since been borne out.

Also, with increased warming in the Arctic we’ve seen the circulation in the vortex weakened and the vortex’s cold spill southward – discharging energy and creating the record breaking cold observed by much of the nation last winter. We’ve seen some of the same dynamic at work this summer when much lower than average temperatures penetrated far south (with the jet stream) into the Midwest – sending lows into the 30s. A typhoon that struck Japan also was partly to blame, but the general Arctic instability contributed to the Jet stream’s extraordinary downflow.

It’s become a Republican mantra to say, “I’m not a scientist  as if that gives them license to sputter any idiotic bollocks  they want. But the proper response to a statement like that is what Charlie Crist, gubernatorial candidate for Florida, said: “I'm not a scientist either, but I can use my brain and I can talk to one.”  DOH!

And the most aggravating nonsense is the repeated claim, as from the likes of Inhofe and his denier lackeys,  that “there’s no evidence for global warming” Really?  Then how account for the scores of receding, melting glaciers? Images and videos not long ago made available as in this  PBS program, see:

But these knuckleheads would likely merely assert that “PBS is in on it” , i.e. gaming us with fake footage created in a CGI lab, and are part of the "global warming conspiracy” that Inhofe and his lot believe in. What this conspiracy is all about I have no idea, but it seems to be something along the lines of spending lots of money on more science and less on energy (i.e. allowing the oil drillers to take over the whole country and turn it into a shit pile between the natural gas and oil shale fracking)

How does Inhofe get away with this? Easy! Because like most rabid deniers and anti-science buffoons in congress he’s hugely funded by the oil industry.  In this way the idea of unjustified doubt is sown among a public that largely lacks a science background. We call this agnotology. Derived from the Greek 'agnosis' - the study of culturally constructed ignorance- it is achieved primarily by deliberately sowing doubt for political or economic ends. The agnotologist and his ilk succeed once the following trope is emitted and embraced by the power structure, as well as ill-informed citizens:

There is still so much uncertainty, we shouldn’t invest money to solve the climate problem,’

 As "evidence" that global warming is a hoax Inhofe has cited the Oregon Petition, and he persists in saying that there is a scientific consensus that climate is getting cooler. In 2010, he said that “I don’t think that anyone disagrees with the fact that we actually are in a cold period that started about nine years ago.”

However, I have skewered this BS multiple times, e.g.

The media often talk blithely and disparagingly of “conspiracy theorists” – but there is perhaps no bigger one than Jim Inhofe. (And we are talking nutso conspiracy theories here, not valid ones like the JFK conspiracy!) For example, in an address to The Washington Briefing: 2006 Values Voter Summit Inhofe asserted that global warming is a conspiracy cooked up by the UN to destroy America and in his own words climate science "kind of reminds ... I could use the Third Reich, the Big Lie ...”

Forget for the moment if his analogies were correct, and the EPA really was the “Gestapo” Inhofe would be sitting in a concentration camp about now. It shows he knows about as much of the Third Reich as he does solar magnetohydrodynamics.

Who’s involved in this massive conspiracy of Inhofe’s? It seems to vary almost with each time he yaps about it.  On one occasion the fool blamed it on George Soros,  but later he appears to have added Michael Moore and to the list of people who are really behind the alleged climate change hoax. At least he’s consistent in picking out ‘small fry’ to be behind such an enterprise, given that 96.2 percent of all climate scientists support its reality!

What we can conclude based on Inhofe's illustrious history and connection with the most retrogressive elements of society, is that the man is a waste of space. We can only hope that eventually Oklahomans come to their senses and dispatch this cracker crackpot to the retirement he so justly merits.

See also:



Unknown said...

In response to dissecting Jim Inhofe. There is a lot I don't agree with Jim on but he is right on the climate change hoax. The world has been warmer than the present for most of the last 10.000 years. In fact we are entering an ice age. The person who was highly critical of Jim is in for a very embarrassing future. In fact he represents the village idiot.

Copernicus said...

ICE AGE? Are you blooming' blind? The evidence all around from collapsing ice shelves to melting glaciers shows WARMING! NO ICE AGE HAS EVER OCCURRED when the CO2 concentration is 250 ppm or greater and we are now at 390 and increasing! Projections show solar insulation increasing due to the CO 2 effect and the concentration increasing at a rate of 2 ppm./yr.

You (and that idiot Inhofe) need to read John Eddy's work also showing refer to the attached graph, showing the radiocarbon C-14 excess over C-12 over a 2,000 year period. In general, C14 is produced in the upper atmosphere via the impact –interaction with high energy cosmic rays, say from galactic sources. Solar activity in turn modulates the intensity of these cosmic rays via the action of the heliosphere which deflects a fraction of the intense cosmic ray flux and other harmful interstellar radiation.

At times the Sun is more active, so also will the heliosphere be stronger, shielding the Earth from more intense cosmic rays the effect of which is to reduce the C14 produced in the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Conversely, when the Sun is less active – as it’s been from 2000- 2008 then the shield is weaker and more intense cosmic rays penetrate to our upper atmosphere yielding more C14 produced. It follows from this that if a record could be obtained of the ratio of say C14 to C12 then one would have a proxy indicator of cosmic ray activity as it influences our atmosphere and climate, for any time (With the C14 to C12 ratio extracted from tree rings or other plant tissue). Thus cosmic ray intensity will be seen to be modulated by the C14:C12 ratio, and the lower this ratio the lower the putative intensity.

Fortuitously, a 2000-year record of C14:C12 deviations has been compiled by P.E. Damon ('The Solar Output and Its Variation' anthropogenic warming as the prime contributor (i.e. that increasing radiocarbon (C14) is downward and indicated with (+). The deviations in parts per thousand are shown relative to an arbitrary 19th century reference level.)

Also, FYI, ice core analysis now show warming has never been greater for the last 180 kY. You, like Inhofe, are allowed your own opinions, but not facts.

On that note, this issue is closed! The 'village idiots' are those like Inhofe and those who follow him.

Copernicus said...

This blog post amplifies the remarks made earlier and references the graph I alluded to: