Good god, but Inhofe is an idiot

He tried to argue that global warming is a hoax, because it snows in February.

But, I thought, climate and weather are two different things…but climate change does not mean we’ll have year-long uniformity of temperature…but winter is colder than other seasons…but…

But there is no point to arguing with this guy. He’s the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and he’s a goddamn useless moron.

Oklahomans, I’m looking at you all squinky-eyed. Can you please do something about this? A petition is a nice start, but I think you’ve got to un-elect him.


  1. carlie says

    I read a good retort to that yesterday, which, while it doesn’t quite hold up as a tight analogy, is nonetheless pithy and biting:

    “Right. And I just ate a full meal, so global hunger doesn’t exist”.

  2. DataWrangler says

    Maybe someone could shoot a Glock in the Senate chambers to demonstrate that there’s not a gun problem either.

  3. Joey Maloney says

    Idiot, or whore (no offense to all the honorable sex workers out there)? And does it matter?

  4. says

    Inhofe tossed the melting snowball to an aide, while making a comment about throwing it at President Obama. “So, Mr. President, catch this,” […]

    […] Senate Republicans recently decided that the guy who thinks snow is proof against climate change should be the chairman of the Senate Environment Committee.

    In other words, the GOP majority, recently elected by the public, is convinced Mr. Snowball should help oversee Senate policymaking when it comes to the environment. […]

    Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Thursday panned Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-Okla.) use of a snowball during a speech on climate change.

    Whitehouse used his iPad to argue that a polar vortex was bringing cold air down to Washington in part because of warmer ocean temperatures. He said that you could either believe “every major American scientific society,” the Navy, NASA, and Pope Francis that climate change is real or “you can believe the senator with the snowball.” […]


  5. Mobius says

    Unfortunately, my fellow Oklahomans will vote for the village idiot as long as he is registered Republican.

  6. anteprepro says

    On evolution: “That’s microevolution, not macroevolution!”
    On climate: “IT SNOWED! WARMTH DOES NOT EXIST!!!!!”

  7. kosk11348 says

    It’s amazing to hear him weaselly refer to the fact that 2014 was the hottest on record as something “we keep hearing about,” like it’s some internet rumor and not a confirmed measurement. Thermometers were invented 500 years ago ffs.

  8. robro says

    I’ve signed that a petition in a heart beat. He’s not an idiot, though. He’s a well-paid shill for the energy industry, which as I understand from my Oklahoman partner is a big deal there. He’s doubling down in the face of the revelations about Willie Soon because the Koch’s et al have the money to keep the ball alive, and they will.

  9. iknklast says

    Between Inhofe and Sally Kern, Oklahoma is undoing any progress it might have made toward moving into the 20th century (forget about the 21st).

  10. anteprepro says


    It’s amazing to hear him weaselly refer to the fact that 2014 was the hottest on record as something “we keep hearing about,”

    Let me escalate the levels of amazement here:
    – He is complaining about how he “keeps hearing about” something that could have, at most, only been talked about for 6 months.
    – He is complaining about he “keeps hearing about” this while using the same inane fucking “cold winters ergo no global warming” we have heard and have heard refuted and explained a million times before.

  11. unclefrogy says

    what is he going to say when Oklahoma is suffering with a record breaking heat wave and drought? What will he say to the voters then? Will it be this summer?
    uncle frogy

  12. twas brillig (stevem) says

    Must he continually demonstrate that he does not understand the distinction between “weather” and “climate”? Is he mocking the Senators who made him chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee? I’m not saying he isn’t doing that, but he clearly is not a person to be near that committee. I suppose it is much too complex to try to explain, to Inhoffe (who’s not a scientist, but…) how Global Warming produces MORE snow, not less.
    ?? Inhoffe ==> Influffle ??

  13. justanotherguy says

    James “Dunning-Kruger” Inhofe needs to stand in the streets of Miami that now flood at high tide to throw his snowball at Obama. At least that might get him to switch from “climate change isn’t happening” to “climate change is not being caused by man” like his slimier compatriots have already done.

  14. Ted Lawry says

    He’s NOT crazy, he’s corrupt. He’s showing the oil companies that he is willing to make a fool out of himself supporting their agenda, so they should have no qualms about funding him, because he will never back down. Jesse Helms made a national fool out of himself opposing Martin Luther King day, for the same reason. It is all about the money.

  15. twas brillig (stevem) says

    I need to get nasty. “It’s all about the money”, is a current free pass, to account for somebody’s contrarian attitude, I do not mean to be ableist, but can’t it sometimes be that some people who are Wrong, just can’t admit their wrongness, so double-down and go even further? Is corruption the only thing that Inhofe is doing, I need evidence that he is a good thinker and Koch is paying him to go off the rails. ———-
    oh dear, mea culpa, never mind….

  16. llewelly says

    Actually, Inhofe’s act is part of a long running and highly effective propaganda campaign. It’s completely illogical, but it’s great propaganda; the argument “global warming is a hoax because it snowed in February” has a track record of success extending back to the late 1980s.

    He’s not an “idiot”; he is in fact extremely good at manipulating the politics of many issues to favor his interests, even when the facts are entirely against him.

    Inhofe knows that most of the public does not have the educational or logical tools recognize his showmanship as the terrible argument it is – and that’s why he’s also steadfastly opposed to education.

    Fact is, they’ve created fertile ground for their terrible arguments by consistently attacking education at every turn (all too often supported by certain Democrats, like Ted Kennedy), and that’s why their horrible ideas thrive in our society.

    It’s very common for science educators to see bad arguments, and then, leap to the conclusion that the people making those arguments must be “stupid” or “idiots”. But in this they show thier inability to understand the fact that bad arguments are often extremely successful propaganda. Science educators are really good at underestimating the power of bad arguments.

    (If you don’t believe this, try watching advertising; nearly every advertisment is a really terrible argument as to why you should buy the product. But that doesn’t change the fact that advertising is a hugely successful multi-billion dollar industry.)

  17. johnmarley says

    I watched that, but all I could hear was Inhofe saying “I don’t understand how climate works.”

  18. unclefrogy says

    something else about advertising that is often over looked. Most advertising is not that successful in selling the particular product per se.
    It works to feed need in the audience for things in general things that will satisfy that need. It does not work alone in isolation but is designed to work in an environment that is saturated with advertizing so by stimulating need they hope to get some fraction of the consumers to reach for the clients product.
    Here is a question what is he and the rest of the republican fools and frauds selling actually? They all seem to hit on various aspects of anti-intellectualism and anti-elites.
    uncle frogy

  19. Pseudonym says

    llewelly @20:

    Fact is, they’ve created fertile ground for their terrible arguments by consistently attacking education at every turn (all too often supported by certain Democrats, like Ted Kennedy), and that’s why their horrible ideas thrive in our society.

    I assume you’re referencing Kennedy’s support for No Child Left Behind? I don’t think his motivation for supporting that was to get a less educated populace, but as a compromise to get more federal funding for education in return for allowing standardized testing. Incidentally, Inhofe was for NCLB before he was against it.

  20. komarov says

    The correct respone would have been to blow a truckload of dust back at him, seeing how the the part of the US that isn’t buried in snow is plagued by record droughts. “Yes, thank you, senator, we’ll take that under advisement. By the way, my freezer is cold, too. What do you think are the possible ramifications of this for our planet’s climate over the next century?”

  21. Lofty says

    Inhofe knows that, for most of his target audience, the world indeed ends just outta sight of their local district. When you shovel the snow off your sidewalk into small mountains it can be very difficult to see very far.

    Perhaps he could put the snowball in his concealed carry holster and do a US tour, demonstrating how cold his soul really is.

  22. Menyambal says

    He said it was “unseasonably cold”. Well for some of us, the current weather is what used to be seasonal 30 years ago. Seriously, the freakishly cold weather right here, right now, is back to what it used to be when I was in high school – we owned sleds, and used to go play on the ice on the pond. Global warming is so much a part of our lives that we are now taking it for granted, and regard what used to be standard as bizarre. And, as has been said, the warming is only a degree or three, but the disruption is real.

    Calling it “warming”, and then pointing at snow, is blatantly wrong. I think this guy is either lying through his teeth, for the money, or is off in a closed information loop – possibly both.

  23. Ragutis says

    I think Colbert said it best: “Global Warming isn’t real because I was cold today! Also, great news: World Hunger is over because I just ate.”

  24. What a Maroon, oblivious says

    He’s a well-paid shill for the energy industry, which as I understand from my Oklahoman partner is a big deal there.

    I suspect (or at least hope) that Oklahomans’ trust in the energy industry has been shaken by the recent epidemic of fracking-induced earthquakes in the state.

    And, in my rosier moments, I hope that this will make them skeptical of climate skeptics.

  25. says

    #20, llewelly – What you said. I was going to write something similar but you already expressed the main point – it’s not Inhofe that is such an idiot (although he is clearly ignorant) but that he knows how to manipulate the people who are, pretty much like televangelists. And being an obvious shill for oil interests is clear but what I wonder is what he really thinks is going to happen to his grandchildren, his dirty money may not protect them for the kinds of societal collapse AGW can bring.

  26. says

    My part of Minnesota has been warmer than normal. We had above freezing temperatures in January and February, which is unusual.

    Was unusual; I guess it’s going to be the new normal.

  27. rogue74656 says

    If you think HE’s bad you should see who we elect to STATE office. **cough, cough** Sally Kern….

    ’twas brillig–here’s your proof:
    starting about 4:08 he admits he rejects the science because of the cost….
    Maybe put him in charge of Homeland Security so he can disbelieve in terrorism and we can get rid of airport security!

  28. Acolyte of Sagan says

    Look at the expression on the face of the woman sat behind Inhofe*. There’s a barely suppressed derisory smirk if ever I saw one. It would probably be fair to summise that fifty percent of the people in that picture possess about ninety percent of the IQ points.

    *I first read ‘Inhofe’ as ‘Inhole’, which would explain why he keeps digging.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I always get a laugh from the stupid folks who don’t understand the difference between weather and climate. Get back to me in thirty year Inhofe, with global data for thirty years; that is climate. What is happening today, where we by the lake, who are normally warmer than PZ, are colder than PZ *glares toward Morris*, is weather.

  30. says

    Inhofe is thinking like a conservative politician. Journalist “Hunter” hit the nail on the head in a recent essay where he explained the relationship of science and knowledge to conservatism:

    […] a hallmark of the modern conservative movement, including punditry, elected officials, and the base itself, is that science and knowledge is only valuable to the extent to which it can shore up conservative beliefs.

    A historian is a “proper” historian if their history produces a perceivable conservative message. A work of art is “good” if it embraces a conservative position, and is “bad” if it is seen to promote a liberal one (often resulting in calls to remove the offending artwork – say, a historical mural depicting workers, etc.)

    A climate study is considered credible if it produces a conservative result, and is considered a conspiracy if it produces a perceived “liberal” one – which is to say, a result that a conservative listener does not like. The credentials of said scientists do not come into play, nor does the relevant process of peer review, nor does the relative scope of one study versus another: all of those things can be dismissed outright.


  31. says

    Another example of thinking like a conservative:

    […] Now we’re in 2015 and guns are being banned and the ammo market was messed with effectively and our health care has been taken over and now our internet has been taken over. […] And if you trust the government then you have more work to do intellectually than I thought. If you really in your gut believe it, “We’re from the government, we’re here to help.” […] If you really believe that, after Solyndra, after Obamacare, after Benghazi, after the IRS targeting, after illegal immigration, after Fast and Furious, after Brian Williams, after Chris Matthews, after Al Sharpton, after the head of the VA, if you really believe the government is here to help, wow you are far gone.

    […] If you believe that, you are one of those people that stood — you were in the farm country or the fields of Germany and train cars of human beings would go by, because that’s how Germany did it. […] “Oh my gosh hes doing it again, hes comparing Barack Obama to Hitler.” Not at all. What I’m comparing is, I’m comparing people in 2015 who nod in agreement and believe the government are as if worse, from a gullibility standpoint, than the people who ignored the train cars. There were people that saw those train cars. […]

    […] as my grandfather used to say, bad things happen? The government makes bad things happen.

    That’s Ken Matthews, a conservative radio host from Harrisburg, PA, speaking on WHP-AM.

  32. says

    This is cross posted from the Lounge:

    Here’s some sort of good news: Wyoming is set to allow their educational system to discuss human contribution to climate change (Wyoming legislators had previously blocked this aspect of science education).

    The Wyoming legislature on Thursday passed a bill that would allow the state board of education to consider the Next Generation Science Standards, which acknowledge man-made climate change.

    The bill, which now heads to Gov. Matt Mead’s (R) desk, reverses the legislature’s budget amendment in 2014 that blocked the board from adopting the standards. Wyoming lawmakers originally opposed the standards because they acknowledge climate change […]

    Sen. Eli Bebou (R) added an amendment to the Senate version of the bill that would have required the state Board of Education to develop “science standards that are unique to Wyoming.” The House rejected the amendment, and the two chambers eventually agreed on the bill that passed on Thursday. […]

    Let’s hope the Republican Governor does veto the new bill. Utah recently set a bad example by putting Next Generation Standards on hold due to concerns over climate change. West Virginia approved the standards last year, but originally included edits to the standards that cast doubt on the science behind climate change. In January, the Virginia board removed the language from the standards that questioned global warming.

  33. whheydt says

    I kind of have to wonder what Inhofe would make of the fact that my father, as a child, regularly went ice skating on the Hudson River off the middle of Manhattan. When was the last time the Hudson froze over with thick enough ice to skate on safely? (Mind you, the change may have more to do with NYC being a major “heat island” than is does with AGW, but that heat island effect is definitely a human artifact.)

  34. Anri says

    whheydt @ 39:

    (Mind you, the change may have more to do with NYC being a major “heat island” than is does with AGW, but that heat island effect is definitely a human artifact.)

    No, no, y’see, that’s microheating, not macroheating, which are totally different things. It’s not like you could just look at a whole lot of separate isolated completely-unrelated-because-reasons instances of microheating and assume things in general are heating up. That’s not how heating works.
    That’s why ovens with multiple gas burners can’t bake bread. Everyone knows that.

  35. Dark Jaguar says

    What an embarrassment. I’m not sorry though, because how could I be? I didn’t vote for him. Fat lot of good that does. This state is gerrymandered like… someone took a snake and cut it up or something. (Someone should draw that analogy.) Even without the gerrymandering though, it’s still got a strong republican side that’ll always vote for this idiot, just because he’s got an (R) next to his name on the voting slip.

    Frankly, I think they ought to eliminate party affiliation entirely from the state ballot, and not have an option to “straight ticket” vote. People will actually be forced to vote their conscious.

    Mind you, you don’t get enough information to make an informed opinion at the poll, and they don’t do a thing to actually give you a little privacy like you see on TV. There’s no “booths” at all. I go in thinking I’ve got it all, then I find half a dozen issues specifically to my county that I’ve got basically NO knowledge of. I’m not gonna lie, I just sorta… wing it on those ones. I might toss in a google search on my phone, but ultimately a number of those judge votes just end up with me going “well, I’ll just vote out all of them”.

    It’s not pretty, but it’s how it generally happens. I never seem to know enough beforehand (that’s… kinda how I live my life in general). Point is, our state has fractal issues, at every conceivable resolution something screws up my ability to make an informed vote that matters.