Republican Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma on Wednesday used debate over extending unemployment insurance to claim that climate change was really a harmless act of God.
“It is a little bit humorous to me that we are talking about extending unemployment benefits in the midst of one of the most intense cold fronts in American history,” he said on the Senate floor. “I saw one newscaster yesterday who said: If you are under 40, you have not seen this stuff before. It has to make everyone question — and I am going to tie this together — whether global warming was ever real.”
Inhofe accused the Obama administration of enacting costly environmental regulations based on flawed climate science. He claimed overregulation was to blame for the high rates of unemployment.
“That is what makes global warming so important to mention as we debate the extension of unemployment benefits. If we want to improve our employment figures, what we need to do is stop the onslaught of environmental regulations that have come out during this Obama presidency.”
Inhofe provided a lengthy list of anecdotes of environmental advocates and climate change researchers facing troublesome winter weather.
“It is interesting that we have often seen global warming related to events affected by unseasonable or unusually cold weather,” he remarked. “Often, this has occurred whenever Al Gore has been involved in an event.”
Inhofe also cited an article in the scientific journal Nature that stated recent climate data “suggests a temporary ‘hiatus’ in global warming.”
He then suggested that climate change was actually a natural act of God.
“Let’s go back. When you look back in history, and you look at these cycles, you have to come to the conclusion that God is still up there,” Inhofe remarked.
The Oklahoma Republican claimed that global temperatures had warmed and cooled in cycles, starting with a cooling period in 1895 and a warming period in 1918. That cycle was followed by another cooling period starting in 1945 and a warming period starting in 1975.
“Well, what is happening now… it is now to the point where that has reversed and we are going into another one of these [cooling] cycles.”
Inhofe is a ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.