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(We need to send the denier/denyer into retirement. Click here to support State Sen. Andrew Rice, who is running against U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe in 2008.)
Oklahoma’s most embarrassing political leader, U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, continues to throw angry fits in committee meetings in an effort to stop discussions over scientific and firsthand information related to global warming.
In yet another bizarre episode in the senator’s personal war against science, Inhofe tried to prevent U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland) from discussing the impact of global warming on the Chesapeake Bay. Mikulski and other Bay area politicians were invited to share information at a recent hearing of the Environment and Public Works Committee, headed by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-California).
Inhofe, who calls global warming a “hoax” created by liberals, is the former head of the committee and one of the main reasons why the country has been late in dealing with the ramifications of climate change. (Even Imperial President George Bush acknowledges global warming and “that human activity is a factor.”)
According to Ryan Grim at Politico, Inhofe objected to allowing Mikulski talk about her recent trip to Greenland’s melting ice sheet, global warming and the effect of climate change on the Chesapeake Bay. He argued there was no precedent for Mikulski to talk and that he would agree with it only if Boxer would promise it was a one-time deviation.
As she did when Inhofe rudely confronted former Vice President Al Gore at a meeting, Boxer had to step up and defend basic commonsense and basic integrity when the 72-year-old Oklahoma politician acted out.
According to Grim, Boxer told Inhofe: “Senator, I’m not going to agree to that. I’m the chairman of this committee and I’ve spoken to you about this. You knew this was coming. I asked Sen. Mikulski to join us. If that’s not enough, I went back to the parliamentarian. There is absolutely no rule that forbids this.”
Grim writes Inhofe became red faced.
As Grim writes, Boxer went on, “It seems to me that we might not agree on this issue – and Lord knows we don’t, but we agree on other things – but we should have a sense of comity. This is a colleague who would bend over backwards for you if you ever asked her for anything. And I am going to ask unanimous consent that we allow Sen. Mikulski to join us today.”
Inhofe, Grim points out, later interrupted Boxer: “It’s an outrage to invite her.”
The larger tragedy here beyond Inhofe’s embarrassing, sophomoric behavior is how Oklahoma’s senior senator continues to do anything he can to prevent serious discussions about global warming.
It is one thing to be a skeptic about the effects of global warming and say so. It is Inhofe’s right to be wrong on one of the most important issues in the world today. But it is simply crazy and dangerous to work actively to suppress information so the public remains unaware of the issue. If global warming does not exist, then any information supporting its reality should be easily challenged, right?
Inhofe’s recent actions bring up the question of whether he possesses the mental stability to serve his country in such a powerful leadership role. A U.S. Senator owes it to all the American people and constituents to allow a full discussion on important issues. A U.S. Senator also owes constituents mature, reasonable behavior.
Fortunately, State Sen. Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma), a true progressive, is running against Inhofe in the 2008 election. Rice will not rubber stamp any particular argument without careful and considered scrutiny, but he will always allow a full discussion about important issues facing Americans.