Democratic viewpoints on politics, policy and activism

Inhofe, Newspaper Deny Ice Storm Reality

( – promoted by DocHoc)

The prevailing political partnership between U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe and The Daily Oklahoman will lead to even more severe ice storms like the one Oklahoma experienced last week.

This is because the state’s largest newspaper continues to support Inhofe and his wild claims denying the impact of climate change on the state and nation. (Click on the image to the right.  An Inhofe interview comes on in about two minutes.)  Meanwhile, a state climatologist, Derek Arndt, said last week’s ice storm was part of a pattern produced by warmer winters in Oklahoma. In past decades, the ice might have turned to snow-far less dangerous and destructive than ice-before falling to the ground.

Last week’s storm was blamed for the deaths of 23 people here.  More than 600,000 people were without power at one point.  About 125,000 people still remain without power.  The storm killed or damaged thousands of trees in the state.

Inhofe and the newspaper’s editorial board do not get it, and the state will obviously suffer through frequent, horrific ice storms in the future because of it.

As everyone in the world knows, Inhofe has called global warming a hoax, and he continues to deny that climate change is caused at least partially by carbon emissions.  Reputable scientists throughout the world argue otherwise. The evidence is overwhelming. Inhofe, with the newspaper’s tacit approval, will not even engage in an intelligent conversation about it.  It seems perfectly fitting he represents a state that is probably experiencing more destructive storms caused by global warming than anywhere else in the nation right now.

The Oklahoman actually published an editorial today (“Nobel cause: Gore’s triumphs heat warming debate,” December 17, 2007) that argues global warming and the causes for it are abstract arguments, not reality.  Here is a paragraph that represents the mentality of the newspaper and Inhofe on the issue:

“So is Gore right, or does he wield the biggest megaphone? Are humans causing global warming, or does that notion have exaggerated acceptance because so many environmentalists, activists and government bureaucracies are pushing it – with philosophically aligned, awards-giving groups like the Nobel committee and Hollywood following them?”

What makes this editorial especially appalling is that it comes at a time when thousands of Oklahomans are still without electricity after suffering through a storm experts say was ultimately caused by warmer winters.  The ignorance here is almost suffocating.  Instead of looking into the issue of warmer winters in Oklahoma, the state’s largest newspaper and Inhofe sink further into the right-wing abyss of paranoia and conspiracy theories.

What if Inhofe and the newspaper would have promoted an active response to global warming starting ten, twenty years ago?  Would this recent ice storm have even occurred? These are good questions to ask.

The Oklahoman is a huge monopoly still operated by the Gaylord family.  Its publisher, Christy Gaylord Everest, is the daughter of the late Edward L. Gaylord, who turned the newspaper into a propaganda ministry for extremists in the Republican Party during the 1980s.  There is very little you can do to fight this monopoly, which is mostly despised throughout the state.

But you can fight to unseat Inhofe.  State Sen. Andrew Rice (D-Oklahoma) is running against Inhofe in the 2008 election.  Rice will consider the evidence for global warming and determine, along with experts in the field, the best course of action for the state and nation. He will take a serious and intelligent look at how the state’s warmer winters are causing more of these terrible and deadly ice storms.  Is there anything we can do?