Oklahomans may well be in shorts and t-shirts grilling their favorite foods this coming Christmas day, but no one will be showing Facebook images of the barbecues on the U.S. Senate floor to prove manmade global warming does, indeed, exist.
No, the right to frame careful scientific studies and measurements based on one-weather event stunts on the Senate floor is the purview of Oklahoma’s own U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, who can be seen in the above video doing what he does best. Inhofe, perhaps the world’s most infamous denier that carbon emissions accelerate global warming, brought a snowball to the Senate floor last February to DISPROVE things are heating up unnaturally on the planet.
The recent warm weather here, the forecast of a Christmas day in the 70s, and, yes, the recent Paris Climate Accord among countries to limit the rise of global warming below 2 degrees Celsius reminded me of Inhofe’s stunt. I think those of us in Oklahoma concerned about global warming should record ourselves on social media enjoying our balmy Christmas day and flood Inhofe’s inbox with the truth.
The truth is that one single weather event doesn’t indicate anything substantial about the overall climate or its patterns or its trajectories over a long period of time. While it’s true that a series of unusual weather events over a long time period can, indeed, contain valuable information about the climate, one snowball or one barbecue in isolation tells us nothing significant.
— ClimateCentral (@ClimateCentral) December 17, 2015
Manmade global warming through carbon emissions is simply a fact. Carbon emissions accelerate the greenhouse effect. This increases the planet’s overall temperature artificially and leads to the melting of arctic ice, rising sea levels and severe weather events, such as prolonged droughts. Rising sea levels are already putting some coastal cities on the brink of disaster, which could lead to massive population displacement around the world.
Here are the top ten warmest years on record since 1998, according to Climate Central. Scientists predict 2015 will soon become the warmest year ever recorded and that 2016 will be even warmer. See, it’s a trend, but even that alone doesn’t necessarily prove the earth is warming unnaturally, but combine that trend with melting ice sheets, ice-sheet dating, rising seas and the results of lab experiments and field studies in forests and other habitats, among other evidence, and what emerges is a grim future for the planet.
So here’s a great infographic from The New York Times about the Paris Climate Accord that emerged from the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
Inhofe, the chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, criticized the agreement primarily on the basis that it was non-binding on the countries that signed off on it, but his underlying reason is that he believes global warming is a “hoax” among liberal scientists to destroy the fossil fuel industry. This is his well-known position. I don’t even feel the need anymore to cite evidence on this point.
According to Inhofe:
The news remains the same. This agreement is no more binding than any other “agreement” from any conference of the parties over the last 21 years.
I’m no big fan of the columnist Thomas L. Friedman, but he praised the accord under the headline “Paris Climate Accord Is a Big, Big Deal,” and he also added this:
The only important holdout in the world to this deal is the U.S. Republican Party. I wouldn’t care about such cave men — as one sign borne by a Paris demonstrator said, “Dinosaurs didn’t believe in climate change either,” and it didn’t end well for them — except that one of these knuckleheads could be our next president and mess this up.
I’ll go with Friedman on this one, and you know what? It might not even be as warm here on Christmas as forecasted, and that won’t mean anything substantial within the overall science of climate change.