May 8, 2013

Inhofe comments evidence of larger political problem

James Bright, Managing Editor,
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA — There is no denying that global warming is one of the most disputed and politicized issues of the last two decades. Broach the subject with anyone that has an opinion on climatology, and that person transforms into a highly educated scientist with years of experience conducting weather related experiments.

In fairness, this is how anyone reacts when debating a highly politicized issue. We as a people love our arrogance and love to assume we know more than anyone else. That's certainly the case with me in a debate, and it seems, that's also the case with Senator Jim Inhofe.

At the end of last week, Inhofe released comments claiming our recent cold snap was evidence rebuking the theory of global warming. He manipulated an article from The Economist to aide his argument, and referred to proponents of climatic change as being full of "hot air."

Now, I have no problems with the senator's opinions. Personally, I'm still undecided when it comes to the global warming schism.

However, I don't abide manipulating articles and the words of a prestigious publication to gain support from your constituency.

Inhofe claimed the article stated many climatologists are beginning to reverse their theories on global warming. He never references which article he was paraphrasing directly, but a March Economist article on the topic that I found says no such thing.

It does say, many scientists are confused by a recent increase in greenhouse gas emission and how it correlates with a steady temperature reading over the last decade, but it also says that mystery is not a reason to dispel the theory of global warming.

Inhofe has fallen into a disturbing trend just like many American Politicians. The trend I speak of is what I like to call, "shooting a fly with a bazooka."

We take small isolated issues like, a couple of cold days and automatically assume it contradicts any policy or any science we have to date. I've seen this trend when it comes to gun regulation, marriage equality, regulation of drugs, etc. The list is virtually endless.

Both parties are guilty of this sort of thinking and neither seems to care. There is this attitude in American politics that we must instantly gratify the voting populous regardless of whether it's the right move.

Inhofe has fallen victim to this trend with his recent climatic comments.

Upon reading Inhofe's statements, I went to the Oklahoma Climatological Survey to see if they had any validity.

They didn't, and the scientist I spoke with said the vast majority of climatologists still believe global warming and climate change are real things.

I'm not gloating, but I am trying to get a message across here. Whether it's local, state or federal politicians, local, state or national media, or even the average joe debating a political issue, it's high time we started checking our sources and consulting with experts before making erroneous comments. If we do not, terrible policies and eventual danger are almost certainties for our country and society.