Outgoing Environment and Public Works Committee chair Sen. James Inhofe (R-Ok) has sallied forth once again with his chorus of denials that global warming is a scientific fact, this latest in a special report on Fox News.
Inhofe, in his last gasp as committee chair, held hearings specifically to “turn up the heat on media coverage of global warming” and expose “the hype of global warming and what causes it.” In its coverage of the hearings on December 6, Fox correspondent Molly Henneberg aired the outgoing chair’s false claim that “it was warmer in the ‘30s than it is today” along with his ungrounded assertion that “it was warmer in the 15th century than it is today.”
In fact, NASA‘s Goddard Institute for Space Studies’ average global mean surface temperatures data demonstrate that Inhofe’s 1930s claim is false, while a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report, released in June, appears not to support Inhofe’s assertion that “it was warmer in the 15th century than it is today.”
According to the NAS report, “presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900.”
Inhofe has called called global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” As Media Matters has documented, however, organizations representing thousands of scientists share the consensus view that, according to the June 2006 NAS report, “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming” of the planet.
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who will take over as chair of the committee in January, indicated on Fox News that she’s not buying Inhofe’s argument either. Boxer has called global warming “a potential crisis of a magnitude we’ve never seen,” saying one of her goals as chair is to press for mandatory caps on industrial carbon dioxide emissions.
Said Boxer: “We can’t, as policymakers, it seems to me, turn our backs on the overwhelming scientific evidence and opinion.”