Sometimes you just can't resist the urge to start a snowball fight.
In discussing recent reports of 2014 being the warmest year on record, Oklahoma Sen. James M. Inhofe pulled out a snowball on the floor and tossed it at the presiding officer, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
“Because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair, do you know what this is?” Inhofe asked before revealing a fist-sized snowball packed together from the white stuff on the Capitol grounds.
Tossing the snowball to a staffer, Inhofe registered his disagreement with NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration studies.
“So, it’s very, very cold out,” Inhofe concluded. “Very unseasonable.”
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, who came to the floor after Inhofe’s presentation to participate in a colloquy about trade, couldn’t help but offer his thoughts.
“First of all, that’s not the only measure,” the Rhode Island Democrat said, adding that sea level rise — from Alaska to his home state — as well as changes to ocean temperatures and pH balances are evidence of the planet's warming.
Whitehouse also noted the planet’s temperature changes, which NASA maps via its Earth Now app, show the District’s cold weather is in large part because the ocean is warming offshore.
“So not only does the continued existence of snow not disprove global warming, if you actually know what’s going on and take the least bit of effort to understand it, you would see that it’s completely consistent with global warming as it is understood by scientists like those from NASA,” Whitehouse said.
Inhofe said he agrees the climate is changing. But there’s little man can do to change that, he says, and government efforts to regulate pollutants such as carbon are an attempted power grab.
Inhofe acknowledged the Obama administration also has scientists supporting its claims but said they’re being used to scare Americans into accepting his “extreme climate change agenda.”
Whitehouse defended NASA’s climate watchers. “NASA is pretty capable,” he said. “They are driving a rover around on Mars right now.”
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