The Inhofe Climate Skeptic Roadshow

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As world leaders gathered in New York this week for a major United Nations summit on climate change, back in Washington, leading Senate global warming skeptic James Inhofe (R-Okla.) has been hard at work lining up a climate “truth squad” to travel to treaty negotiations in Copenhagen this December.

Inhofe told the National Review Online that his squad (he has not yet named any participants) will make it clear to world leaders that although the House passed the Waxman-Markey bill and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will probably approve a bill as well, the United States Congress isn’t going to pass climate legislation anytime soon—no way, no how. The senator, famous for his claim that global warming is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” took a similar group of skeptics to climate change negotiations in Milan, Italy in 2003. “I was the outcast at that time,” Inhofe told NRO. “Now, I want to make sure that those attending the Copenhagen conference know what is really happening in the United States Senate.”

And according to Inhofe, what’s really happening is nothing at all. “There may be enough votes to get a bill out of EPW,” said Inhofe, referring to the Environment and Public Works committee headed by Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), which he chaired until the 2006 Democratic take-over. “[B]ut there is far from enough support in the Senate. The Democrats don’t have the votes. There are too many newly-elected Democrats in the Senate who don’t want to go home and tell voters that they just voted for the largest tax increase in American history.”

Apparently President Barack Obama’s speech to the UN on Tuesday only spurred on Inhofe’s desire to send a truth squad, if only because the address didn’t include enough specifics (which, by the way, is also bugging environmentalists).

“I don’t know what he’s going to do,” said Inhofe. “It’s clear that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do, either.”

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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