11 August 2003
Speaking of overheated gases
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), in an effort to nail down some point or other on global warming, offered a quote from science writer (and blogger) David Appell. By the now-nefarious process of Dowdification, he managed to totally misrepresent Appell's point.
What Appell had said was this:
The latest scientific assessment, the 2001 IPCC Third Assessment Report (which, yes, has broad consensus in the scientific world), projects that the globally averaged surface temperature will increase by 2.5 to 10 deg F by the year 2100. A temperature change near the top of this range will seriously threaten the very concept of civilization.
Inhofe, or more likely his handlers, eliminated the qualification "near the top of this range" and substituted the term "global warming", which served his putative purpose of making scientific types like Appell look like alarmists. For those of us who tend toward the skeptical side on this issue, Inhofe's action actually weakens the skeptical position: it creates the impression that we can't be trusted with the data.
Back at home, Bruce puts the screws to Inhofe:
Do you think he actually reads or understands any of the studies that he comments about? Not likely. His game is to run out the clock on any real environmental regulations while his sponsors pad their wallets some more.
For "sponsors", read "fossil-fuel promoters".
Basically a Dick Armey with lower pesticide residues, Jim Inhofe's major concern, first and foremost, is the care and feeding of Jim Inhofe. This isn't exactly atypical in the Senate, and his record of nonaccomplishment is better than some Senators' record of antiaccomplishment, but every time he opens his mouth, I think, "Can't we do better than this?"