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July 18, 2013

Inhofe Statement at EPW Hearing on “Climate Change: It’s Happening Now”


As prepared for delivery:

Madam Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing today.  I was looking forward to hearing from Administration officials about the President’s global warming proposal, so you can understand why I’m disappointed that no officials are testifying today.

Around the same time the President gave his speech on global warming last month, his campaign team developed a secret talking points memo that was crafted to provide alarmists around the country with specific instructions about how they should talk about global warming.

The President wants everyone to be on the same page.  He’s tested and tried these talking points on focus groups, and he even came up with a list of “Do’s and Don’t’s” when talking about climate change, which you can see on the Chart behind me. 

These talking points are not honest or straight forward. They’re purely political.

In the Memo’s very first point, which says “don’t lead with straight economic arguments,” the President makes it clear that he doesn’t want anyone to talk about the cost of taking action to stop global warming.   And we know exactly why – whether it’s legislation or regulation, any action to reduce greenhouse gases is going to cost the economy at least $300 billion or $400 billion per year.  And the Administration knows that once the discussion turns to cost – they’ve lost the debate.

Instead, the President instructs alarmists to “talk about how climate change is harming Americans now” and about the “real impacts including asthma attacks and extreme weather events” like hurricanes and tornadoes.

But claiming global warming is causing extreme weather is farfetched, and even President Obama’s nominees agree with him.  Allison MacFarlane, who was nominated by the President to be the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, testified a few weeks ago in this Committee.  And when she was asked about whether she thought the tornadoes in Oklahoma or Hurricane Sandy were extreme weather events, she said, “I would not call these events extreme.  I would call them normal.

Most meteorologists agree.  A recent study by George Mason University reported that 63% of weathercasters believe that any global warming that occurs is the result of “natural variation” and not “human activities.”  That is a significant two-to-one majority.

Given this, we’re lucky one of our distinguished panelists is not in charge of meteorological licenses.  If she were, then 63% of them would be fired.  She once said, “If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change,” and that it’s man-made, “then maybe the American Meteorological Society shouldn’t give them their Seal of Approval.”

That means that Meteorologists like Aaron Tuttle in Oklahoma City would be out of a job.  He doesn’t believe in manmade global warming, but he regularly saves Oklahoma lives by predicting when and where tornadoes will strike, which helps people know exactly when they need to take cover during severe storms.

And even though the President’s talking points instruct alarmists to not “debate the validity or consensus of the science that is already settled,” more and more reports are surfacing all the time that show the science is not settled.

In March, the Economist reported that “Over the past 15 years, air temperatures at the Earth’s surface have been flat while greenhouse-gas emissions have continued to soar.”

And just this past week, Harvard and the Forest Service came out with a study that shows trees are growing faster and using less water with higher atmospheric concentrations of CO2.  This is the opposite of what scientists expected before, but the alarmists can’t talk about it because they’ve received their instructions from the President. 

The President’s talking points demonstrate that he’s only interested in achieving his desired political outcome – whatever the cost. 

Why do they want to do this?  We all remember Richard Lindzen, the world renowned atmospheric physicist at MIT.  He said that regulating carbon is a “bureaucrat’s dream,” because “if you control carbon, you control life.”  When you zoom out and consider this from a distance, it is the core tenant of liberalism and the President political philosophy.  He believes that government can make better decisions than the people, and regulating carbon dioxide will give him all he needs to make nearly every decision for the American people. 


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