"Ready for dinner"
Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican, accused the “liberal media” of exploiting the devastating tornado in Oklahoma to push its climate change “agenda.”
“The liberal media is trying to exploit a tragedy to advance and expand its own agenda. And, believe me, the victims all know this,” Inhofe said in an interview with Newsmax, adding that news outlets that link the tornado to climate change ”do a great disservice to those who have experienced this tragedy.”
“We were being hit by tornadoes long before anyone talked about climate change, and even before it was called ‘global cooling,’ before it became ‘global warming,’ and then ‘climate change,’” he continued. “The same thing that happened last week happened 14 years ago, 25 years ago, and 30 years ago.”
Nick Wing of The Huffington Post explains the background for Inhofe’s remarks:
Inhofe’s colleagues, Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), both took to the Senate floor in the wake of last week’s deadly string of tornadoes – including a particularly devastating one that killed 24 in Moore, Okla. — to argue for more urgency in addressing climate change. Whitehouse later apologized about the timing of his remarks, saying they were pre-written.
While it has been argued that there is a connection between changing climate patterns and violent twisters, many articles in the wake of last week’s tornadoes have said it is impossible to determine at this point.
Inhofe was also the target of a tweet by Bill Nye:
Oklahoma City was hit hard again. Has anyone asked Oklahoma Senator Inhofe about the three large storms in the 14 years?— Bill Nye (@BillNye) May 21, 2013
Inhofe is one of Congress’s most adamant climate change deniers. He has repeatedly called it a hoax, and as recently as April of this year blamed the so-called hoax on George Soros, Moveon.org, and Michael Moore.
Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.More Jillian Rayfield.