US Senator Inhofe Claims Global Warming is a UN Conspiracy
Bruce Wilson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 12:46:03 PM EST
I have transcribed the first portion of a speech made this Saturday, at the "2006 Voter Values Summit by U.S. Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, alleging that Global Warming is a hoax tied to a United Nations conspiracy. There is much to say on this, and by this evening I will have transcribed the rest of the speech and added, for context, some commentary on the tactical issues underlying Inhofe's address.
[ from Inhofe's speech ]"They chose an issue - this is ingenious - now, I want you to hold hands with the one next to you and stay seated. Understand this, now, a lot of you are going to be real mad at me, because 70% of you out there believe that Global Warming is a reality. Now, let me tell you what what happens. Unless you don't ever...By the way, that this.... I thought it was until 3 1/2 years ago, I didn't know any better. But, uh, Let me just give you a little background because I'm going to make a request of you in a minute, staying within my time frame here. Uh, it was started really by the United Nations, the same group that starts almost anything else that's bad. [loud applause ]

At this point, many commentators would conclude with soundtrack _ cue the black helicopters. Well, I won't roll the black helicopter track - Senator Inhofe exerts enormous influence on US environmental policy, and his address - below - targets specific constituencies and is designed to do specific political work. To emphasize the conspiratorial content of Inhofe's address risks missing its strategic context, but that context - the topography of the American Christian right - may well be the key to US action on Global Warming. More soon. Full text transcription so far ( there's more to come : please return. I should have the entire speech transcribed by this evening )

"They chose an issue - this is ingenious - now, I want you to hold hands with the one next to you and stay seated. Understand this, now, a lot of you are going to be real mad at me, because 70% of you out there believe that Global Warming is a reality. Now, let me tell you what what happens. Unless you don't ever...By the way, that this.... I thought it was until 3 1/2 years ago, I didn't know any better. But, uh, Let me just give you a little background because I'm going to make a request of you in a minute, staying within my time frame here. Uh, it was started really by the United Nations, the same group that starts almost anything else that's bad. [loud applause ]

 You know the uh, you know what the United Nations is not doing ?...It's is not in Darfour, that's in the Sudan, it's uh - if you go to Northern Uganda, the LRA up there - there's a guy named Joseph Coney that is mutilating, been mutilating kids, cutting their lips off and their ears off, for thirty years now and the UN is not doing anything about it, and we're up there with the groups and missions and such as that trying to correct that problem. We know about the oil for food thing, we know that  - so, how many of you probably didn't know  - that uh Khofi Anan knew about the genocide, the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, before it happened, and never did anything about it [ gasps from audience ]. So you know all these things and just, you don't have to go back that far. Look what happened three days ago when the president of Iran made his speech and president Chavez from Venezuela made his speech and called our President Bush a devil and went on and on and on.. well, that's the United Nations.

[ ed: US Senator James Inhofe Presents A Short History Of Global Warming. Note - to start with - the wildly incorrect names and dates. ]

Anyway, in 1970 the United Nations came up with something called the IPCC, the International Plant Panel for Climate Control [ ed: the correct name is "The Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change". The IPCC was established in 1988 ] , and they came up with one guy who said he was a scientist and they had this thing called the hockey stick that said this is what the temperature had been and how it's visibly related to the hockey stick, Global Warming's coming in, and how we're all going to die. Well, that was in 1970 and all the liberals joined in, the Hollywood crowd all joined in, and this was the liberal agenda that they enjoyed so much.

And so - get the scene now - back, that was, the ilk, the, the idea of this is that the, the, the climate is changing, it's going up, and it's due not to actual causes but due to the release of CO2 and what they call anthropogenic gasses. Man made gasses. The motive of this is to try to shut down this machine called America, stop building, stop - y'know - driving around and all these things and so - ah, anyway - we were just about to sign the Kyoto treaty when I became chairman of the committee that Gil talked about in his introduction, its called Environment and Public Works. Now, in this committee we have jurisdiction over this, uh, all these areas, so I thought "we need find out what the truth is about the Global Warming.

And so, at the same time - anyone here from Pennsylvania ? Alright - the Horton School Of Economics, they came out with what they called "The Horton Econometric Survey" and they said if America signs up for ih the Kyoto treaty and complies with it, it's going to cost, they talked about doubling the cost of energy and doubling the cost of gasoline and all this stuff and its going to cost each family of four who is sitting out here $2,750 dollars a year, well I got to thinkin' - if we're going to allow that to be, that's to to be a part of that, we better find out where the science is and I have to tell you, the, that, we first started looking, how many of you are aware of the Oregon Petition, with 17,800 scientists, they came out and said, "Yeah, the temperature is warming but it's been warming on and off every 1500 years, we go through these cycles, and, uh, and there's no evidence that this is due to, uh, to man made gasses", and the Smithsonian of Harvard Study came out, it said the same thing, and and so we're looking at all these, then if you look at some of the extremists - uh, pull out the this, when, chart here... Uh, are you aware that in these environmentalists, these extremists, that the number one domestic terrorists on the FBI list are the animal rights people, people who are advocating the murder of people who use, uh, animals for, for medical research ? I had a hearing uh, and had some of the animal rights people, one of the individuals was there and I wanted to, uh, and there was a lady from the uh, the San Franscisco , uh, Chronicle, and listen very carefully to what she said.

[ plays radio show clip ]

....Well, anyway, uh, to stay within our time frame.... if you look - you don't have to go back and look at the whole science - things that are happening right now, in Canada the 16 scientists, you've been reading about that recently, right ?, this was the last month, these 16 scientists are the ones that said in Canada "we want you to join the Kyoto treaty, become a part of this", they now have uh said, and if you read the chart [ shows slide ]  it says, in effect, in the mid 1990's, if we know what we know today about climate, Kyoto would almost certainly not exist because we would have concluded it wasn't necessary. And now, those individuals are are uh petitioning prime minister Harper of Canada to withdraw from the Kyoto treaty.

Time Magazine [ shows slide ], that's a good one there, I hope you can see that, that hit the news stands, and, uh, and those of you ( is that up there now ? can you see that ? ), OK, that says "be worried, be very worried, we know that's coming, we're all going to die", and all - poor polar bear's sitting out there, looking down there on the last ice cube - well, just keep in mind, just keep in mind that same magazine - they sold a lot of magazines with that too, that was one of biggest sellers -  But they had another big seller too, that was June 24, 1974, Time Magazine, and, uh, except this time was "Another Ice Age Was Coming And We're All Going To Die."

So we have, uh, the question is quite often asked ( and I know that some of you are thinking this right now ) if, uh, if, if, if there be an economic disaster and that the science is wrong, then why in the world would anyone be interested in having this done ? Well it's not just the liberals in the United States, uh, I'd suggest to you that Margo Waldstrom who is the, uh, the environmental minister of, of the European Union, she, uh, said Kyoto - it's not about climate change - it's about the economy, about levelling the playing field for big business worldwide ( ladies and gentlemen that's us, the United States, she's talking about ). Then your favorite Frenchman Jacques Chirac - he said Kyoto is not about, uh, climate change, it represents the first component of an authentic ga, ga uh, global governance

So I would say to you that we've heard enough about what they say. What does God say about this whole thing ?

One of the fascinating things - some of you probably are more Biblical scholars than I am - but if you remember Paul in Rome, at that time Rome was buying all these things. They were worshipping idols, they were worshipping animals, they were worshipping the creation as opposed to the creator and if you read up there in the uh in the Romans 1:23 ( and you might write this down because you guy gonna - Id like to have you in a position where you can spread this word ) they said "and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like - uh, to - corruptible man and to the birds, four footed beasts, and the creeping things." But my favorite one is uh, Romans 1:25 - that's very specific, it says "they gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshipped the God's creation instead of God"

And so we have this, something that that we know is scriptural - and and I would like to now tie this into the the issue that - the call for action that I have come here today to give to you. By the way, I'm not very often - unless I'm in Iraq or someplace ( I've been 11 trips over there ) I'm always in Oklahoma on weekends. I stayed here today because of you [ loud applause ] because I know that you...

This whole effort, the whole effort to defuse our real fundamental principles in the evangelical churches, in the conservative churches started, uh two years ago. It was the lady, a very nice lady, her name was Barbara William Skinner, she was addressing the NAE, board of directors, the National Association of Evangelicals, and she got a standing ovation. Now you gotta keep in mind, she's the former director of the Congressional Black Caucus, she was the uh, head of the Skinner Leadership Institute which is tied into the ACLU and the Clinton Administration, she's on the board of Jesse Jackson's Rainbow Coalition, and she's got a standing ovation and she says "We got to eliminate the litmus test". And they introduced, at that time, Global Warming.

Then, along comes a guy, never met him, might be a very fine person, who's name is Richard Cizik ( spells name out "c i z i k" ) is the picture up there ? all right, you can see up there at the top, and this is the picture of himself that he sends when he's got a speaking engagement there's a halo up there, if you look up there, then look at his feet. They're bare feet, and they re standing - he's walking on water - and that's , that gentlemen there, who's kind of behind this, that's actually he's the political director and Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals and if you question how he is on issues, he was giving a speech to the to uh the World Bank, this was just 4 months ago, and the discussion at that time was abortion and his quote is "We need to confront population control and we can. We're not growing Catholics after all. But it's too hot handle now. I'd like to take it on the population issue but population is a much more dangerous issue to touch. And so we're back to Global Warming."

And so this is what you're seeing around, and it is taking, there are people that are buying into this, some churches and associations, but I think - honestly believe- that this group can help us make this change.

What - uh - y'know what are we asking you to do ?

I would say this, that, uh, by the way, the financing behind some of this effort that they're doing is The Hewlitt Foundation - you know what the Hewlitt Foundation is ? Hewlitt Foundation is uh - the pro-life Concerned Women For America say that it is the number one pro abortion group, they're the ones that are under, that are funding these things that uh that uh Richard Cizik's been doing.

Well, this is what you can do - three things ( and I'm right within my time frame )

number one : join - you might want to write this down - If you want to stop the divide and conquer effort that's underway right now to destroy the core values that everyone in this room believes in, you can join the Interfaith Stewardship Alliance - Interfaith Stewardship Alliance - we can give it to you on my website - Chuck Holts is involved, James Dobson and many others. But this is the group that's telling the truth about Global Warming and what our core values are. Secondly, you go back to your churches. A lot of people here - I heard some people here are from Oklahoma - Oklahoma you here ? Yeah, There you are - go back to your churches! If everybody does that, then number three, you go to the associations that the churches belong to and tell them what the truth is, you can be that truth squad and turn this thing around !

So, I'm asking that you do that, I came here to tell you that, I came here to alarm you and tell you there could be a happy ending. You do this and you'll be doing the Lord's work and he will richly bless you for it. Thank you very much.

Actually, lest readers get a warped sense of things, polls show that about 70% of American evangelicals believe Global Warming is real and are very concerned about it - to the extent, even, that they would tolerate government action that had a negative impact on the economy. So - in short - paleo Christian nationalists such as Inhofe are increasingly becoming marginalized and - meanwhile - Richard Cizic is gaining positive PR and supporters.

[ from Evangelical Christian lobbyist pushes environment by Deborah Zabarenko - Reuters Tuesday, September 26, 2006 ] - With his pin-stripe suit and media-ready manner, the Rev. Richard Cizik looks like a typical Washington lobbyist, but his is a mission with a difference: persuading evangelical Christians to care about global warming. Cizik freely admits it's a job that tends to make strange political bedfellows, since the 60 million or so American evangelicals tend to be more concerned with such social issues as abortion (con) and the war in Iraq (pro) than with tackling global climate change or other environmental problems. And while most U.S. evangelical Christians tend to vote Republican, the environmental cause is more associated with the Democratic Party, Cizik said in a Reuters interview. "There are people who disagree with what I'm doing ... within the evangelical community of America," he said. "Simply for standing up and saying, 'Climate change is real, the science is solid, we have to care about this issue because of the impact on the poor' -- why would that be controversial? Well, I'm sorry to say, it is controversial and there are people who want to take my head off." As vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, Cizik has been a high-profile advocate for a spiritual motivation for environmental activism. Cizik is part of an overall ecological push by evangelical Christians known as "creation care," the notion that the environment is a divine creation and must be protected by humans.

The esteemed Senator was probably talking about the Wharton School of Economics, but it would hardly be surprising if he pronounced it as wrongly as he got so many other things.

Did he really say "...the Smithsonian of Harvard Study..."?!?

The larger question which this article leads to is one of near desperation: how on earth could an audience persuaded by this sort of talk ever be brought to rational thinking?

(The lesser question is, how did the UN start "reality tv"?)

by Pierce R Butler on Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 04:12:25 PM EST

I listened repeatedly and - yes - that is exactly what Inhofe said.

As far as your question goes - well, the people at the conference were mainly die hard ideologues. The trick will be to reach people farther out, on the ideological periphery of this movement.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Sep 25, 2006 at 04:22:20 PM EST

- to correct my correction: that should've been "Wharton School of Business".

There's a strange mental split going on among these ideologues. How is it that people who on the one hand can embrace non sequiturs and abandon the elementary logic of cause and effect, can on the other hand operate an enduring and growing movement within a complex and shifting political environment?

by Pierce R Butler on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 12:51:10 PM EST

And, that's a great question.

I think it might be best addressed by the proposition that Americans in the Christian right are simply doing what most humans everywhere do all the time : compartmentalize. And, I'm not at all convinced that there's any greater level of schizoid behavior on the US Christian right. I simply suspect that Americans on the Christian right are practicing a sort of compartmentalization of awareness that all humans do and that it's simply - due to political happenstance - more visible to some not in the movement than are other run-of-the-mill sorts of human compartmentalization which can be -  I'd assert - in some cases equally extreme or even more so.

Some theories on the development of human consciousness hold that our brains are to an extent "modular" - that we have different sorts of awarenesses and intelligences loosely knit together. Thus, the potential for human awareness to accomodate apparently ( to outside observers ) jarring levels of cognitive dissonance.

I'm not arguing for some sort of equivalence here but - rather - noticing that human potential for, and practice of, denial and compartmentalization is at least the norm if not universal.

I hope that goes a little way towards your question.

by Bruce Wilson on Tue Sep 26, 2006 at 02:25:12 PM EST

As a habitual scoffer, I see tendencies toward compartmentalization in practically all believers, including those in the religious left (and, of course, to some degree in all of us).

More to the point here is whether this trait can be ju-jitsued to our advantage. Back in the Moral Majority days, Falwell & Co. were pushing hard to demand compulsory prayer in public schools, and a NY Times (I think) reporter asked an MM staffer if they opened their meetings with prayer. The answer was no, because then they'd spend all their time arguing about which prayer to use, and nothing else would be accomplished.

The reporter let that speak for itself, but I've often wished that progressives could find ways to highlight such hypocrisies. This might edify the undecided, but even better set the sincere against the slick within the christocratic movement.

by Pierce R Butler on Wed Sep 27, 2006 at 12:36:26 PM EST

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