The Real Hoax Was Climategate
July 02, 2010 1:44 pm ET — Chris Harris
For nearly a decade, Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) biggest claim to fame has been his oft-repeated line that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”
While Inhofe has been a consistent opponent of science, that’s where his consistency ends. In 2003, he conceded that the earth was warming, but denied it was caused by human activity and suggested that “increases in global temperatures may have a beneficial effect on how we live our lives.”
In 2009, however, he appeared on Fox News to declare that the earth was actually cooling, claiming “everyone understands that’s the case” (they don’t, because it isn’t).
Inhofe’s battle against climate science kicked into overdrive when a series of illegally obtained emails surfaced from the Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University. The emails allegedly showed climate scientists had tampered with data and engaged in a conspiracy to falsify the science proving climate change. The ensuing scandal, dubbed “Climategate,” provided Inhofe with an opportunity to amplify his message.