Year 4, Month 4, Day 23: It’s Not THAT Kind Of Party

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jay Bookman has a nice piece detailing Jim Inhofe’s idiotic “cross-examination” of a senior admiral:

Earlier this week, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the senator and the admiral shared a little colloquy on the question of climate change. It went something like this:

INHOFE: “Admiral, I’d like to get clarification on one statement that was I think misrepresented. It was in the Boston Globe it reported that you indicated, and I’m quoting noew from the Boston the Globe now, the biggest long-term security challenge in the Pacific region is climate change. I’d like to have you clarify what you meant by that. … ”

Locklear did not back down, saying that the Pacific Rim is an area of high population growth, and that much of that growth is occurring in coastal or litoral areas, where people would be vulnerable to storms, flooding, rising sea level and other problems. He went on:

“From 2008 to 2012, about 280,000 people died (in natural disasters in the Pacific region). It was not not all climate change or weather-related, but a lot of them were due to that. About 800,000 people were displaced and there was about $500 billion of lost productivity. So when I look and I think about our planning and I think about what I have to do with allies and partners, and I look long-term, it’s important that countries in this region build capabilities into their infrastructures to be able to deal with the types of things … ”

At which point Inhofe broke in:

“OK, I — sir, I’m going to interrupt you here,” Inhofe said, “because now you’ve used up half my time, and we didn’t get right around to — is it safe to say that in the event that this — that the climate is changing — which so many of the scientists disagree with — in fact, when the Boston Globe, coming out of Massachusetts, made a statement, perhaps arguably one of the top scientists in the country, Richard Lindzen, also from Massachusetts, MIT, said that was laughable.”

He then changed the subject to China.

What a turd. April 11:

If James Inhofe didn’t want Samuel Locklear to tell the truth about climate change’s impact on geopolitical security, he shouldn’t ask the Admiral a direct question in a Senate committee hearing. While the Oklahoma Senator is well-known as the GOP’s uber-denialist, his readiness to disregard a senior military leader’s sworn testimony makes a mockery of his party’s ostensible respect for our nation’s armed forces.

The fact is that even if the accelerating greenhouse effect is not causally linked to human CO2 emissions, the world is still getting hotter. Those spiking temperatures are real, and their effects are devastating, as farmers in Inhofe’s drought-plagued home state know only too well. Admiral Locklear gave a direct answer to a direct question, but Senator Inhofe’s refusal to hear an answer that didn’t fit his ideology is further confirmation that the Republicans are now, in Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s phrase, the “party of stupid.”

Warren Senders

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