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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

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Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Common Sense from Oklahoma

[Investor's Business Daily ran this piece on September 29, 2006. Oklahoma has two great U. S. senators; I'd love to see Sen. Tom Coburn run for president in 2008.]

Environment: The country is drowning in wild alarums warning of impending doom due to global warming. Yet there has risen -- from the U.S. Senate, of all places -- a lone voice of rational dissent.

While Al Gore drifts into deeper darkness on the other side of the moon, propelled by such revelations as cigarette smoking is a "significant contributor to global warming," Sen. James Inhofe is becoming a one-man myth-wrecking crew.

Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, took to the Senate floor two days last week to expose the media's role in the global warming hype. This is a man who more than three years ago called the global warming scare "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" and has made a habit of tweaking the left-leaning environmental lobby.

One member of the media, Miles O'Brien of CNN, responded last week to Inhofe's criticism of the media with a piece criticizing Inhofe and challenging his arguments. If anything, it seems that O'Brien's reply simply motivated Inhofe to continue his effort to undress the media's complicity and bring light to the issue.

We hope so. The "science" on global warming and the media's propaganda campaign need to be picked apart.

The assumptions made by gloomy theorists should be revealed for what they are: mere conjecture.

The lies and carefully crafted implications, many of them discharged like toxic pollutants by a former vice president, deserve a thorough and lasting deconstruction.

What the public needs -- and deserves -- is a credible voice to counter the sermons from Gore, on whose behalf cigarettes were distributed in 2000 to Milwaukee homeless people who were recruited by campaign volunteers to cast absentee ballots. Inhofe could be that voice.

He's no John the Baptist crying out in the wilderness. What he is, in fact, is a thrice-elected senator, a former member of the House and, before that, a state senator and representative.

For those not impressed by a political background -- after all, Gore, far out of proportion to his qualifications, rose to the second most powerful position on Earth -- consider that Inhofe is an Army veteran and longtime pilot, and has actually worked in the private sector.

Unlike most in the Senate, Inhofe is willing to stand on a soapbox and expose his head to his opponents' rhetorical stones. Name another in that august body who would dare label as a hoax the premise that undergirds the day's most trendy pop cult. Is there anyone there who would want to try to stand up to the likes of O'Brien?

O'Brien's biased report is not exactly the type of exposure global warming skeptics hope for, though. The goal, say the skeptics, should be to teach and inform, to provide an alternative to the flood of hyperbole and intentionally misleading thunder that's passed off as settled science.

There are enough scientists to fill a fleet of Humvees who can express scepticism over global warming, despite Gore's claims that the matter has been resolved in favor of his conclusions. But none has the forum a U.S. senator can command. With rare exceptions, scientists can marshal media attention on the climate change issue only by spouting the party line that man-made emissions are causing Earth to warm. That's the sort of stuff the press laps up like a starving dog.

Without the wind of a compliant media at his back, Inhofe nevertheless got his message out to America, primarily through C-Span and the Drudge Report, which linked to his speeches at the Web site of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Among those responding to Inhofe's first speech included a scientist and a meteorologist. Both hold views on global warming that are in line with the senator's -- which puts them at odds with the environmental lobby's assertions of "consensus" that have been relentlessly beaten into the masses for more than a decade.

The most important audience, though, is among the Americans who have no links to science. They're the ones who have a lot to learn and will benefit the most from someone who has mass access to the public and is willing to challenge the widely -- and often uncritically -- accepted claims about climate change.


© Investor's Business Daily, Inc. 2006. All Rights Reserved.

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