U.S. senator: God says that there can’t be global warming

I don’t think I need to comment on this, except to add that this is an embarrassment to not only America, but my many foreign readers.  But it least it tells you how religiously insane my country is.

From Right Wing Watch :

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason yesterday to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future [JAC: if you must see the book, it's here], where he repeated his frequent claim that human influenced climate change is impossible because “God’s still up there.” Inhofe cited Genesis 8:22 to claim that it is “outrageous” and arrogant for people to believe human beings are “able to change what He is doing in the climate.” . .

Inhofe also says that Richard Cizik, the former Vice President of the National Association of Evangelicals, was bought off by environmentalists and “has been exposed since then to be the liberal that he is”…because apparently liberals can’t be Christians?

Here’s the dude, standing tall and proud next to Our Flag:

And here’s a transcript of part of the talk; you can hear the audio clips at the link above.

Eliason: Senator, we’re going to talk about your book for a minute, you state in your book which by the way is called The Greatest Hoax, you state in your book that one of your favorite Bible verses, Genesis 8:22, ‘while the earth remaineth seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease,’ what is the significance of these verses to this issue?

Inhofe: Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.

What about the arrogance of people who won’t lift a finger to stop our depredation of Earth because they believe in the literal truth of an ancient book of fiction? Does Imhofe also favor slavery and execution for adultery? After all, the Bible supports those, too. Some reporter should ask him that.

This is from a second audio clip:

Caller: Senator, do you quote any Scripture in your book?

Inhofe: Yeah, as a matter of fact I do. My favorite is Genesis 8:22 which is ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ you know, God’s still up there. There’s another piece of Scripture I’ll mention which I should’ve mentioned, no one seems to remember this, the smartest thing the activists did in trying to put their program through is try to get the evangelicals on their side, so they hired a guy named Cizik, and he had his picture in front of Vanity magazine dressed like Jesus walking on water. He has been exposed since then to be the liberal that he is. I would say that the other Scripture that I use quite frequently on this subject is Romans 1:25, ‘They give up the truth about God for a lie and they worship God’s creation instead of God, who will be praised forever.’ In other words, they are trying to say we should worship the creation. We were reminded back in Romans that this was going to happen and sure enough it’s happening.

Remember, this is an elected United States senator, a member of the most powerful legislative body in the U.S. Can you imagine a European legislator saying this?

h/t: Stan

74 Comments

  1. Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:34 am | Permalink

    Can you imagine a European legislator saying this?

    No, I can’t. And it makes me very afraid. The DSM IV explicitly excludes religionists from certain diagnoses, including delusion, under certain conditions. I think it is clear that people who actually believe this nonsense should not be exempt from delusion as a diagnosis. Psychiatrists owe it to these people and to the public to declare such individuals “insane” and to put them in closed institutions for the protection of society and -hopefully- for rehabilitation of these sorry individuals. Under no circumstance should such people have any job where responsibility of any kind is involved.

    • Dominic
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      +1

    • E.A. Blair
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      DSM 5 (scheduled for publication in May of 2013) should list being a Republican as a subcategory of sociopathy.

  2. komponist1
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:49 am | Permalink

    As long as we Americans continue to elect such bozos to high office (or any office, for that matter), nothing is going to change. And I see no prospect that we’re ever going to wake up to that fact. I can’t escape the feeling that we’re living in a dying empire. I just hope that we don’t bring the rest of the world down with us.

    • lamacher
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      It would not surprise me if the ‘citizens’ of Oklahoma were to elect a horse to the senate, emulating Caligula. Mind you, it’d be an improvement!

      • komponist1
        Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        We already have lots of horses’ asses in the Senate, so I suppose that that’s just the next step.

        • bric
          Posted March 12, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

          “A politician is an ass upon which everyone has sat except a man.” e e cummings

          just gets truer every year

  3. NewEnglandBob
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:56 am | Permalink

    I sent the senator a message on his website inhofe.senate.gov telling him that he is an embarrassment to the people of the US and that he should step down due to his anti-science stance and his ignorance.

    • Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Well good luck with that. There’s a reason this Facebook group exists:

      http://www.facebook.com/pages/Oklahomans-Mortally-Ashamed-of-Jim-Inhofe-and-Tom-Coburn/215840388330

      Inhofe’s been around for a long, long time. He’s either insane or a world-class panderer. He has absolutely no respect for, or contact with, actual reality.

      • Notagod
        Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Yeah that’s an easy attitude to set aside. You don’t need to think contacting Inhofe will do any good you can think of it as putting a gnat up his nose. At the very least NewEnglandBob has voiced his opposition which does have meaning even if Inhofe chooses to ignore it.

        Look there! NewEnglandBob has even provided you with a web address inhofe.senate.gov and at least in firefox you can right click and select to be taken there.

        Thanks, NewEnglandBob for the link. Here’s what I wrote:
        Dear Honorable Senator Inhofe,

        I note with disgust that you use God to enforce your lack of respect for the quality of life of future generations. No matter anything else that happens, your grandchildren will have a better life if they inhabit the cleanest safest environment possible. I do hope that your grandchildren and all grandchildren take time to join me in looking on in disgust at what you stand for and what you have done.

        • Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Write to Obama instead. That might actually make a difference. Does anyone think his climate change policy is not driven by the oil companies?

          • Notagod
            Posted March 12, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Why instead, why not both?

            The only way you can be sure nothing will help is by doing nothing.

            • Posted March 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

              Actual Hell would actually freeze over before Ihofe would change his mind. I’m saying this with the knowledge that hell does not exist. I am volunteering for the Green Party, so I am actually doing something. You?

              • Posted March 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

                Inhofe. Sorry for the typo. Ipad liked Ihofe better.

              • Notagod
                Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

                Yeah so you shy away and give him full reign, no doubt he thinks he has won and will go for more disgusting prizes.

                How hard is it to send a simple email anyway, aren’t you the one that was calling atheists lazy not long ago – look in the mirror.

            • Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

              Notagood, you wrote:

              “Yeah so you shy away and give him full reign, no doubt he thinks he has won and will go for more disgusting prizes. How hard is it to send a simple email anyway, aren’t you the one that was calling atheists lazy not long ago – look in the mirror.”

              Fascinating. Please copy and paste the link to the post where I commented that atheists are lazy.

              • Notagod
                Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

                Better yet I’ll quote the sentence, then it won’t take much energy for you to find where you wrote it.

                amelie wrote:

                It’s the lazy approach to attack which I see atheists do way too often.

            • Posted March 13, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

              Really, Notagood? No link, no context? Assuming that is correct, I see a quote that says “that’s the lazy approach to cricitize one”.

              Whereas you claim I said “atheists are lazy”. If you can’t see the difference, maybe a few English courses are in order.

              Link, please.

  4. ollie
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    I have to take an opposing view here.
    We have “representative democracy” in the United States and he is from Oklahoma; almost no one in that state would be embarrassed by what he said.

    Even more importantly, while he might say that he gets his stance from the Bible, he, in reality, probably gets his stance from Shell, Exxon, etc.

    • ollie
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

      Or put another way: when we finally get the oil companies on board with current climate science, Sen. Inhofe will, all of a sudden, find Bible passages that promote the development of green energy (e. g., be a good steward to the Earth, etc.)

    • CZEKing
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      I understand what you mean but that shouldnt be an excuse. Just because ppl from that state are stupid (i dont mean to be offensive I cant just think of any better word now, sry) it doesnt mean senaters for that state can be too (because those ppl wouldnt argue with him).
      He represents the state not in meaning “average citizen of that state”, otherwise there would be plenty of stupid senators there…oh..

  5. Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Inhofe will be visiting w/ Rachael Maddow on 3/12 to promote his book. It’s a must see!

  6. Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Senator Inhofe once again demonstrates why rational people need to work harder to secularize these safe havens (Oklahoma) that Christian extremists enjoy

    • Gary Kirkpatrick
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Now there’s a project for ya! What a mess!

  7. Bonzodog
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Upney … completely Upney….

    (for those who know the London Underground, Upney is one stop beyond Barking!)

    • lamacher
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Very well done!
      +2

  8. Knuckle Pushups
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Ya gotta remember that he is an Okie. The Sooners can be beating an opponent 72 to 3 in the 4th and Okies will still be screaming for blood. Must be something in the water.

    • Darth Dog
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      They’ve just never gotten over losing the Fiesta Bowl to Boise State.

  9. Shelldigger
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    To quote the infamous Bugs Bunny… “what a maroon”

    The fact that people this dense, this clueless, this degree of willfully ignorant, can be elected to a high office in this country is an atrocity.

    It always strikes me as odd that people like this can harbor such stupidity, and still be able to tie their shoes.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      “what a maroon”

      Ironically, maroon is the school color of the University of Chicago, and the name of their student newspaper. So in another sense, Jerry is a maroon.

      • Diane G.
        Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        He’s probably crimson with embarrassment.

  10. Ralphie
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Laughable and frightening at the same time…. how can it be?!?!?! I cant comprehend what has come over this senator? A revelation perhaps?

  11. Dermot C
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    @JAC

    ‘Can you imagine a European legislator saying this?’

    I think I can; Ann Widdecombe, the British Tory Catholic MP (whom Hitchens and Fry lacerated on Intelligence Squared, I think it was), would possibly think these things or similar. Baroness Warsi might come up with some Islamic equivalent in her confused and confusing world.

    The only reason I suspect that they don’t or haven’t ejaculated as immaturely for God, lies in the relationship of forces in Europe, as opposed to those in the US. It’s less surprising coming from an American, and the European religious feel less secure in pontificating in such a public manner.

    • Dominic
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Is Widdecombe a biblical literalist? Most British Catholics are not, surely?

      • Bonzodog
        Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        She isn’t but she has been a critic of global warming. Having said that I doubt that either her or any other mainstream UK politician (although she is now an ex-MP) would be so insanely stupid as to claim what the barking senator did ….

        • Dermot C
          Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          I’m referring not so much to whether les Widdecombe et Warsi would say exactly as the good senator would, but rather to my impression of their bonkers cretinitude and willingness to say the unthinkable or think the unsayable. (See the nunnish Widdecombe [ex-Prisons Minister] – how she must have relished the thought of redeeming those sinners – in the debate I mentioned and passim; and Warsi, demonstrably adjacent to coherence, whenever she opens her mouth, to tell the Christians that from her Islamic perspective they’re not being Christian enough).

  12. Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Can you imagine a European legislator saying this?

    Yes, but I can imagine all kinds of things! That’s no stretch at all…

    And, honestly, I’m sure there are some denier legislators in Europe, as well. Or, as Upton Sinclair wrote: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

    • BilBy
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Yes, me too. They will be saying such things soon – Warsi is the first trickle in what will become a flood of maroonitude.

  13. Steve
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    sub

  14. Tulse
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    This isn’t really new behaviour for Inhofe — he’s a long-running loon, and a well-known shill for the oil industry.

  15. Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    How anyone is able to justify their “scientific” conclusions on a singular interpretation of a creation myth, is in itself, disturbing. That the person is a US senator with a substantial public platform is terrifying!

    Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of my country (Canada) is also a born again Christian who apparently belongs to The Christian and Missionary Alliance, an organization that espouses the inerrancy of the Bible (among other fundamentalist views). Harper is positively subtle in public declarations compared to Senator Inhofe yet his decision-making has to be influenced in similar ways.

    I wonder if you are not better off than we are because your political fool lets everyone know exactly where he stands? I think perhaps you are.

    • MKray
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      Harper’s bizarre, evidently.

      Hah.. Imhof is harpers!

    • komponist1
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      On the contrary, plenty of our political fools let everyone know where they stand, and Americans by and large just don’t seem to give a damn, probably because they feel that way themselves. “Feel” is the operative word here, since evidence and logic seem not to enter into the equation.

  16. Persto
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Politics as usual.

  17. Gerard26
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    This kind of thinking from Sen. Inhofe is,sadly,not new he has been a fierce and consistant opponent of the fact of global warming. His openly wearing of his religionism on his sleeve only supports his wrong-headed pronouncements on this important topic that threatens all of humanity.

  18. Dominic
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    This denialism of science gets me very angry.
    “standing tall and proud next to Our Flag” – someone should strangle him with it!

    • Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      ““standing tall and proud next to Our Flag” – someone should strangle him with it!”

      Indeed. All those “proud” people should remember a verse from their own storybook:

      Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas

      • daveau
        Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        You’re not reaching your target market. First, the number of people who speak Latin in Oklahoma is next to none. Second, you would be considered and elitist for even knowing Latin. Third, they wouldn’t understand the point of the quote, even rendered into Oklahoman-American English. Got anything along the lines of U-S-A! U-S-A!?

        • Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          Point well made. What about “USA! USA! Proud to be illiterate and ignorant about the contents of the Bible!” ?

          • Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

            Or maybe, this is better:

            Proud to be a citizen of the USA, global leader in illiteracy and ignorance!

            • daveau
              Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:56 am | Permalink

              Now you’re talking. We’re number one! We’re number one!

  19. Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    When I was a christian, I used to have similar views about global warming, myself. I didn’t quote the Bible or anything, but I did feel that global warming couldn’t be very much of a concern, because God wouldn’t let us eradicate ourselves. This is the problem with believing things that aren’t true.

    • Reginald Selkirk
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      but I did feel that global warming couldn’t be very much of a concern, because God wouldn’t let us eradicate ourselves.

      That’s exactly what the trilobites used to tell each other.

  20. Posted March 12, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    I know people here say there’s no such thing as evil in this world. But if there were, this would be it. This guy is pure evil. They are not stoopid. They know exactly what they’re doing and how to achieve it. They are suppressing information, removing climate scientists from office and taking bribes from Big Oil.

    Inhofe knows to target the ignorant masses who would drown in a massive flood all while screeching that global warming does not exist.

    This includes Obama, by the way. Personally I think a Green Party candidate would be good to have at the debates, unless we want to see the planet go to hell.

    • Darrell E
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Until the problem of gerrymandering is overcome it will be nearly impossible to boot out any significant percentage of the conservative nutbags currently holding high political positions in this country. Catch – 22, how to break the cycle?

      • Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        We had the same kerfuffle in the 2006 Massachusetts Gubenatorial election, until Independent Christy Mihos and Green-Rainbow Party candidate Ross made a fool out of both Kerry Healy (Romney’s successor) and now-Governor Patrick during the debates. If we could get third and fourth parties into the debates, both ruling parties would be disgraced in front of the American people and maybe they’d realize they’re expendable.

  21. David Evans
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Even if the US and the whole world were reduced to abject poverty, with widespread disease, starvation and wars, there would still be “seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night”. Inhofe’s constituents should be asking him if he has no higher ambition than that.

    • Darth Dog
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      An excellent point. Even though the Bible might convince someone that God would not let the human race drive itself to extinction, history clearly shows God had no problem with minor aberrations like the fall of the Roman Empire, the Black Plague, the Mongol invasions or World Wars I and II. So killing off half of the human race or five hundred years of Dark Ages are certainly up for consideration.

      Imhofe’s constituents think a disaster is gas prices going up a buck a gallon.

  22. abb3w
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Sigh. Yes, a Senator.

    Ob XKCD: beliefs.

  23. Posted March 12, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Free speech has its drawbacks, but Inhof’s ignorance will encourage sane Christians to question their radical leaders. Mixing religion with politics and science is lethal as history testifies.

  24. daveau
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Education and rational thinking are the only way out of this mess. How do we work toward that goal? Ignorance just breeds more ignorance, a la Dunning-Kruger. I feel defeated before we even begin.

  25. Veroxitatis
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Don’t blame this guy. As someone said, you get the government you deserve.

  26. Claimthehighground
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Many of our Senators and Representatives are full members of the church of neo-rectalism: they are born again ass holes.

    • Dawn Oz
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      LOL

  27. Beachscriber
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Good grief, what a fool! When we all fry from global warming, I bet he up and says it proves the existence of hell.

    Anyway, I’m beginning to get the idea that the science-religion debate in the US is making a lot of people touchy and pushing them into very extreme views – like they’re digging in for a trench war.

  28. YourName's notBruce?
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Considering all the things that this “God” does seem to allow (famine , earthquake, flood etc.) I wouldn’t count on anything written in that book he/she/it/they supposedly wrote. Just look at what happened to Job.

    As long as there was some small scrap of soil somewhere on Earth that could still be tilled, planted and harvested, this “God” character point to that and still have an out, global warming notwithstanding. Cue drought and famine. The chances of that one small scrap of soil being in Oklahoma are small.

  29. Diane G.
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Gotta love the way these fundies justify not doing what they don’t want to do by claiming that it’s in God’s hands, and justify doing the things they do want to do by claiming “God works through us as His instuments…”

  30. Paul
    Posted March 12, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    It is baffling. It isn’t even internally consistent. There are myriad examples of god allowing man to sin and reap that which he sows. But why in this instance has dickwad arrived at the conclusion that man can do no wrong to upset god’s applecart earth? So we have the free will to leave the garden with real eternal repercussions, but this same god will wave a heavy hand at our carbon? I want to scream.

    • Tim
      Posted March 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      why in this instance has dickwad arrived at the conclusion that man can do no wrong…

      Why?

  31. Bonzodog
    Posted March 13, 2012 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    St. Thomas Aquinas: “The truth of our faith becomes a matter of ridicule among the infidels if any Catholic, not gifted with the necessary scientific learning, presents as dogma what scientific scrutiny shows to be false.”

    • Beachscriber
      Posted March 13, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

      Interesting to see that said back in the days when doctors thought the blood was pumped outwards from the heart and consumed by the organs.

  32. Matthew Jenkins
    Posted March 14, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I wish a reporter would pose the simple question: should the ability to distinguish fact from fiction be a pre-requisite for public office?


2 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. [...] Coyne has some fun at the expense of the dumbest (or most cynical) Senator in the Union: Jim Inhofe. Inhofe is playing the old “God is in charge so we don’t have to worry about global [...]

  2. [...] have just learned, via Jerry Coyne’s blog, that Republican senator Jim Inhofe (Okla.) is promoting a new book about how global warming is a [...]

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