Rebuttal to Inhofe's Speech

Not by Fire but by Ice


Updated 3 Oct 06


Rebuttal to Inhofe's statements on the Senate floor


I recently received an e-mail from one of my readers pointing out that some of 
Senator Inhofe's statements on the Senate floor "veer of track" from what I've
been saying about an imminent ice age. 

I was so excited that Senator Inhofe addressed the misguided media hype about
global warming, that I didn't bother to take a hard look at the rest of his speech.

This e-mail dovetails so well with my own beliefs that (with the writer's 
permission) I'd like to include it here in its entirety).

 Here's the e-mail:

 * * * * * * 

Hi Robert,

I have read Inhofe's statements and would like to point out just a few places in
which he veers off track from what you are saying:

"Earlier this year, the director of the International Arctic Research Center in
 Fairbanks, Alaska, testified to Congress that highly publicized climate models
 showing a disappearing Arctic were nothing more than “science fiction.”

He is agreeing with this statement. I would suggest that you send Ihhofe
information about the under-ocean volcanic activity. It seems that that alone is 
the one thing that all the politicians are missing. Those that are debunking global
warming are not understanding the mechanisms of the warming and also do not
seem to acknowledge that the implications are just as dire for global cooling.
(As you know if you've read my book, I think it's ocean warming, not global warming, and that the warming is caused by underwater volcanoes triggered by the ice-age cycle.)

He also seems to misunderstand that food production will likely be just as affected 
if we cool instead of warm. We still will have significant problems on our hands.

He quotes and scoffs at Newsweek saying;

“There are ominous signs that the Earth’s weather patterns have begun to change 
dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food
production– with serious political implications for just about every nation on

He is implying that to say that the idea that there will be a food problem is
erroneous. Please set the record straight Robert!  If we don't prepare we will
indeed have food shortages of disastrous proportion. (I totally agree. In Not 
by Fire but by Ice, I say that that I think we'll be fighting in the streets for
food long before we're covered by ice.)

Because he is debunking global warming he thinks it is wrong for Time to say:

 “As they review the bizarre and unpredictable weather pattern of the past several
years, a growing number of scientists are beginning to suspect that many seemingly
contradictory meteorological fluctuations are actually part of a global climatic

He is essentially saying this is false because he is speaking in terms of human
induced global warming. This statement is actually quite relevant when you speak
in terms of cooling.

Apparently the Senator does not understand geologic time as well in that 100
years is a drop in the bucket when talking about impending ice ages. He was citing
more statements such as:

“Geologists Think the World May be Frozen Up Again.”

"That sentence appeared over 100 years ago in the February 24, 1895 edition of
the New York Times.

"Let me repeat. 1895, not 1995."

So it may be true that it was 100 years ago. But as I said, 100 years is not that
long for an entire civilization to get ready for a drastic climate change. We may just
be out of luck because the changes may be here. And as you know those changes
happen quickly once they begin.

The ups and downs, the back and forth that he is complaining about in the media
may very well have to do with the fact that the transition to an ice age is not just a
straight line. It is full of fluctuations, up and down, in temperature. The problem
with many people and their opinions about this subject is that they do not quite get
the fact that our day to day perception of climate and time and geologic perception
of climate and time are two very different things. A short period of time for us is a
nano second in geologic time. A short period in geologic time is a lifetime for us.

I don't understand why you allow him to naysay such statements as:

 “Scientist Says Arctic Ice Will Wipe Out Canada.” The article quoted a Yale
University professor who predicted that large parts of Europe and Asia would be
“wiped out” and Switzerland would be “entirely obliterated.”

Weren't you thinking that last winter in Europe was unusually harsh and will
continue to get more harsh? (I don't think Senator Inhofe would respond very
favorably if I tried to "disallow" him from saying whatever he likes, but yes,
I think that large parts of far north and far south will indeed be wiped out.)

And then there is his laughing at the report:

"A December 29, 1974 New York Times article on global cooling reported that
climatologists believed “the facts of the present climate change are such that the
most optimistic experts would assign near certainty to major crop failure in a

Well it was more like three decades but we have been seeing a fair number of 
crop failures occuring due to the cold, haven't we? If only we had been listening 
to and acting upon those articles back then. (And don't forget the cattle. More
than a million cattle have died in the past five years in Mongolia alone, due
to the record-breaking snows.)

As I recall, you had cited some sort of die-off off the NW coast of the US? Why
then do you post Inhofe's contradiction:

"The media endlessly hypes studies that purportedly show that global warming
could increase mosquito populations, malaria, West Nile Virus, heat waves and
hurricanes, threaten the oceans, damage coral reefs, boost poison ivy growth,
damage vineyards, and global food crops, to name just a few of the global
warming linked calamities. Oddly, temperatures almost never seem to have 
any positive effects on plant or animal life or food production."

It seems obvious that things like these do happen - but they may be happening for
other reasons such as under ocean volcanism or because the temps at the end of
our current warming period haven't quite gotten as high as they will.

He is right about stopping the hype, but I think he needs to be more fully informed.
It would help if you could write a disclaimer about the things I have mentioned
above so that people who read your website aren't confused or turned off by
Inhofe's contradictions to what you are saying.

It is quite late and so I apologize if this could have been a bit better put together.

Thank you,

Allie Powers


Thank you, Allie, for a very well-written rebuttal.  






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