Senator Jim Inhofe once infamously declared that global warming is the ” greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”. This week, however, Inhofe has signed his name as a cosponsor to S. 228, a Senate bill that acknowledges the reality of climate change, of which global warming is a part. Very quietly, Inhofe has finally admitted that he was wrong, and that global warming is not a hoax mysteriously crafted by some ill defined secret environmentalist elite.

One would hope that, now that Senator Inhofe admits that global warming is real, he would be ready to confront the problem. Unfortunately, S. 228 is not part of such a solution. Through this legislation, Inhofe retains his old policy position of blocking action to confront the problem of global warming, even though he has acknowledged that the problem is real.

The proposed law, written by John Barrasso and given the title of the Defending America’s Affordable Energy and Jobs Act, prohibits the President from acting under current law to slow down climate change by regulating greenhouse gases in any way.

Why would Inhofe block action to confront global warming, now that he finally recognizes the problem is real? S. 228 justifies the prohibition on action to confront climate change by saying that legislators need more time to consider what kind of action to take, saying that a prohibition on greenhouse gas regulation would “allow sufficient time for Congress to develop and authorize an appropriate mechanism to address the energy needs of the United States and the potential global challenges posed by a changing climate.”

Congress has already had more than sufficient time to develop and authorize an appropriate mechanism to address the growing global challenges posed by a changing climate. Global warming has been known of for at least a generation now, and we’ve watched the temperature of our planet steadily increase, until last year became the hottest year ever recorded.

The time for detached contemplation is over. We can afford no delay. Each year that we fail to have a comprehensive, national plan to slow down global warming in place, the problem grows, and our power to deal with it diminishes.

Now that even James Inhofe admits that global warming is a real threat, Congress needs to pass legislation quickly to confront the danger. If Congress will not act, the Executive Branch must, using current legal authority such as that provided by the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act to do so.

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Post script:

Lest there be any doubt that the legislation signed by Senator Inhofe constitutes an admission that global warming is real, Section 3 of S. 228 lists the following as “greenhouse gases”, under the definition of a “substance subject to regulation, action, or consideration due to the contribution of the substance to climate change.”

Carbon dioxide.
Methane.
Nitrous oxide.
Sulfur hexafluoride
“Any hydrofluorocarbon”
“Any perfluorocarbon”
Nitrogen trifluoride

Jim Inhofe isn’t just admitting that global warming is real. He’s admitting that global warming is due to human activities.

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