Inhofe gleefully represents some of the most regressive, moronic notions to fester in politics. No doubt people like Saunders would like to wish the rest of Inhofe's nonsense away and pretend that, out of everything else he's said and done over the years, at least he knows what he's talking about on this subject. Good luck with that.
Inhofe is even currently under investigation by the FAA for flying a plane that he knew had a damaged rudder. In Inhofe's defense, however, it should be pointed out that Inhofe only knew that the rudder was damaged, he didn't know exactly why. That would just be....well, stupid.
But apparently his mindless contrarianism on the subject of global warming has earned him admiration from Serious Thinkers such as Saunders.
Talk about hitting the ground stumbling. Saunders, herself a tiresome self-styled contrarian, is no doubt under the impression that she's puncturing the supposed smug superiority of secular liberals who conveniently find faith in their pet causes. But when the subject she chooses to laud is literally on record as declaring that the United States should base its Israel policy on the Bible (and even suggested that 9/11 was divine retribution for failing to protect Israel sufficiently), well, you may want to find a different well to pump.
Note that Deming is also the cephalopod who wrote the Moonie Times op-ed I linked to above, but wow. What a remarkably ridiculous analogy. What does the date of the invention of the thermometer have to do with the legitimacy of core sampling and compiled weather data. Hell, weather records weren't consistently kept for statistical tracking purposes almost anywhere until maybe 100 years ago? Is Deming implying that any research compiling data before that period of time is automatically invalidated? What exactly are the University of Oklahoma's standards for their geology professors -- a pulse and a grant from Exxon?
This is the sort of thing that counts for scientific observation in these circles, and as Saunders' husband works for the "Discovery" "Institute", it's no real surprise to find that she shares the same disdain for honest scientific rigor. No wonder people in Tornado Alley think Jesus rode to work on a dinosaur.
See, that's Saunders' real beef, and that's fine, insofar as it appeals to the notion of truly rigorous scientific skepticism and validation of method. But Inhofe is not only not remotely a scientist, he is quite consistently a scarily unserious thinker. He is absolutely not the horse you want to hitch your "global warming agnostic" wagon to.
I too have expressed some skepticism in the past about global warming, mainly over the degree and rapidity which some scientists speculate changes will occur. But I temper that skepticism with reading as many different opinions by as many different impartial and scientific voices as I can discern. (And frankly, it's impossible to not take the sheer scale of scientific evidence seriously at this late point in the game.) James Inhofe is neither, and again, he has proven himself to be nothing more than a foolish, disingenuous, intellectually dishonest person. Allowing him to head the Environmental Committee is a slap in the face on the scale of putting Libya or Sudan on the UN's Human Rights Commission.
There's no other intellectually honest way to put it -- Inhofe is not just a tendentious hack and an idiot, he is someone who is actively, diametrically opposed to honest scientific inquiry. He's made himself abundantly clear on that count. This is not a case of the New York Times and a claque of lefty scientists picking on poor ol' Mister Smith as he does the peepul's work in mean ol' Warshington; this is a group of educated, serious, sensible people trying desperately to counter the destructive nonsense of a man who is inexplicably allowed to wield actual power over his fellow citizens.
The people of Oklahoma could hardly be any more irresponsible in their civic duty if they slapped a "Jesus Saves" sandwich board on a stray dog, and voted it into office. That's how fucking dumb Jim Inhofe really is. He's the one guy in government who makes Tom Coburn momentarily appear to have a measurable IQ.
Now, here's what serious scientists -- as opposed to hacky newspaper columnists looking for cheap money quotes to bolster their threadbare premises -- have to say in response to Inhofe's bullshit:
Sorry, but it's a tad more involved and convoluted than "The Bible said it, I read it, and that's that", which really does appear to circumscribe all of Inhofe's legislation, as well as his approach to logic and reason. I'm sure that comes off as more smug secular snark, but Inhofe's record speaks for itself.
These excerpts are very thoroughly referenced and annotated, so definitely check out the original. Look, again, I remain skeptical of the more frantic Day After Tomorrow theses, but just in the past few years -- chunks of the Antarctic Ice Shelf the size of Rhode Island breaking off; last year's epic hurricane season; an alarming trend of polar bears drowning. They can't all be statistical anomalies, nor can there be absolutely no human causation in any of them. Serious people can debate over the details and facts and find some common ground, but there is literally zero probity or intellectual honesty to Inhofe's stance.
Considering his governmental position, that's simply unacceptable, to borrow Junior's favorite new word, and it's irresponsible for people who characterize themselves as inquisitive agnostics to give Inhofe's cheap nonsense the time of day, especially in the guise of "apostasy". Inhofe's laissez-faire approach to environmental stewardship is as orthodox dispensationalist as it gets. These are people who quite literally believe that it doesn't really matter how we abuse the planet, because the end is nigh and the rapture is coming.
I wish that were mere sarcasm, but it isn't.