Cold weather tends to bring out the climate change deniers — in the Senate, that would be Senator James Inhofe (R-OK). On Monday, Inhofe pointed to freezing temperatures across the country to explain climate change science is both “laughable” and rigged.
Usually the first to seize on snowy weather to argue against climate action, Inhofe described how the United Nations invented the “global warming thing” as a power grab. In his words, U.N. climate change conferences to negotiate global action are nothing more than a “Global Warming Party” with “all you can eat” and “all you can drink.” He talked about how scientists were recently stuck in Antarctic ice, which to him was more proof climate change is not happening. It is Inhofe’s tradition to seize on wintry weather: Once in 2010, his family built an igloo during a blizzard called, “Al Gore’s new home.”
Despite what Inhofe says, scientists are not perplexed by the polar vortex. What’s happening is a temporary change in the jet stream, meaning cold polar air has taken “an excursion” down into more temperate latitudes. So some parts of the planet will experience cooler temperatures, but more parts will experience hotter temperatures. 2013, for example, could easily be the 7th-hottest year on record.
Inhofe’s home state of Oklahoma, meanwhile, has suffered through severe droughts and the hottest summer ever recorded in the U.S.