James Inhofe, the outgoing chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, is spending his last days in power attacking a children’s book on climate change. The book, published by the United Nations in March, is “based on the theme of climate change and on what children can do to mitigate effects of climate change.” Inhofe’s staff breathlessly notes, “The book features colorful drawings and large text to appeal to young children.”
Inhofe claims the book conveys inaccurate information about climate change to children. Actually, it’s Inhofe’s press release that’s inaccurate. Here’s an example:
“The morning after his dream, Tore sets out on a quest for knowledge about the dangers of catastrophic manmade global warming. A “snowy owl” informs Tore that “the planet’s heating up” and that both the Arctic and Antarctica “are warming almost twice as fast as elsewhere.” [EPW Note: The Arctic, according to the International Arctic Research Center was warmer during the 1930's than today and both the journals Science and Nature have published studies recently finding -- on balance -- Antarctica is both cooling and gaining ice.]
So, Inhofe claims Antarctica is gaining ice. There is only one study that examined all of the ice sheet on Antarctica. The study was published this March and, using NASA satellites, found, “The Antarctic ice sheet is losing as much as 36 cubic miles of ice a year.”
Some right-wing groups have used a study by Curt Davis to claim Antarctica is gaining ice. But Davis’ study only looked at the interior of the continent. Since global warming leads to more precipitation, increased snow on the interior of Antarctica is consistent with climate change. In June, Davis told ThinkProgress that using his study to claim Antarctica is gaining ice is “completely wrong.”
We could go on, but you get the idea.
This isn’t the first children’s book that Inhofe has attacked. He also smeared a book for children written by respected New York Times reporter Andy Revkin. Read Revikin’s response here.