The record-breaking snowstorm that has shut down the mid-Atlantic region for days has become a favored target for mockery by Republicans who deny global warming, seemingly on the supposition that deadly blizzards invalidate the science of climate change.
Before the storm hit, the Virginia GOP launched a web ad mocking “12 inches of global warming,” attacking Democrats who had voted in favor of climate and clean energy legislation. Now, after hundreds of thousands of people lost power, several people have been killed, and states of emergency declared in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware, Sen. Jim Inhofe’s (R-OK) family has joined in the mockery, building an igloo on the National Mall and calling it “Al Gore’s New Home“:
The Oklahoma Republican’s daughter, Molly Rapert; her husband, Jimmy; and their four children built an igloo — roomy enough to fit several people inside — at Third Street and Independence Avenue Southeast. They officially dedicated the humble abode in honor of global-warming crusader Gore, even posting a cardboard sign on the igloo’s roof reading “AL GORE’S NEW HOME” on one side and “HONK IF YOU [HEART] GLOBAL WARMING” on the other. Inhofe, the ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is famously one of Congress’ most vocal critics of global warming. And he told HOH that he found his family’s ironic tribute to Gore — which came during one of Washington’s snowiest winters on record — “really humorous.”
In reality, winter snows do not invalidate the reality that the planet just experienced the hottest decade on record. Scientists have been warning for years that global warming would increase the severity of winter storms.
This past January was the warmest January on record for the planet. And as National Wildlife Federation climate scientist Amanda Staudt notes, winter storms are getting fiercer even as the season gets warmer. “The last few years have brought several unusually heavy snowstorms as warmer and moister air over southern states has penetrated further north, colliding with bitter cold air masses,” she explains.
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) tweeted this silly screed against Gore:
,Inhofe’s press secretary, Matt Dempsey, told CNSNews.com that ThinkProgress needs to lighten up about global warming. “It’s just disappointing that more of the liberal blogs don’t seem to have a sense of humor about this,” he said. “This was done in good fun.”