Bush and Inhofe’s Home States Scorched By Wildfires And Droughts

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the outgoing chairman of the Senate environment committee, calls climate change “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” But the facts about global warming are clear, and as ClimateProgress notes, the evidence is right in Inhofe’s backyard.

A record-high 9.5 million acres have been burned by wildland fires in 2006, according to the National Climatic Data Center. As the U.S. Drought Monitor shows below, the northern part of Inhofe’s home state of Oklahoma is “currently experiencing the most severe levels of drought in the U.S.,” while “nearly all of Oklahoma is at least experiencing ‘abnormally dry’ (yellow) conditions.” President Bush’s home state of Texas is also undergoing critical drought conditions.

Data from more than 50 climate models have revealed a direct link between rises in global temperature and damage to ecosystems, including higher risks of “forest fires, droughts and flooding.” Almost 45 percent of the contiguous U.S. experienced “moderate to extreme droughts” this year, while “some areas, such as the Northeast of the country experienced record rainfalls and severe floods.” Researchers announced in May that deserts in the American Southwest “are creeping toward heavily populated areas as the jet streams shift,” meaning areas “already stressed by drought may get even drier.

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