November 15, 2009

Senator Inhofe from Oklahoma Champions Copenhagen Consensus

After the American Century

My American readers may be embarassed, but those from Europe will perhaps be delighted to hear that the buffoon of the United States Senate, James Inhofe says he plans to come to Copenhagen for the December climate conference. Since the media yesterday told us that the great powers have informally agreed that nothing binding will actually happen in Copenhagen, it is good to know that other entertainment is on the way.

Senator Inhofe is a most militant opponent of environmentalists. He famously declared that global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” For years during the Bush majority he chaired the Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe favors drilling for oil and gas in the Alaskan wilderness, and he resists efforts to save endangered species. He frequently quotes the Bible in his speeches.

Danes should not feel too smug when laughing at Inhofe, however, as he also likes to quote their own Bjorn Lomborg, whose crusade against global warming has been, well, warmly supported by their own government. Inhofe has used Lomborg's arguments at some length in an op-ed piece in The Washington Post.

The Copenhagen Consensus, Lomborg's "think tank" gets a direct grant from the government. Lomborg is not a scientist, but a statistician. If he has actually had an original scientific idea of his own, I am not aware of it. However, he says what big oil and coal companies like to hear, and he gets major economists to confuse talking about apples as though they were oranges, (i.e. with such questions as which is better, to solve the global warming problem (orange) or to save children who are malnourished (apple)?) When Inhofe comes to Copenhagen to declare that there is no global warming problem, count on Lomborg to line up some compliant Danes to sing backup vocals.

And so, the Danish government will have it both ways. They will sponsor the conference and appear to be leading a reluctant world toward a cooler and greener future. But for years the same government has paid Lomborg and funded his center to attack the whole idea that any money should be spent on global warming at all. With one hand they admonish the Obama Administration to help stop global warming, and with the other hand they give completely different advice to Senator Inhofe.