By Rachel Roberts
Saying, “it’s snowing outside, therefore climate change does not exist” is almost like saying, “I had a sandwich for lunch today, therefore world hunger does not exist,” but that is exactly what Senator Jim Inhofe did last Thursday.
Inhofe, the senate’s most vocal critic of the scientific consensus on climate change, tossed a snowball on the Senate floor while advocating his case for why global warming does not exist.
Although the terms global warming and climate change can be used relatively interchangeably, the two encompass slightly different scopes. The term global warming can be used to describe the current increase in the earth’s overall average temperature. In contrast, climate change refers to changes in global temperatures, increased frequency of extreme weather events, and changes in wind and precipitation patterns.
Holding up a snowball, Inhofe asked the Senate, “In case we have forgotten, because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask, ‘You know what this is?’ It’s a snowball, from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out.”
Inhofe, who has authored the book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, said on global warming, “This is something that has been happening over a long period of time … and every time it does, everyone tries to say that the world’s coming to an end and somehow man is important and so powerful that he can change that.”
Inhofe concluded his speech by tossing the snowball and saying, “Mr. President, catch this.”
Although there was snow in Washington D.C., it is simply not enough to disprove the fact that globally our climate is changing and our planet is warming. Just because Washington D.C. is not experiencing increased temperatures in the past few weeks does not mean extreme weather events will not occur, summers will not be hotter, or other parts of the world are not experiencing increased temperatures.
According to the Huffington Post, although some parts of the country have experienced record low winter temperatures, the nation overall has been experiencing a warmer than average winter. Even though the east coast has hit record low temperatures, the west coast has been experiencing a warmer than average winter. Surprisingly enough, Inhofe lives on the east coast.