Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading opponent of climate science, appeared on a Christian radio talk show this week to present an odd argument: the far-right senator's interpretation of Scripture helps bolster his hostility towards scientific data.
In particular, Inhofe told Voice of Christian Youth America's Vic Eliason about his favorite Biblical citation included in his new anti-climate book, "The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future."
"[T]he Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that 'as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night.' My point is, God's still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous."
Obviously, the senator's spiritual beliefs are his business, but even a literal interpretation of the book of Genesis does not refute climate science. No one is arguing that temperature variation and seasons will simply disappear as a consequence of global warming.
Rather, the point is that we're currently pumping about 90 million tons of carbon emissions into the air every day. This creates the conditions that lead to global warming, and the seriousness of the crisis continues to get worse. There's nothing in Scripture that tells us the evidence is wrong.
Incidentally, if Republicans claim the Senate majority in the 2012 elections, Inhofe will be the chairman of the Senate committee on the environment. That he believes the Bible debunks all of climate science is not exactly encouraging.
Update: Inhofe will be a guest on The Rachel Maddow Show on Tuesday. Don't miss it.