James Inhofe Apologizes for Calling Global Warming a Hoax

Senator Inhofe urges Congress to act on global warmingApril fool 2011 :-)

In what might be one of the most remarkable about-faces ever to come from within the beltway, James Inhofe, Senator and minority ranking member of the Environment and Public Works Committee (R. OKLA), apologized to a stunned Senate chamber for calling climate change the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

“It’s time for leadership in Washington on climate change,” said Inhofe. “To date, I have been an obstacle to that leadership, and that changes today.”

A confused and bewildered Republican leadership called for the  Senate Sargent at Arms to restore order – “this man is not who he says he is!” cried Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, accusing Inhofe of being a liberal hollywood stunt double carrying out an evil socialist plot. The befuddled McConnell then made a choking sound, suddenly blurting out the word “Hitler!

Inhofe tried to reassure and calm his colleagues. Turning to McConnell he said, “Calm down Mitch, it’s really me. I’m no Hitler, nor is Obama or any of my colleagues on the left. It’s time we stopped this hurtful and dangerous rhetoric and worked to solve problems. Global warming and a new energy economy are now at the top of my list.”

At that McConnell collapsed on the Senate floor and and was rushed to the hospital.

Undaunted, Senator Inhofe continued:

“My behavior and judgement has been in grave error regarding the reality and urgency of global warming – climate change – and the validity of the science,” said Inhofe, “and I owe my constituents, all Americans, and most especially my grandchildren, an apology.”

I also owe the climate science community an apology,” he added. “Climate scientists in this country are some of the brightest, most patriotic and courageous people you’ll find and I’ve done them a disservice in my efforts to keep ‘climate gate’ alive.”

OMG Inhofe’s gone rouge. Or I’ve lost my mind. Or he’s lost his mind. tweet me, think I just transmuted into alt universe. Not real…

OMG” a flummoxed Barbara Boxer, erstwhile nemesis to Inhofe,  tweeted her chief of staff. “Inhofe’s gone rouge. Or I’ve lost my mind. Or he’s lost his mind. Tweet me, think I just transmuted into alt universe. Not real…”

“We need to listen more to the scientists and base our policy decisions on their good work,” continued Inhofe.

“But, but… why?” implored an obviously weakened Senator and minority whip Jon Kyle.

“I did it because I don’t like Al Gore,” admitted Inhofe. “After all, does anybody really like Gore?”

After a brief moment of awkward silence, with most Senators staring sheepishly at their desks, Inhofe yielded the remainder of his time.

The Senator later told reporters he will fully support legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and urge his colleagues to enact aggressive incentives for renewable energy research and development focusing on solar, wind, and advanced biofuel energy.

“Fossil energy is the way of the past,” he told reporters. “The future of this country lay in the new energy economy.”

Video crews were able to capture the sight of pigs flying in the sky over the Capital building.

Image credit: irregulartimes.com


Tom is the founder, editor, and publisher of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the TDS Environmental Media Network. He has been a contributor for Triple Pundit since 2007. Tom has also written for Slate, Earth911, the Pepsico Foundation, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, and many other sustainability-focused publications. He is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists

5 responses

  1. Obama thinks its a hoax now too……….
    MISSING: Global Warming, Answers to the name of climate change, climate, pollution, Greenhouse gas, CO2, witch burning, omen worship, superstition and Disco science and now?…..? Continued support of the climate control mistake is hurting the planet, killing respect for scientists and dividing progressivism.
    How could this unstoppable warming crisis have been real and worth the sacrifice for costly CO2 mitigation, when Obama himself didn’t say a single word about the “CRISIS” in his STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS? Even Obomber is as DENEIR now. Did the saintly scientists put up a fuss? No. Why?
    The majority of voters now are former believers so you lazy copy and paste news editors are jokes for the history books and never to be respected again, not to mention the disco scientists who also brought us germ warfare, cruise missiles, nuclear waste, pesticides and finally climate control by humans. Their exaggerations were criminal. Climate Change did to science and journalism what abusive priests and suicide bombers did for religion. If there were consequences for condemning billions of children to death, none of us would have take part in this mass insanity of climate change.
    Voters had the real consensus that counted and as bible thumping Republicans are to the neocons, so were the fear mongering climate change believers to progressivism. leaving Climate change the Iraq War for the left. Move on, for children’s sake because real civilized and real progressive loving people were happy a crisis was averted. History is watching this madness.

  2. Meme Mine –
    Hmmm… Hang on a sec….
    Nope, I can’t find your sense of humor here either. Sorry.
    Oh, wait! You got me. Pretty good spoof on an intelligent comment.
    (History is indeed watching this madness – you got that part right, too bad you’ve aligned yourself with the madness)

  3. The Senator has gone from denier to some point in reality. He will grow to a new maturity when he and others come to understand that we are between ice ages and that sunspot activity is our heat source that keeps us from another mini-ice age.

    As for energy, we have not significantly changed the way we live. We are now dependent on sells of cars of any type, TVs in every corner of the house, cable, satellite, cell phones, PCs and so on and so on.

    No one really wants to go back to living in a cabin in the woods. We must have our green lawns and all the garden accessories.

    We must also have are war machine economy. All this must be kept status quo.

    Thus, no matter what any senator does or says is trivial. The public will demand more than what energy that is left can provide.

    As we slide back into an ice age in another 10,000 years, how will we adjust to a barren planet with all the God given resources nearly totally diminished?

    I use to be all for nuclear power plants, but now…At the rate of nuclear power plant accidents, in the next 1000 years, there will be few places to live.

    Most Sincerely,

    Paul Pierett

  4. Lysenko strikes again!

    The mainstream media has devoted much time to discussing the pros and cons of nuclear power in the light of the Japanese disaster but has never mentioned the practical alternative of fuel cells for the generation of base load energy. This new technology, either based on molten carbonate electrolytes or solid oxide electrolytes are high temperature fuel cells that do not require expensive platinum catalysts because they operate at high temperatures, and are not poisoned by carbon monoxide because they do not need a platinum catalyst. In fact they use the carbon monoxide to generate more electricity. They emit less than 1% of the toxic pollution emitted by the conventional coal fired boilers providing steam to turbines and also less than gas internal combustion turbines and combined cycle generators. Their toxic pollution emissions are far less also than natural gas base load internal combustion turbines and combined cycles. Their fuel efficiency is higher than the giant coal fired steam turbines that no one wants near their back yard (NIMBY) and because they re small, they don’t require large transmission lines that snake through wilderness areas and also are obnoxious near your back yard. Because of their small size they can be located at the site of the load and their byproduct heat can also be used for space heating, hot water, and air conditioning, leading to combined heat and power fuel efficiencies of up to 90% at the site of the load compared with only 30% efficiency from giant conventional generation during utility on-peak hours (about 10 to 14 hours per day) when electrical losses of transmission distribution and substations are taken into account.

    If one is concerned with global warming, fuel cells significantly reduce the carbon dioxide emitted per kWh generated, as much as 50% or more, but many are skeptical of the alleged risk of global warming and climate change and to them the 99% reduction in toxic pollution of fuel cells such as reductions in nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulate matter is the more important factor.

    The cost of fuel cell base load energy is slightly higher now than energy from conventional power plants except in niche markets such as where free fuel is available from sewage gas, gas from beer brewing, and gas from other industrial processes such as baking bread. Fuel cells are even fueled with paint fumes from an auto manufacturing plant. They can also be fueled with coal gas, mine mouth methane, bio gas and fuel oil where that is the most practical alternative. They are more fuel efficient than the conventional giant coal fired steam turbines; their slightly higher cost of electric energy is due to the higher cost of their hardware currently. In large volume production, the hardware is anticipated to cost as much as 80% less than its current cost and the cost of energy to be lower than the cost from conventional generation as well as far less polluting with toxic emissions. .

    The US supply of natural gas, that was anticipated to run out shortly, has now been expanded by the new technology of horizontal drilling and fracturing of shale. The current supply is estimated as sufficient for the next 200 years.

    The main problem for fuel cells until recently has been the high cost of manufacture of the hardware. That is rapidly coming down. For example Fuel Cell Energy makes a high temperature fuel cell with a molten carbonate electrolyte has 70 installations working around the world. When it changed from an experimental and development company to a commercial producer of fuel cells, it believed that its production/cost curve would make the generating capacity it produced competitive generally at production levels of 500 MW per year. With its learning curve, it has brought that down to 75 MW – 125 MW but to date it has never produced more than 35 MW per year because the market has not developed. However the POSCO company of South Korea proposes, commencing in 2012 to start purchasing these fuel cells at a rate of 350 MW per year and in 2016 will commence to purchase them at the rate of 700 MW per year. The Japanese may just take a hint from the South Koreans.

    The VERSA Power Co. makes high temperature fuel cells with a solid oxide electrolyte. It has been participating in the federal government program to bring down the cost of manufacture of fuel cells. The DOE reports that currently there are estimates checked by the Bureau of the Budget showing that in large volumes these can be manufactured at $700 per kW and next year they anticipate the cost will be reduced to $400 per kW. This can be compared with $2,000 per kW cost of conventional steam turbine generators (much less for gas internal combustion generators.) Some authors claim the $2,000 per kW cost of the year 2000 has now doubled.

    Fuel cells are a practical alternative to nuclear generators for the production of base load energy without any of the dangers or risk of that source, nor the toxic pollution emitted by coal fired and natural gas fired turbines. I would hope that the mainstream media would look into this and that those who are expert in nuclear power would look to those who are expert in the business of generating and delivering firm electric power at a low cost, and can also factor into that cost the risk of explosions, meltdowns and radioactivity, to make the decisions on the future of our electric power supply.

    More on a comparison of conventional generation, including nuclear generation, with fuel cells energy.

    Before there were any nuclear generators, nuclear was thought to be so cheap it wouldn’t even need to be metered. It was to be sold for less than 1¢ per kWh. But the cost of the hardware came out to be much more than originally estimated. One plant built by Louisiana Power & Light was originally estimated to cost $225 million, and turned out to cost $2 billion. A plant built by Gulf States Utilities finally cost $5,000 per kW. This was at a time when coal fired boilers and steam turbines could be built for about $2,000 per kW (without very much pollution control equipment) and coal was selling for less, for about $1.75 per mmbtu. GSU sold 1/3 of the plant to a Louisiana cooperative power system but the remaining cost was more than all the rest of its assets combined and it had some 30 generating stations, to my recollection, thousands of miles of transmission and distribution plant, a big office building, trucks, etc. That company finally decided to sell out to the Middle South Holding Company, now called Entergy.

    When the electric power systems in the Pacific Northwest ran out of hydro, the coops and public power systems decided to supplement it with nuclear power as advised by the engineers and lawyers. They were all farmers and small businessment and had no independent source of training or experience with which to make this decision. The project was called “WHOOPS’. However when the anticipated costs of finishing the construction of the plants exceeded $5,000 per kW, they stopped and sued their engineers and lawyers. For WHOOPS $2 billion blunder, see:

    And it turned out the uranium fuel supply also cost more than anticipated.

    Some but not all of this was the problem of bad estimates. Another problem was that after the Chernobyl nuclear generating plant meltdown in Russia and the Three Mile Island partial meltdown in Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, the Atomic Energy Commission, later the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, kept adding additional safety requirements retroactively, even after they had granted a construction license to a company.

    One former employee of Louisana Power & Light Company told me a different story about the reason for its giant cost increase. He said that prior to the advent of nuclear power, the company had three divisions, Generation, Transmission, and Distribtion. With the advent of nuclear they set about forming a fourth division, Nuclear Power. To man the division, management asked the division heads of the existing divisions to recommend some of their engineers for the new job. According to the former employee, the division heads recommended their worst people so they could get rid of them. It is interesting to note that LP&L’s cost increase was attributed by them to litigation by me when I was an attorney for the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, and also to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The bad estimate was not attributed to the company’s nuclear division and no one’s head rolled as a result of what had happened.

    So the $700 per kW cost of VERSA Power for its solid oxide fuel cells looks pretty good and its anticipated cost next year of $400 per kW looks even better. Caveat — these are only with high volume manufacture. By now, Fuel Cell Energy has its cost down to about $2,000 per kW that is competitive with coal fired boilers and steam turbines without transmission or distribution. You have to add these as your generating plant grows. With them, the conventional power supply can cost up to $3,500 per kW for coal fired boilers and steam turbines,, with some $1,500 of the cost for new T&D, and up to $2,000 per kW for gas fired “aeroderivative” internal combustion turbines and combined cycles with T&D. You need T&D for the conventional base load energy generators because of their large size requires them to distribute energy to small loads across a broad area. Fuel cells can achieve their economies in small sizes, as small as 10 kW. With a size of 40 MW, molten carbonate fuel cells with a gas turbine second stage have been estimated to generate with a fuel efficiency of 78%. So far 56% has been achieved with a 300 kW system in Montana. Also 60% has been achieved where the fuel cells have been used to lower the pressure of natural gas at pressure reduction stations where natural gas is delivered by high pressure transmission lines and must be stepped down at a city gate for delivery to customers where it is further stepped down. There the system recaptures part of the energy that had originally been used to compress the gas for long distance transmission and uses its byproduct heat to heat the stepped down gas so it does not freeze.

    The aeroderivative gas turbines were developed by the turbine manufacturers in the middle 70s after many complaints by airlines who were finding it difficult to make a profit with the high cost of fuel. Query, why didn’t the electric utilities put that pressure on the turbine manufacturers? It is because the regulatory commissions permitted them to pass on the cost of gas without further oversight. The turbine manufacturers improved the efficiency of the aircraft engines to 43% from 28%. The technology was then applied to turbine generators and it was found the low cost of the gas turbines, combined with the newly achieved efficiency, generated base load energy that competed very favorably with the cost of the coal fired generation. At 28% efficiency, natural gas had only been used for peaking power or in small quantities for base load where there was an insufficient demand for it from heating customers and it would have otherwise been flared, i.e. burnt off. From 1980 to 2000 practically all the new base load energy generation construction committed consisted of aeroderivative gas combustion turbines with a quick transition to combined cycles. These were gas combustion turbines on the front end with heat recovery boilers to capture the waste heat from the gas turbines and use it to make steam for the second cycle that was a steam cycle. Soon they had combined cycles with fuel efficiencies of 50% with a size of only 50,000 kW and then GE was able to make a combined cycle with 60% efficiency — but it required a size of at least 400,000 kW. And these efficiencies were achieved only at full load with optimal ambient conditions of temperature and pressure.

    The problem with them hit suddenly in the year 2000 when the demand for natural gas for heating combined with the demand for natural gas for electric generation combined with the existing gas supply to spike the cost way up over the price natural gas had been selling for. It drove it up from about $2.30 per mmbtu to $10 per BTU in the winter heating season months. That was because with two decades of building almost exclusively aeroderivative gas turbines and combined cycles, gas had been used as a base load fuel instead of just for peaking. For peaking it was used only 5% of the time, but for base load it was used 85% to 100% of the time.

    Now technology has played a new role. If the natural gas available from shale could be economically extracted, we would have a gas supply enough for the next 200 years. That has been done. Natural gas developers have developed techniques to drill parallel horizontal bores and to fracture the shale to recover natural gas. We now have a gas supply that can supply both space heating and electric generation customers at a reasonable price.

    Another caveat, Transmission and Distribution are not all bad. They integrate load and they integrate generation. Because of load diversities (you have your stove on and your neighbor cooks his meals later and has his stove off), only 1 kW of generating capacity is needed to serve 10 kW of anticipated peak load when it is integrated. Also Transmission and Distribution integrate generating capacity. For integrated generating capacity with the utilities sharing reserves, the required installed reserve generating capacity so that firm power can be delivered, drops dramatically. But even when that is taken into consideration, when the cost of fuel cell generating capacity drops below the cost of T&D needed to integrate the load, fuel cells will prevail.

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