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2011-12-09

Lauding "Collapse of Global Warming Movement," Sen. Inhofe Tells U.N. Summit "You Are Being Ignored"

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While no members of the U.S. Congress attended the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma recorded a video message that was aired at a press conference of climate change deniers here at the summit on Wednesday. "Tossing out any remote possibility of a U.N. global warming treaty is one of the most important things we can do for the economy," Sen. Inhofe said. "I’m making this announcement from Washington, D.C., where I am confident that the only person left talking about global warming is me. The message from the Washington to the U.N. delegates in South Africa is this, this week, could not be any clearer: you are being ignored." [includes rush transcript]

Transcript

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to a clip of Senator Inhofe. While no members of the U.S. Congress have traveled to Durban for the climate talks—I’m going to contrast that with Copenhagen, where a whole delegation, led by Nancy Pelosi, came to Copenhagen—Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma recorded a video message that was aired at a press conference of climate change deniers here at the summit on Wednesday.

SEN. JAMES INHOFE: Hi. I’m Senator Jim Inhofe, a Republican senator from Oklahoma. Today I’m happy to bring you the good news about the complete collapse of the global warming movement and the failure of the Kyoto process, as world leaders meet for the United Nations global warming conference in Durban, South Africa. For the past decade, I have been the leader in the United States Senate standing up against global warming alarmism and cap and trade, which would have been the largest tax increase in the history of America. This victory is especially important today, as families in America and around the world continue to face really tough economic times. And tossing out any remote possibility of a U.N. global warming treaty is one of the most important things we can do for the economy.

I’m making this announcement from Washington, D.C., where I am confident that the only person left talking about global warming is me. The message from Washington to the U.N. delegates in South Africa is this, this week, could not be any clearer: you are being ignored.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Senator Inhofe of Oklahoma talking about celebrating the nail in the coffin. It very much follows one of his chief staffers, Marc Morano, who we had on yesterday, who was calling President Obama "George W. Obama," saying that a Republican president could never have accomplished what President Obama did here in stalling the talks, because people would have been sparked to rise up. They didn’t expect that Obama would do the same. Your response, Kate?

KATE HORNER: Well, of course, on the science, he’s just blatantly wrong. It’s clear, it’s compelling, and it’s urgent. And we must listen to it. I think that what this demonstrates is, yet again, politicians speaking on behalf of the 1 percent—the polluters, the financial elites—that stand to benefit from a lack of action, and not the 99 percent that are demanding climate justice around the world. I think that Obama’s team here has, of course, continued to represent those elites and those polluters, and that’s in large part what’s driving his position here. And he’s absolutely right to say that the world expected more of Obama. They gave him a chance to enter into these discussions in a productive, constructive way, and his team here hasn’t. I think when you talk to delegates, you’ll see some of that frustration, and you’ll see some of the concerns around the blocking of progress.

AMY GOODMAN: Senator Inhofe, again, saying, "The message from Washington to the U.N. delegates in South Africa is this, this week, could not be any clearer: you are being ignored."

MICHAEL DORSEY: You know, it’s time that we get rid of these shameful senators that are spinning tall tales, that don’t even line up with reality. The American people are sick and tired of this kind of sinister, mindless talking. The fact is, is that what is actually going on, unlike the senator says, is the global climate movement. It’s now grown beyond itself to become a movement about climate justice. It’s gone to global outreach to people around the world and put people together to collaborate on tackling this problem. And actually, that global climate movement is the movement that’s taking us on the course of real solutions, unlike the delayed diplomacy that we see coming out of the State Department.

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