Defining What A “Hoax” Is So Even Senator Inhofe Can Understand the Difference

Senator Inhofe displays his response to the question that asks how many facts are in his new book “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future”


A hoax is something that is intended to deceive or defraud people.  This implies that plans were made and strategies were laid out by an individual or a select group of people to carry out this hoax.  Financial rewards are often an expected outcome. Hoaxes are “distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment or rumors and urban legends that are passed along in good faith by believers or as jokes”.

Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe has gained much notoriety by all sides of the global warming issues since referring to this impending threat to the planet as a “hoax”.  He first made his conjecture public on the floor of the U.S. Senate back on July 28th, 2003.   He was quite verbose and for those who share views with Inhofe on who their enemies are, he might even have appeared to know what he was talking about.

But he isn’t even out of the starting gates with his assault on climate change proponents before he exposes himself as nothing more than a conspiracy theorists, or worse – a hoaxer himself .  He appears to be the voice of calm and reason as he informs us that, “Too often emotion, stoked by irresponsible rhetoric, rather than facts based on objective science, shapes the contour of environmental policy.”  But this is all a facade.

Irresponsible rhetoric punctuates the man’s entire speech from his erroneous claim that NASA’s finding back in 1992 dismissed the existence of an ozone hole in our stratosphere to the belief that there is “overwhelming evidence” by those who say global warming poses no grave harm to the planet.  Not only was there an ozone hole back in 1992 but the physical evidence of one today from newer technology has been validated by a new study led by NASA.  And contrary to Inhofe’s views that more people say global warming doesn’t pose a threat or that humans contribute to it, there is now not only an “overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is indeed happening and humans are contributing to it”, but this consensus is growing by leaps and bounds.

But one of the indicators that marks those people who attempt to blow smoke up the asses of other people is their frequent vilification of others.  I have yet to find any source truly reliable that hasn’t demonized and denigrated their adversaries throughout their public challenges.  Employing this tactic helps set unrealistic expectations as it conceals a failure to present documented data relevant to the narrative.

Recall also that our definition of a hoax points out that they are “distinguishable from errors in observation or judgment”.  There has to be willful intent “to deceive or defraud people”.  Inhofe’s allegations to support a hoax do not stand up to this criteria, even remotely and his frequent use of disparaging remarks toward “alarmist and lunatic environmental extremists” is apparent throughout his Senate speech.

Was Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector back in 2003, sounding “both ridiculous and alarmist” as Inhofe alleged then following Blix’s comments earlier that year that expressed his concern about being “more worried about global warming than I am of any major military conflict”?  Was it really “sheer lunacy” as Inhofe saw it when Science writer David Appel shared Blix’s concern, stating in an article that “[global warming] would be chaos by any measure, far greater even than the sum total of chaos of the global wars of the 20th century, and so in this sense Blix is right to be concerned. Sounds like a weapon of mass destruction to me”?

When it was pointed out to Inhofe in an interview while in Copenhagen back in February 2010 that the Pentagon had identified climate change as one of the biggest threats to our national security, Inhofe put his foot in his mouth and retorted that the Pentagon made no such claim.  He was then informed that the DoD’s Quadrennial Defense Review stated, amongst other things, that:

 “climate change could have significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to poverty, environmental degradation, and the further weakening of fragile governments. … While climate change alone does not cause conflict, it may act as an accelerant of instability or conflict, placing a burden to respond on civilian institutions and militaries around the world.”   SOURCE 


But the kicker for me is where Inhofe has to now shamefully admit that his intent to use only facts based on objective science to form policy lacks any credibility following his comments in an interview with the Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason.  Earlier this year he appeared on that program to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.  He tells Eliason that global warming, a scientific theory, is disputed by a subjective religious view he finds in the Bible’s Genesis 8:22

Inhofe: Well actually the 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.  Source

Image of BP oil spill from outer space. Can man’s actions change the environment?


Now try as they may to both incorporate science into their theological views (i.e., Creationism) while simultaneously denouncing science as Satan’s tool, most people within Christianity would not be inclined to view the Book of Genesis as “objective science”.  It is a part of their faith system that they say they don’t have to account for its veracity through the scientific method.  Faith alone is all that they need to sustain them.

Yet here’s James Inhofe who, when heading the Committee on Environment and Public Works back in 2003, affirmed that the decisions his committee makes, because they “have wide-reaching impacts, influencing the health and security of every American” would have three guiding principles, where using “the most objective science” heads the list.  Suffice it to say that neither of the other two guiding principles employed the use of scripture to help establish policy.

So, Mr. Inhofe.  A true hoax is more like what you’re doing to sell your book and curry favor with the oil and gas companies who faithfully and generously contribute to your political campaigns.   By claiming to battle an alleged hoax you have exposed yourself to the criticism you have set for yourself in your own comments.

By using the Bible in a cheap attempt to validate a scientific proposition, it seems only fair that we should use a verse from scripture to describe you.  I think Micah 2:11 fits neatly here.  “If a liar and deceiver comes and says, ‘I will prophesy for you plenty of wine and beer,’ he would be just the prophet for this people!”   “This people” being those who bankroll and re-elect you.

Are the uninformed and undereducated getting duped by climate deniers?


9 responses to “Defining What A “Hoax” Is So Even Senator Inhofe Can Understand the Difference

  1. Excellent post, Larry! This illustrates what I see as one of the most damaging things occurring i our world today… has become for sale. We no longer see scientist for the people that help define change but rather a way to push a political agenda……I am also disappointed in academia as well….they are just as guilty.

    • Thanks Dr. Chuq.

      True scientist never allow politics to interact with their findings. Once they do, their claims to scientific research and theoretical perspectives lack credibility.

      That’s why Dr. James Hobson, a registered Republican during his Senate hearings on global warming in 1988 and who Inhofe himself considers to be “the father of global warming theory”, has credibility, where somebody like Dr. Richard Lindzen who Inhofe enthusiastically quotes in his speech along with dropping Dr. John Christy’s name, lacking serious credibility. Both Lindzen and Christy work for organizations heavily funded by Exxon-Mobil. Exxon-Mobil made it clear that they would pay any and all researchers to find contrary evidence that would create an air of suspicion to the growing dearth of climate science knowledge. “Since 1990, … the company has spent more than $19 million funding groups that promote their views through publications and Web sites that are not peer reviewed by the scientific community.”

  2. Behind any creationist or climate change denier is a conspiracy theory. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “follow the money” all the while shaking their heads at me knowingly. If only I realize that the climate change claimers are conspiring to gain research funds and promote their own green technologies, I’d get that this is all a hoax. It doesn’t dawn on them that the climate change deniers are funded almost wholly by the oil and gas interests who have a “gasp” dog in the race? The fact is, truly talented scientists follow the facts because discovering something new is what the game is all about. Going down as a scammer is hardly the ticket to fame.

  3. And he sits in the ‘most deliberative body on Earth’. Which actually doesn’t really deliberate anymore, so maybe it’s the perfect place for the likes of Inhofe (and King et al take up space in the congress).

    Just yikes.

    • It’s a little disconcerting that relatively bright people seem to think anything outside their small world has any relevance. The notion that global warming is a hoax is one of those areas of significant importance that needs broad public support but its been a slow moving caterpillar for the longest time that the initial urgency expressed 15-20 years ago has failed to keep enough people interested. Especially now that that caterpillar is evolving into a speedy little cock roach.

  4. Oh, dear God. I barely know how to respond. We really, truly need to weed out these lunatics from legislating. Let Inhofe preach somewhere else – where lives and the planet can’t be affected by it. This is just ghastly.

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