BREAKING: Climate Change Is Not Real, Because the Bible
So there was an election yesterday and, just as we’ve known would happen for two years, Republican senators won a majority of seats and now control both houses of Congress. And what does that actually mean? Well, for one thing, there will be a slew of new committee leaders, including, as leader of the Environment and Public Works Committee—the most significant environmental body in the Legislative Branch—the author of this book:
Meet Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma who has served in the Senate since 1994. The New Republic describes Senator Inhofe as, “the worst science-denier in national politics.” This will be his second stint as chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee; he previously led it from 2003 to 2008, during which time he famously and charmingly compared the E.P.A. to the Gestapo.
In the atheist community, Inhofe is probably best known for declaring that climate change is impossible because the Bible says so. In 2012, Inhofe appeared on a Christian radio station, and was asked about a line in his book that argues climate change can’t be real because it says so in Genesis. He explained, “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.”
Now, obviously, if this is what the people who control the future of the world actually believe, then it is deeply troubling. But I’m going to give Jim a pass on this—he said this on a Christian radio show, and he was obviously playing to the crowd. Politicians say dumb shit all the time. And really, we can crow all we want about how delusional and maniacal people can get when they believe in preposterous things, but what really matters is that they believe them at all. In Senator Inhofe’s case, he says the things he says and legislates the way he does because he is supposed to… it’s his job. He is paid, handsomely, to shill, to say there’s no problem at all with energy companies spit-roasting the planet. According to Open Secrets, the industry that contributes the most to his campaign is the Oil & Gas industry, doubling the amount of the next industry:
And Inhofe’s five biggest individual financiers are all energy or energy-adjacent companies:
So what we have is the oldest story—and the only story—in politics: money. It matters so much more than the batshit crazy things our politicians say.
Really, I’m a little bummed we didn’t get more lunatics this election cycle. I guess the huge amounts of money have weeded out the craziest of the crazy from the national elections. For the real nuts, we have to look to state legislatures. Like this guy, who just got elected to the Colorado House of Representatives:
Oh man, you want crazy? Gordon Klingenschmitt is LITERALLY an exorcist. Okay, not literally as in he literally exorcises demons, but literally in that HE THINKS HE DOES. Seriously. He’s all about demons—says President Obama is possessed by demons, says demons make people gay. And he won his district by 40 points. At least Gordon winning means we can’t say, “only in the South.”
In fact, we can’t even say, “only in America” because extremist political parties are gathering steam all throughout Europe. Meet Anna-Marie Crampton, a member of the far-right United Kingdom Independence Party.
Crampton regularly takes to posting on conspiracy theory message boards, including this: “The Second World Wide War was engineered by the Zionist jews and financed by the bankers to make the general public all over the world to feel so guilty and outraged by the Holocaust that a treaty would be signed to create the State of Israel as we know it today.” …Well there ya go.
[By the way, I love how conspiracy theorists always come up with their own lingo for things, like “the Second World Wide War.” That makes her sound almost as crazy as the stuff she says afterward.]
All of which is to say: There have always been and will always be insane people saying insane things all throughout politics all over the world. It’s not a Bible Belt thing, and it’s not even an American thing. I say we enjoy it.