— -- This may be a congressional first.
“In case we had forgotten because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair: You know what this is? It's a snowball and that just from outside here so it's very, very cold out. Very unseasonal,” he said.
“So, Mr. President, catch this,” Inhofe, R-Okla., said on the Senate floor, tossing the snowball to someone off-screen as he tried to suppress a smile.
“We hear the perpetual headline that 2014 has been the warmest year on record but now the script has flipped and I think it's important since we hear it over and over and over,” Inhofe, 80, said. “As we can see with the snowball out there, this is today. This is reality.”
This isn't the first time Inhofe has used snow to make a point about climate change. After a massive snowstorm in the Washington, D.C., area in 2010, Inhofe and his family famously built an igloo and labeled it "Al Gore's New Home."
The Environmental Protection Agency's website says, "Rising global average temperature is associated with widespread changes in weather patterns. Scientific studies indicate that extreme weather events such as heat waves and large storms are likely to become more frequent or more intense with human-induced climate change."
Speaking on the Senate floor later in the afternoon, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, one of the Senate’s strongest environmental advocates, used figures from scientific studies to rebut Inhofe’s theory.
“You can believe every single major American scientific society or you can believe the senator with the snowball,” Whitehouse, D-R.I., said.