Get Ready: James Inhofe Has a Book Coming Out, Called "The Hoax"

By Chris Mooney | February 9, 2011 11:32 am

My latest DeSmogBlog post is about the hearing currently underway before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Power, concerning the so-called “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.” (Yeah. I know.) Anyway, the post starts off like this:

The big news so far from the current hearing…is that Senator James Inhofe, the leading climate change denier in the U.S. Congress, has a book coming out.

Inhofe had crossed chambers to testify in favor of the new legislation, which he co-authored with Energy and Commerce chair Fred Upton and subcommittee chair Ed Whitfield, and which would block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act. And in response to a question from Upton, Inhofe took the opportunity to mention his book, telling the committee that he just finished it and that it will be entitled “The Hoax.”

The title, presumably, refers Inhofe’s most (in)famous statement: His 2003 claim that climate change is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” I suppose it’s kind of like Carl Sagan entitling one of his last books Billions and Billions. Sagan didn’t like being remembered by that phrase, which he’d never actually uttered–but it’s much better than the one Inhofe is going to be remembered by, and did use to dismiss climate change.

You can read the full post here.

Comments (21)

  1. Chris,

    The really unfortunate aspect of this is that “The Hoax” just might outsell “Unscientific America” because all of those who feel so smart about being against “big guvmint” (sic) are all going to buy it and lay it out for their friends to see. I also hear that one time wind energy expert, Representative Jerry McNerney (PhD – Math), has a book on climate change coming out. Don’t know the title yet, but I doubt that it will outsell Inhofe’s either.

    I wish it were not so, but I am afraid that it might. I have a monthly column in my local newspaper and every thing I write gets the standard responses: “It’s the sun, stupid”; “Sea ice has recovered”; “Climate has been cooling since 1998.” Even though all of these are demonstrably false, they fit the belief system of some so that they no longer care if what they say matches physical reality. It matches their conceptual reality.

    I have started to focus on the transition town movement because they, at least, are heading in the right direction. Most of our politicians of all parties are not.

  2. bystander

    I’m embarrassed to be an okie.

  3. TTT

    I really don’t think it will sell at all. How many people actually bought Orrin Hatch’s “War on the West”? Or Frank Pombo’s “This Land is Our Land”? Anti-environmentalism is given away for free on the radio and Faux News every night–there’s no need to lay out $24.99. It’s not like there are any serious scholars on that side.

    I suppose it could get the Coulter treatment, where conservative thinktanks buy it in bulk to send it up the NYT list and then give it away as door prizes.

  4. Robert E

    Any other state want him? We’ll give him to you, and even through in Coburn for free.

  5. ThomasL

    TTT,

    And how many, even amongst the supposedly “educated”, really read much of anything influential (Marx, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Federalist Papers…)? If you think sellingreading is the metric that matters in mass persuasion, you aren’t paying attention… (I mean do you really think half the alarmists have actually read the literature either…?).

    Most simply parrot what they have been taught, and never delve into the original works (let alone take a critical approach to such things)… I’ve actually met “philosophy majors” who had never read actual original works… only got summations or critiques written by others (generally other teachers…). Such is what passes for educated today.

    We are not really taught to be critical -> and how can you honestly be critical of something you’ve never read? Agreeing or disagreeing with the summarizing author is rather pointless when you’ve never tackled the originals…. Even those whom hold advanced degrees generally suck at being critical thinkers (how could they be otherwise? All they have ever been asked to do is memorize what others have said…). It’s much easier to read a summation and agree -> which is about what everything in here boils down to -> “read the peer review and shut up. Don’t ask critical questions, don’t point out issues in the logictheory, just agree already…”.

    all of which passes as being somehow very intellectual for the world today I guess…

  6. TTT

    This is a thread about a book, so the point is that the book won’t matter. If anything, this is probably the LEAST damaging thing Inhofe can do in his workdays. I wholeheartedly encourage him to write more books that no one will read and that will be forgotten as quickly as the last denialist tomes from Peter Huber, Dixy Lee Ray, etc.

    Speaking of critical thinking, Inhofe’s we-never-landed-on-the-moon caliber suggestion of a “hoax” is the exact opposite of that. So I’m really not sure what your point is.

  7. Nullius in Verba

    “I wholeheartedly encourage him to write more books that no one will read and that will be forgotten as quickly as the last denialist tomes…”

    Maybe it will make Amazon’s top eco-book list next year? “Overall I am struck by how well the sceptic books sell,…”
    :-)

  8. TTT

    There are a whole entire TWO eco-denialist conspiracy kook books on that list–and it’s a British list. They are hopelessly outnumbered by real science books, including “Silent Spring” which was written like 50 years ago. And of course, you skipped right past the list of bestsellers by decade, in which the number of eco-denialist conspiracy kook books drops by half. I’ll take those numbers gladly.

  9. ThomasL

    TTT,

    My point is that all he has to do *is* write it. It doesn’t even have to sell 100 copies. Just those few will be enough to do far more “damage” to AGW than anything you’re thinking of was my point. From there the pundits and talking heads will choose juicy phrases and pretty graphs to show everyone.

    And unlike “we never landed on the moon”, there is no AGW isn’t exactly a fringe view amongst the masses…

    My point is that all he has to do *is* write it. It doesn’t even have to sell 100 copies. Just those few will be enough to do far more “damage” to AGW than anything you’re thinking of was my point. Why you ask, because from there the pundits and talking heads will choose juicy phrases and pretty graphs to show everyone. It will be referenced and used by everyone who has a gripe about it causing even more uncertainty amongst the populace.

    And unlike “we never landed on the moon” which has always been on the loony fringe, “there is no AGW” isn’t exactly a fringe view amongst the masses…

  10. Jon

    It’s the “Hollywood elite” behind the scenes running the show, sez Inhofe:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30769.html

  11. TTT

    ThomasL:

    This happens every few years–the media falls in love with some denialist con artist author who uses pretty graphs, like those I mentioned in my prior post, or also Easterbrook or Lomborg or Crichton. It’s extremely frustrating at the time but ultimately never changes anything; at this point it’s like writing another book about abortion. If Inhofe didn’t do it, someone else would. It also wouldn’t be the first time a sitting senator wrote an obnoxious book–think of Zell Miller.

    I repeat: there are WAY more significant things (in this case, more significantly damaging things) a sitting senator could do than write a book. This is why some of my more conservative friends were baffled when I didn’t care that Air America went off the air–because I vastly prefer Al Franken in the Senate than in a studio.

  12. Joe

    Everyone who believes in global warming is a moron. We need to build a large rocket capable of carrying all of you and shoot you into the sun. Then we can go back to living life on Earth w/o having to listen to this global warming bullshit every single day.

  13. ThomasL

    For a sitting Senator to do anything -> and I mean *ANYTHING*, heshe needs the cooperation of a large number of other Senator’s (and the press & public that got them there, of course -> but to go farther than that requires others in power agreeing with you…). Even should a Senator manage to accomplish “lots”, it is all subject to further revisions and reversals as society adjusts and adapts to future concerns.

    For a book to be influential for *centuries*, all it needs is to be written, and then have a hard core following keeping the ideas alive. The hard core followingdesire of the populace to agree is already present here.

    Part of why never studying anything but science is dangerous. One doesn’t learn how the world we live in functions (as in how humans work psychologically and how ideas move through a society, amongst other things).

  14. TTT

    It takes a lot of brass to lecture someone on “how the world works” by pooh-poohing the significance of LEGAL POLICY CHANGES in favor of minor cult followings of obscure books.

    How many thousands of right-wing books have been written in opposition to Roe v Wade? Or the Clean Water Act? Or the Endangered Species Act? Often by sitting politicians, sometimes even Republican presidents? And yet they are all trivial because the laws are still in effect–the books might as well have never happened.

    Ideas govern how people think, but laws govern what HAPPENS. That is “how the world works.” And that is why Inhofe’s folio of folly is trivial compared to the damage he could actually do.

  15. ThomasL

    TTT,

    Inhofe *CAN NOT* perform any policy change without a whole bunch of other Senators agreeing. While as chair he may be able to direct hearing topics or hold stuff up for a little while, at some point someone else will hold that chair, and everything eventually has to stand up to an actual vote to mean much of anything regardless of who holds the chair anyway. This is how it works. It is actually designed so that it’s pretty near imposable for any one person to screw anything up by themselves. Why is this so hard to understand? If we have that many other Senators agreeing as to actually allow him to do anything significant legislatively, then *his* writing of such a book is the least of your issues as the ability to pass such legislation would mean that there is already a majority of senators that agree with such thinking, written in a book or not.

  16. Michael Dean Lewis

    I read these replies and not one gainsays global warming, so sure they are in their beliefs. Suppose those who fervently believe in global warming believe that they can predict the weather years ahead. I just like to say, ‘One good volcano blast and …’ Just an opinion? Global climate change is inevitable but global warming?

  17. I just like to say, ‘One good volcano blast and …’

    And what?

    You realize that they include the possibility of volcanic events in climate predictions don’t you?

  18. JOE

    God Bless Sen. Inhofe. Global warming is such a joke. How many GW summits have been cancelled due to Blizzards? I have heard of about 6. Govt. sponsored ads which say stuff like “endless drought” , and snow will be rare. Mean while Lake Tahoe today is getting 2ft of snow!!!!!! and the hi sierras are getting 5ft!!
    i just wish the next global warming summit that conflicts with a blizzard not be cancelled! the earth is too important to cancel for a little blizzard. u guys are comedy. by the way, i dont own a car i have ridden my bicycle half way around the world

  19. ciscoguy

    Boy, what I wouldn’t give to trade my Sens. Webb and Warner for one Jim Inhofe. He has truly been a warrior against these eco-sharia supporting frauds.

    I’m still waiting for these people to explain the warming on Mars, why the Climategate CRU clerics needed to “hide the decline” or why the trace gas CO2 is a pollutant but the real and highly abundant greenhouse gas, water vapor, is not. Or, as Michael points out, how an unpredictable event like a volcano eruption or sunspot affects their “models”.

    These people cannot be reasoned with. They claim to be on the side of science, but unfalsifiable science is nothing more than religion. If the weather is hot, it is evidence of global warming. If it is frigid, it’s an outlier weather pattern or weather /= climate or they’ll pull out any number of other excuses. They’ve bought off the scientific community with grants for research in support of their theories, and any brave soul who dares challenge the “science” will be derided and scorned publicly as a quack. Better to shut up and collect your paycheck. To them, consensus equals truth, and it would be impossible to gain the support needed to pass such a massive tax without it. Thankfully, an increasing number of scientists have been questioning the theory. You can only conceal the truth for so long.

  20. Count Nukem

    This is one book I will like to get, possibly signed. Let us look back. Inhofe started as Army of One in the time when almost all, even I believed in AGW scam. Long way we went from the realization that most climate model do not predict well the real temperature data, to climategate, to various IPCC gates, to death of Copenhagen, to death of Cap and Tax. Long ago when Al Gore was a hero with Noble prize Inhofe was alone, but he was right and he had guts. Now,the House just have passed bill defunding IPCC, general public laughs at Al Gore, half of population understand that AGW scientists are actually political scientists (and Chris Mooney is helping them to become even more so). All of this started by one great hero and many of us admire Inhofe as a celebrity. May God bless Jim Inhofe, he is awesome senator. Hope we elect more like him in 2012.

  21. MC

    Climate change isn’t the biggest hoax pulled on humanity. It’s more like number three.
    Number 1 is Evolution. Number 2 is the age of the Earth, so it’s appropriate that the Sagan book was mentioned.

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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