Or read the transcript below:
Transcript by J. C. Hendershot
Interview with Senator Inhofe by Roger Aronoff
The “Take AIM” show on BlogTalkRadio, May 8, 2012.
ROGER ARONOFF: Good morning, and welcome to Take AIM, Accuracy in Media’s talk show on BlogTalkRadio. AIM is America’s original media watchdog, and every week we point out biased coverage and bring you the stories the mainstream media ignore. I’m Roger Aronoff, the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and of The AIM Report, which you can subscribe to at aim.org, where we also encourage you to sign up to receive our daily E-mail so you can keep track of what the media are up to. Our guest today is Senator James Inhofe, Oklahoma’s senior Senator and author of the new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. In his book, Mr. Inhofe takes on the junk science behind global warming, and shares the story about his journey to expose the global warming agenda and those who profit off of climate change alarmism. Good morning, Senator! We’re very glad to have you with us today on Take AIM!
SENATOR JAMES INHOFE: Roger, it’s always good to be with you!
ARONOFF: Thank you so much. I want to tell our audience a little more about you before we get into the discussion—and, actually, I want to touch on a few other subjects, too, because you are also on the Senate Armed Services and Senate Foreign Relations Committees, and have been involved in many different things. Senator Inhofe is also the ranking member of the Committee on Environment and Public Works. Before becoming a member of the U.S. Senate, he represented Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District in the House. He was the Minority Leader of the Oklahoma Senate, the Mayor of Tulsa, and a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives. He was voted the “Number One Conservative” in the U.S. Senate by National Journal, and “Most Outstanding Conservative U.S. Senator” by Human Events newspaper and the American Conservative Union. He is a lifelong Oklahoman—by the way, I’m a Texan, a Texas Longhorn, so we’ve got a little rivalry there—who grew up in Tulsa, and graduated from the University of Tulsa with a degree in economics. He served in the U.S. Army, and has been a small businessman working in aviation, real estate, and insurance for more than 30 years, and a grandfather of—how many now?
SENATOR INHOFE: I’ve got twenty kids and grandkids, Roger!
SENATOR INHOFE: And here’s the amazing part of that—with the exception of six, all of them live next door to me! Can you believe that—in this day and age?
ARONOFF: That’s amazing, yeah.
SENATOR INHOFE: In Tulsa, Oklahoma!
ARONOFF: So you go back home very often, I believe?
SENATOR INHOFE: Here’s what I do: I go to either Afghanistan, Iraq, or Africa every fifth weekend—and the other four weekends I go back home. The reason I do that is, I’m the second ranking member on Armed Services, and you have to be there—you can’t just have hearings in Washington and know what’s going on. So I make an effort to do that. I want to say this one thing about your introduction: Keep in mind that I actually spent over twenty years being beat up by the bureaucracy. That’s one of the reasons I initially ran, and I ended up being the Chairman of the committee you just mentioned—Environment and Public Works—which has jurisdiction over the very agency that harassed me for twenty years, the Environmental Protection Agency! That’s a little bit of background that I think is important for people to understand.
ARONOFF: Absolutely. A citizen who got fed up with how he was being treated by government—Mr. Inhofe Goes to Washington, huh?
SENATOR INHOFE: You got it!
ARONOFF: A few things before we get into the book, which is really amazing—I want to recommend it to everybody. As you say, you’ve been to Iraq and Afghanistan many times. I want to talk about Iraq. Your thoughts on [President Barack] Obama’s claims to have ended the war in Iraq, as he promised? Isn’t the reality that the Status of Forces Agreement was already in place before he came in to office? Frankly, his top military people, and the Iraqi government, wanted a continued U.S. presence in Iraq to prevent kind of what’s going on now—an Iranian incursion, an involvement there, along with al-Qaeda coming back. How do you see this?
SENATOR INHOFE: Well—
ARONOFF: He’s claiming this is a great victory—go ahead.
SENATOR INHOFE: He’s claiming it as a victory, but let’s keep in mind, if you look at Afghanistan, he’s now changing. Realizing he made a mistake in Iraq, he’s now saying, “Well, we’ll have a presence there for a long period of time.” I would like to make sure that our listeners understand that true liberals don’t think you need a military to start with. It sounds awful to say, but they feel if all countries would stand in a circle and hold hands and unilaterally disarm, all threats would go away. That’s why the President, in his own budget, while increasing the deficit of $5.3 trillion, is still disarming America. I’d be glad to talk about that—
ARONOFF: Elaborate on that—
SENATOR INHOFE: —if there would be time. But if you remember, the first—well, you wouldn’t remember, probably, Roger, but with the first of his four budgets, I knew he was going to start disarming America, so I went to Afghanistan. I knew that I’d get national attention by responding to it. That was the budget, you’ll remember, he did away with our only fifth generation fighter, the F-22; did away with our lift capability, the C-17; did away with our Future Combat System; did away with our ground-based interceptors in Poland, which is about the only thing we have to stop something coming in to the eastern United States from Iran. It just got worse and worse—now, it’s projected, from his budgets, we’ll lose another half trillion dollars from the defense budget, and then another half trillion dollars if we can’t stop what they call “sequestration.” I won’t try to go into that. Just take my word for it: This guy is disarming America. You might ask the question, “What’s he spending all this money on, if he’s gutting the defense systems?” It gets right down to his liberal agenda, and, of course, all this environmental stuff does not come cheap.
ARONOFF: He seems to try to present his handling of the military and the war efforts as a great strength in his reelection campaign, rather than what you’re saying—which is that he’s dismantling the military.
SENATOR INHOFE: Yes. Let’s remember one thing that’s really important: Everyone who’s listening to us right now, remember that, even before he was elected President, he said, “I’m absolutely committed to closing Gitmo”—that’s Guantanamo Bay. Now, Guantanamo Bay is a state-of-the-art place. It’s the only place we can put these combatants, other than sending them back—and then they’re turned loose to go back into the battle. We have refused to let him do that, legislatively, so he has refused to put any new people in there in the last four years. Now, getting back to Osama bin Laden, what was the information that led to his demise? It all came from interrogations at Gitmo! Consequently, if Obama had been successful in closing Gitmo, very likely that wouldn’t have happened. So there he is over there, taking credit for something that the Navy SEALs did a great job on—but they used the information they got from Gitmo. That’s the type of thing we deal with with him that’s very, very frustrating. I’m just anxious for November to get here.
ARONOFF: How do you view Afghanistan? He just went there last week, sort of as part of his—many would call it his “victory lap” over the death of bin Laden. He went in there, sort of signed a deal, then came out. It seems the whole move—the surge, which wasn’t as large as his generals wanted, and then, at the same time, he basically announced a withdrawal timetable—is he committed to this war?
SENATOR INHOFE: I think everyone agrees on one thing, Roger, and that is, you can have your plans for when you’re going to withdraw, but you don’t tell the enemy that you’re going to withdraw—and when you’re going to withdraw. That’s the one thing that almost everyone agrees that he should not have done. On the other hand, I just got back—I go over quite often, in fact I always go over on New Year’s Eve, and spend New Year’s Eve in various areas pretty close to the Pak[istan] border—and, talking to these kids that are over there in the middle of this battle, they all agree on what is happening now. I think anyone listening to us now—there are many conservative talk shows that are saying, “Well, immediately get out of Afghanistan!” but I would rather that the people who are listening to us now, before forming opinions, talk to people who are coming back. For example, the Oklahoma 45th—that’s a [National] Guard unit—has been over there for four deployments. They just got back from their most recent deployment. If you ask them, they will tell you what is happening in Afghanistan, that the Afghanistan National Army is being trained very effectively at their central training headquarters in Kabul. They are now leading all of the fights. Of course, we are still having losses over there because we still have patrols, but in terms of any of the objective movements, they’re being led by the ANA, and not by us at this time. So I think the best source for people to go to is not necessarily the talk shows, or anyone who’s just guessing. Talk to the guys who are over there, and who come home. That’s what I always recommend.
ARONOFF: You mentioned that we’re not bringing more people to Gitmo. This raises a question that comes up quite a bit: They talked about how, under Bush, we indefinitely detained these people, but what seems to be happening here is, they either kill them with drones or whatever, or just let them go—capture and release, back to fight again—and that’s why there’s no growing population at Gitmo. With the rules of engagement, how do you see what’s going on there?
SENATOR INHOFE: What’s going on is, the President cannot close Gitmo, because we won’t let him, but what he can do is stop any new detainees from being sent to Gitmo. Consequently, as you mentioned, they get out to fight again. Our intelligence tells us—and this is what we know of—25% of those who have been released from Gitmo, whether they go back to Yemen, no matter where they go, they end up—and we can document it—fighting and trying to kill Americans again. It’s because there’s no place else to put them. You might remember, Obama first wanted to send these people to different military establishments in the United States. One happened to be in my state of Oklahoma. It’s just insane to do that. If you put them, and mingle them, incarcerate them, with people who are the criminal element—these people aren’t criminals, they’re terrorists, and they train people to be terrorists! This is what we don’t want—and we also don’t want to have trials that are open to the public and to the media. That’s why the military complex in Gitmo is set up to try these people in military tribunals, where they don’t endanger other people’s lives. So we need to be using that great—it’s one of the few good deals, Roger, that we have. I bet you don’t know how much we pay every year for Gitmo—only $4,000 a year. We’ve been doing that since 2004, and half the time Castro forgets to collect it anyway. So that’s one of the few good deals we have around. But let’s not let all of our time get by without getting back to our subject at hand. If you would let me kind of open this up—
ARONOFF: Okay . . .
SENATOR INHOFE: —the way I’ve been doing this on the floor of the Senate, and elsewhere—I look at what the most egregious things this President has done are. Number one—and not necessarily in this order—is what he’s doing to the military. We’ve already talked about that, and people pretty much know that. Secondly, there’s what he’s doing to energy, domestic energy. Here we have—and everyone knows this, now—the largest recoverable reserves of coal, oil, and gas of any country in the world. We could be completely independent from the Middle East in a matter of months, not years, if we would just export our own. But he won’t allow us to drill. He says exploration and production has increased during his three-and-a-half years as President. Yes—that’s all on private land, which he can’t stop. On public land, it’s actually been reduced by 17% in spite of all the new finds. The third area would be what he’s done with the budget. A lot of people don’t realize that the President is the guy who designs the budget—not the parties, not the House or the Senate. It’s the President, and what he has done, in his four budgets, is give us $5.3 trillion in deficit. Now that’s more than all deficits in the history of this country. But people know that. What they don’t know is what he’s doing with overregulation. He’s killing business, industry—and, of course, the crown jewel of all his regulations is none other than cap-and-trade. We all remember the cap-and-trade legislation that came after Kyoto was never submitted for ratification, and the cost of cap-and-trade is now—and, again, no one refutes this—between $300 and $400 billion a year. For those who are skeptics, Roger, who are listening to us, who don’t believe that I’ve been right for the last ten years—and I’ve been lonely, I have to admit, but I’ve been right—even Lisa Jackson, the administrator of the EPA, an Obama administrator, when I asked the question, on the record, live on TV, “If we were to pass cap-and-trade either by regulation or legislation, would that reduce greenhouse gases?” admitted, “No.” Because this isn’t where the problem is. It’s in India, in China, in Mexico, and other places where they don’t have any restrictions. So even if I’m wrong on this, you would be charging the American people a tax of $300 or $400 billion, and you don’t get anything for it. So that’s the critical thing: They’ve given up now—we’ve defeated—the first bills out of the chute, the McCain-Lieberman bill of ’03, then of ’05. We defeated those bills, so now the President is trying to do it with regulations, which would cost even more than just the $300 or $400 billion a year. So I wrote a book, and the book—in case they don’t want to buy it, the publisher has a website, Roger, and I’d like to have you remind people—
SENATOR INHOFE: —not just now, but maybe later, and that is greatesthoax.com. If you look that up, you’ll see some interviews that I’ve had with some very liberal people, such as Rachel Maddow, such as Alan Colmes. I’ve been talking to conservatives and liberals alike—and clearly, this is an immediate threat. Right now, they’re preparing for their meeting in Rio de Janeiro, the “Earth Summit Plus 20.” The Earth Summit in 1992 was where they tried to start this whole thing on cap-and-trade. It’s all tied into the United Nations, and the Earth Summit Plus 20 will be taking place next month. They’re down there preparing for it now. That would be the greatest tax increase in the history of this country, and you’d get nothing for it.
ARONOFF: You pointed out, when you went to the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] meeting a few years back—I guess 2003—you found a “Wanted” poster of you as “The Most Dangerous Man in the World.”
SENATOR INHOFE: That’s in my book!
SENATOR INHOFE: We did. It was in Milan, Italy. For our listeners—we can’t assume that they’re all aware of these things, because they’re out busy making a living, paying for all this stuff we’re doing.
SENATOR INHOFE: You have to keep in mind that the United Nations has a great big party every year—now, of course, we pay for 25% of everything they do—and this party is called the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. They get all these countries—192 countries—all under one roof, and all of them are the liberals from those countries who want to have cap-and-trade. So when I went over there, and was the one voice of reason, or opposition, in 2003, in Milan, Italy, when I got out and went out to where the meeting was, my picture was on all the telephone poles. They were “Wanted” pictures—“Wanted” because I’m the guy that said it was the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people. By the way, when I left, I took all the posters back with me, and I used them for fundraisers, auctioning them off. Now—
SENATOR INHOFE: —fast-forward—
ARONOFF: Go ahead. Yeah.
SENATOR INHOFE: —to Copenhagen, that was just in ’09. That’s when we had, again, the administrator of the EPA before our committee. I said, “Do you know, right now we’ve got, over in Copenhagen, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, all of them over there, promising these people that we’re going to pass cap-and-trade in the United States. So I’m going to go over there and be the One Man Truth Squad, but I have a feeling that once I leave town, you’re going to have an endangerment finding—that has to be based on science—that will give you the excuse to do cap-and-trade through regulations.” [Administrator Jackson] kind of smiled. Quite frankly, she always answers my questions pretty directly. I said, “When you do, that has to be based on science. What science will you use?” She said, “The United Nations IPCC that you and I are talking about,” Roger. As luck—well, not luck, this is poetic justice—it wasn’t weeks later or months later, it was hours later that they had Climategate break, which showed they had been rigging the science to “prove” that greenhouse gases are causing catastrophic global warming, and not allowing any scientists who didn’t agree with their predetermined decision. Well, that’s what all happened, and, of course, that’s what gave us the impetus we needed to go to the American people and say, “Let’s face it: We’re going to stop this. We’re not going to pass this.” So they’re trying to do it through regulation. Can I mention one thing that surprised a lot of people? I can remember this going through these twenty- and thirty-year cycles—as I said in my book, and I was criticized for using the Scriptures in there, that God’s still up there, and we’re sure going to have cycles. If you look between 1825 and 1925, that was a cold cycle, and they said, at that time, another Ice Age was coming, and we were all going to die. Then, in 1925, it started warming up, and they had a warming cycle until 1945. Well, that’s interesting, because then people were saying, at that time, “Global warming!” and all that. From 1945 to about 1975 or 1980, we were going through a cold spell, and they said an Ice Age was coming. Then, of course, this warmer thing came, starting in 1980, and now it’s cycling around again. Now, the interesting part of this is, if you look at 1949—1945, excuse me—it was right after the World War, and was the largest surge of CO2 emissions in the history of the world. Yet it precipitated not a warming period, but a cooling period that lasted for 30 years! These are such obvious things that are going on right now, that it just defies your imagination to listen to people talk about the horrible things that are coming—the droughts, the hurricanes, the tornadoes, and all these things that just aren’t happening. There’s a level of panic out there, in the [Al] Gore people and others, knowing that the public has caught on.
ARONOFF: Tell us a little more about the premise. With your book, The Greatest Hoax, the subtitle is How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. What is the hoax? Who is behind it? How do you view that?
SENATOR INHOFE: Yeah, I was asked a question by Alan Colmes, on his show: “Are you saying that the environmentalists are behind this? That they want people to think that there’s something going on in global warming when there really isn’t?” I said, “Yeah!” Let me tell you where that comes from, Roger. I can remember—and it’s fairly partisan—when the Democrat financial base was the trial lawyers. I can remember those times. Clearly, in the last ten years, the financial base of the Democratic party has been the far Left environmentalists. I’m talking about MoveOn.org, George Soros, Michael Moore, the Al Gore Hollywood elites, and all that. These are people who really want to believe this, and they have unlimited funds that they pour into campaigns. They brag about having “defeated” people, that they’re able to do, and that’s how they got so much political power. That is where the hoax comes in, because they’re perpetrating a hoax, and that hoax is that catastrophic global warming is taking place in the world now, and it’s due to manmade gases—CO2, carbon, methane, that type of thing—and what they want to do is just shut down this machine called America. Let me ask a question of anyone who has been listening to this right now: If we did away—and this President has had a war on fossil fuels, and when he realized that the American people said, “Wait a minute! We rely on coal, gas, and oil to run this machine called America!” he quit going after them and said, “What we have to do—we’re all for natural gas, but we have to stop hydraulic fracturing!” Well, do you remember just a week ago, when I exposed this guy, the 6th District guy—
ARONOFF: Right, Armendariz. Yeah.
SENATOR INHOFE: Armendariz! You probably talked about that! Well, that was my very competent staff, which has been researching these people. Here was a guy who went out and said, “We’ve got to treat these people, we’ve to shut down these people—” he’s talking about hydraulic fracturing—
SENATOR INHOFE: “—and we’ve got to go after them just like they did, the Romans went after the—”
ARONOFF: Yeah, he said, “Crucify oil and natural gas producers.”
SENATOR INHOFE: “—church. Crucify.”
SENATOR INHOFE: They had a company in Texas that they were using at that time which they accused of polluting groundwater through the use of hydraulic fracturing. Now, they didn’t do it. They weren’t guilty of it. But [the EPA] immediately started coming after them, just like they were crucifying them. They were going to fine them—they sent them a letter. “We’re fining you $33,000 a day.” Obviously, that puts them out of business in a matter of just a few days. Well, [the company] stuck with it, and, sure enough, it was shown—the courts intervened, and they came out clean. But what would have happened if they’d just given up and said, “Well, we can’t afford $33,000 a day, therefore we give up”? Then we would no longer be getting the natural gas and the oil and the coal. You know, you can’t extract one cubic foot of natural gas out of a tight formation without using hydraulic fracturing. I’m from Oklahoma, Roger, and the first hydraulic fracturing came in my state in 1949. By her own admission, the Director of the EPA, Lisa Jackson, just last week, said, when asked the question “Is catastrophic global warming—” now, what was the question she . . . oh, well, anyway—
ARONOFF: Okay, we’ll—
SENATOR INHOFE: —she admitted that it isn’t happening. I’ll think in a minute of what the quote was that she used, because it was a real good one.
ARONOFF: Let me jump in here. I want to ask you what the agenda is. First of all, with this idea that there’s a consensus among all scientists—you have shown, numerous times, that there are many who formerly were in that camp who have left it, and now are, basically, pure skeptics. But the agenda—do you think it is the transfer of wealth from the rich countries to the poor? A system of global taxation?
SENATOR INHOFE: Oh, that’s the—
ARONOFF: You quoted, in your book, Jacques Chirac, in 2001, saying that Kyoto was the first component of an “authentic global governance.”
SENATOR INHOFE: Exactly. If you will remember, at that time, three of the leaders in France—a guy named Claude Allegre, Roger, was leading all the marches down there on global warming and the end of the world coming, and he has totally turned around. He is a scientist, and he said, “No, it’s really not true after all.” David Bellamy: Same thing in the U.K. A guy named Nir Shaviv in Israel—these are scientists that were on the other side. Once they started coming back over—and I have to say that, on several speeches—if anyone wants to come to my website, it’s inhofe.senate.gov, you can see the speeches I’ve given. Way back—we’re talking about several years ago, back in about ’03 and ’04—scientists started coming to me, saying, “They’re cooking the science. The U.N. is cooking the science.” Clearly, most of the scientists now are on the other side of this issue. They try to act like they’re not, but they are. But you keep hearing that these horrible things are happening. Droughts—what happened just the other day? The Secretary of Defense came out and said that global warming was a national security issue. Well, he had to say that because his boss is Obama. [The Secretary] talked about droughts, yet right now, we know—and no one questions the fact—that the most severe drought we had was in 1935, when 80% of the country was covered by that, when this last one we had was only 25%. They talk about sea levels rising, but the Journal of Geophysical Research says there hasn’t been any statistically significant rise in sea levels over the past 100 years. So all these things they’re saying happened, they’re all part of Al Gore’s science fiction movie, and they’ve all been discredited. What I want them to do is at least pull up the website of my book—
SENATOR INHOFE: Greatesthoax.com. At least look at some of the interviews. When you read it, we have a whole chapter on the United Nations, and I can assure you, once they read that, they’ll know what the motivation was, as you asked a minute ago, for all of these taxes that we’d be imposing upon ourselves. It’s a great book. There’s another little chapter in there that you’ll enjoy, too, that will surprise a lot of people. There’s a lot of talk about Congressional earmarks. That’s not the problem, Roger. The problem is bureaucratic earmarks. If the House and Senate don’t appropriate and authorize, we are ceding that power to the President, and he is, through the various bureaucracies, brainwashing not just my twenty kids and grandkids, but the youth of America.
ARONOFF: If you could give me one sentence or two on the role of the media, enough to—
SENATOR INHOFE: We hear a lot about the drive-by media. They’ve been clearly on that side. It’s kind of interesting, though: The same media there is the same media that is giving Obama a pass on all of his spending, all the things he’s doing to the military, what he’s doing to energy in America. They’re clearly on his side, but in spite of that, through a combination of talk radio, Fox News, and a handful of stations that are now wanting their ratings to quit plummeting, the media is catching on, and is being a little bit more honest. It was clearly driven by the media, and that media was driven by the MoveOn.org mentality that is trying to take individual initiative away from America.
ARONOFF: Our guest has been Senator Jim Inhofe. The book is The Greatest Hoax. You can learn more about it at greatesthoax.com I’m sure you can get it at Amazon and all that. I also didn’t get to bring this up, but you had introduced the Broadcaster Freedom Act—which is dear to our hearts—to keep the FCC from being able to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. You’ve been a leader in that as well.
SENATOR INHOFE: Yes.
ARONOFF: You’ve brought transparency to the House and the Senate with the discharge petitions. You’re a lonely voice out there on many of these things, and believe me, it is recognized by many people.
SENATOR INHOFE: Roger, I thank you for that very much. I have to admit it: Yes, it has been lonely.
ARONOFF: All right! Well—
SENATOR INHOFE: All right, sir.
ARONOFF: Unfortunately, we’ve got to go. We’ll be back next week. Until then, so long, and thank you again!