By William Rivers Pitt, Truthout | Op-Ed

How To Die of Dumb - Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), right, listens to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)
Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), right, listens to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) speak at a news conference in Washington about their opposition to the climate change bill on Wednesday, June 4, 2008. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski / The New York Times)

Sen. James Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma since 1994, took to the floor of the Senate the other day with a snowball in a bag. Because it was cold in Washington DC, he said, because there was snow on the ground, that proves climate change is a hoax. “In case we had forgotten,” he said, pulling the snowball from the sack, “because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair, do you know what this is? It’s a snowball, just from outside here. It’s very, very cold out.” He went on to denounce what he called the “hysteria on global warming,” and then threw the snowball at the presiding officer.

Sen. Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky since 1984, has been urging state officials all across the US to refuse to comply with the new EPA rule on carbon emissions that was championed by the Obama administration. The rule requires existing power plants to cut their carbon emissions by 30 percent, based on the 2005 requirements, by the year 2030. Senator McConnell is having none of it. “Think twice,” he said, “before submitting a state plan, which could lock you in to federal enforcement and expose you to lawsuits, when the administration is standing on shaky legal ground and when, without your support, it won’t be able to demonstrate the capacity to carry out such political extremism.”

Mitch McConnell, as Senate Majority Leader, has the power to keep any bills he dislikes from coming to a vote. Until January of 2017 at least, that means any legislation seeking to address the issue of climate change will never see the light of day, because McConnell thinks giving attention to the threat of carbon emissions – what is eventually going to kill us all – amounts to “political extremism.” Because of course he does.

Meanwhile, in Alaska, there is no snow..