This is Scientific American 60-Second Science. I'm Steve Mirsky.Got a minute?
"In case we have 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's just from outside here.
So it's very, very cold out."
Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, the biggest and loudest climate change denier in Congress, last week on the floor of the senate.
But his facile argument, that it's cold enough for snow to exist in Washington, D.C., therefore climate change is a hoax, was rebutted in the same venue by Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse:
"You can believe NASA and you can believe what their satellites measure on the planet, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball.
The United States Navy takes this very seriously, to the point where Admiral Locklear,
who is the head of the Pacific Command, has said that climate change is the biggest threat that we face in the Pacific…
you can either believe the United States Navy or you can believe the Senator with the snowball…
every major American scientific society has put itself on record, many of them a decade ago, that climate change is deadly real.
They measure it, they see it, they know why it happens.
The predictions correlate with what we see as they increasingly come true.
And the fundamental principles, that it is derived from carbon pollution, which comes from burning fossil fuels, are beyond legitimate dispute…
so you can believe every single major American scientific society, or you can believe the Senator with the snowball."
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Science.I'm Steve Mirsky.