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Books by and about 2012 presidential nominees
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
A Life of Trial and Redemption
about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
No Apology
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2010)
Young Guns
by Rep. Paul Ryan et al (2010)
The Path to Prosperity
by Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)
Promises to Keep
by Vice Pres. Joe Biden (2007)
The Audacity of Hope
by Pres. Barack Obama (2006)
Turnaround
by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
by Pres. Barack Obama (1996)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

The Greatest Hoax
How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future

by Senator James Inhofe



(Click for Amazon book review)

Sen. Inhofe believes that global warming is a hoax. And Inhofe chairs the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, so his opinion on this topic matters. Accordingly, he was dubbed "The Most Dangerous Man on the Planet" (the title of Chapter Two, which he repeats proudly throughout the book).

Inhofe lays out a complete critique of each scientific point in the global warming debate, by analyzing its politics as well as its science. To summarize, Inhofe claims that global warming science is driven by the desire of its advocates to use an international global warming regime (such as that envisioned by the Kyoto Protocol) to restrict worldwide CO2 emissions, which would override U.S. sovereignty on this issue. The "hoax," according to Inhofe, is that the purpose of global warming advocacy is the international control regime; the concern over global warming is just the means to establish the international regime.

Inhofe gets into the science too -- but mostly he focuses on the politics behind it. In particular, Inhofe claims that the IPCC -- the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the definitive consensus report on global warming -- is politically motivated -- he notes that the IPCC "was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007; it obviously did not win a Nobel science prize" (p. 135). Inhofe's gripe with the IPCC is that the EPA and other policymakers use the political part of the IPCC document -- called the "Summary for Policymakers" -- rather than its scientific parts. Inhofe disagrees with both the politics AND the science -- and he outlines in this book what have become the standard talking points against global warming, from both a scientific and political perspective:

  • Climate varies naturally; the media hype up global warming now like they hyped global cooling decades ago (p. 55, 59 & 95)

  • The link between fossil fuel burning and global warming is unsubstantiated; it is not "settled science" (p. 67 & 106)

  • Even if global warming were real, the Kyoto Protocol won't fix it, and U.S. unilateral action certainly won't fix it either (p. 72 & 113)

  • EPA regulation of CO2 emissions -- or any executive action -- is just a way to bypass Congress' rejection of the Kyoto Protocol (p. 129 & 131)

I'd better expose my bias at this point: I hold a Master's degree in Environmental Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, as well as a General Science degree from Brandeis University. I do believe in global warming -- it was the focus of my education -- and I believe it because I have studied the science. Inhofe's scientific rebuttals in this book are thin -- many critics try to argue with Inhofe on that point, and lose, because Inhofe is not trying to win the argument on science. Inhofe's political rebuttals in this book are NOT thin -- he avoids the science because he is not a scientist; and he takes on the politics because he is a politician. Inhofe gets the politics right: as a global warming advocate, I DO believe that an international control regime should override U.S. sovereignty on this issue.

But Inhofe's critical missing component is a mis-analysis of global warming advocate's motivation. We do not want an international carbon control regime for the sake of an international carbon control regime -- nor because we are socialistic, nor because we don't believe in U.S. sovereignty. We want carbon control because we believe that global warming is a serious danger to the future of humanity, and we want an international regime because many senators, led by Inhofe, have successfully blocked the U.S. from taking sovereign action. Many countries DID implement the Kyoto Protocol even without the U.S., but the U.S., as the world's largest industrial-country carbon emitter, is needed for the implementation to be effective. Those countries want the U.S. to comply -- and we global warming advocate want the U.S. to comply -- because the U.S.'s current actions will damage the rest of the world.

Inhofe does not believe that global warming advocates like me are sincere in our beliefs. And that is a core concept of hyper-partisanship: neither side believes that the other side is sincere, and hence there is no room for deal-making nor compromise. The problem in the global warming debate has become the hyper-partisanship, not the science. Before the mid-1990s, when partisanship was lower, global warming advocates came up with a compromise with Pres. George H. W. Bush: use the free market to reduce pollution, both for acid rain (SO2) and for global warming (CO2). Bush Sr. used the term "tradable emission permits" for this plan, and the U.S. implemented SO2 emission permits to reduce acid rain. The program worked, as Inhofe readily acknowledges on p. 51. Unlike SO2 emission permits, to deal with localized SO2 pollution and acid rain, CO2 emission permits require international action because the effects are global. The concept of CO2 emission permits was accepted internationally at the 1992 Rio Summit (which I attended with many NGOs).

So what happened? CO2 emission permits got relabeled as "cap-and-trade" and became a partisan target. If not for the growing partisanship, I suspect Pres. Bush or Pres. Clinton would have implemented in the 1990s many of the "No Regrets" policies from the 1992 Rio Summit -- real research on alternative energy sources; assisting developing countries with clean-burning technology; investment in mass transit. But the hyper-partisanship which began in the mid-1990s politicized global warming, as Inhofe has done. This book serves as a warning -- not as a warning about global warming hoaxes, as Inhofe wants it to be -- but as a warning against hyper-partisanship's result of politics overruling science.

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, February 2014

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Budget & Economy
    James Inhofe: 1968: Worked on early Balanced Budget Amendment.
Corporations
    Al Gore: OpEd: The world's first "carbon billionaire".
Energy & Oil
    Al Gore: OpEd: Declined pledge to cut personal carbon emissions.
    Barack Obama: Cap-and-trade will make electricity prices skyrocket.
    Barack Obama: 2009: Spark a clean energy transformation.
    Barbara Boxer: Global warming means future devastating effects.
    David Vitter: Get us beyond high-carbon fuels.
    Debbie Stabenow: Global warming causes more volatile storms.
    Fred Upton: Introduced Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.
    George Voinovich: Climate change needs serious and full attention.
    Henry Waxman: Energy Tax Prevention Act? No, "Big Polluter Protection Act".
    James Inhofe: FactCheck: Bush made change to "climate change," not Obama.
    James Inhofe: Restricting fossil fuels will not spur shift to other energy.
    James Inhofe: God promised to maintain cold & hot seasons.
    James Inhofe: Fight cap-and-trade on jobs, taxes, and gas prices.
    James Inhofe: Stop cap-and-trade from getting in via regulatory back door.
    James Inhofe: Man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever.
    James Inhofe: Yes, we can produce our way to energy security.
    James Inhofe: China & India oppose binding carbon emission cuts.
    James Inhofe: Introduced Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011.
    James Inhofe: Solyndra symbolizes Obama's war on American fossil fuel jobs.
    Joe Biden: Unprecedented investment in renewable energy.
    John McCain: The snows of Kilimanjaro may soon exist only in literature.
    Joseph Lieberman: Conceded that his cap-and-trade bill would cost $100B.
    Lamar Alexander: We need insurance against climate change.
    Lindsey Graham: Greenhouse gas is a problem; but EPA shouldn't regulate it.
    Lisa Murkowski: America has world's largest combined energy endowment.
    Lisa Murkowski: Prevent EPA from regulating greenhouse gases.
    Nancy Pelosi: 2008: Teamed up with newt Gingrich to address climate change.
    Newt Gingrich: 2008: Our country must take action to address climate change.
    Steven Chu: Broad effort to spark a new green industrial revolution.
Environment
    Al Gore: "Inconvenient Truth" pushed global warming into pop culture.
    George Bush Sr.: 1990 Acid Rain trading program achieved its goals.
    James Inhofe: Endangered Species regulations stifle economic growth.
    James Inhofe: Balance environmental progress & economic growth.
    James Inhofe: Sustainable development is alarmingly like global socialism.
    James Inhofe: SO2 trading mechanisms have achieved significant benefit.
    James Inhofe: Media has pushed environmental catastrophes for 100 years.
    Lincoln Chafee: Committee vote killed Bush's "Clear Skies" initiative.
    Sierra Club: NGO campaign killed Bush's "Clear Skies" initiative.
Foreign Policy
    James Inhofe: UN's primary institutional goal is to build global utopia.
Government Reform
    Barack Obama: OpEd: Achieve via regulation what was blocked in legislation.
    James Inhofe: Make discharge petition signatures a matter of public record.
    James Inhofe: Congressional earmarks OK; bureaucratic earmarks not.
    John McCain: Authorized earmarks OK; unauthorized earmarks not.
Principles & Values
    James Inhofe: Middle name "Mountain," after mother's maiden name.
    James Inhofe: A workhorse Senator among show horse Senators.
Technology
    James Inhofe: Shepherded Water Resources Development Act.


The above quotations are from The Greatest Hoax
How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future

by Senator James Inhofe.

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