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Some Heated Words for Mr. Global Warming

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), left, made his skepticism about global warming apparent to Al Gore, who testified before a Senate committee. At one point, Inhofe held up a photo of icicles in Buffalo and demanded:
Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), left, made his skepticism about global warming apparent to Al Gore, who testified before a Senate committee. At one point, Inhofe held up a photo of icicles in Buffalo and demanded: "Where is global warming when you really need it?" (By Susan Biddle -- The Washington Post)

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Barton informed Gore that some of his ideas "are just flawed." Under Gore's plan, Barton said, "we can have no new industry, no new cars and trucks on the streets, and apparently no new people."

But this was no match for Gore. "The planet has a fever," he lectured Barton. "If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene here, you don't say, 'Well, I read a science fiction novel that tells me it's not a problem.' If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame-retardant. You take action."

The audience laughed. Barton started reading the newspaper, then discovered he wasn't getting much support even from his own side. Bob Inglis (R-S.C.) admitted he paid to see "An Inconvenient Truth." Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.), implicitly rebuking flat-Earth colleagues, said: "It's possible to be a conservative without appearing to be an idiot." Barton flashed a grin of annoyance.

Over on the Senate side, Inhofe was determined to avoid a fate like Barton's. Given just 12 minutes to question Gore, Inhofe warned him that "I want the same ad-lib time that you have." When Gore didn't answer his questions succinctly enough, Inhofe ordered: "I'm going to ask you to respond for the record in writing."

"Well," said Gore, "if I choose to respond to you verbally here, I hope that'll be okay, too."

"If it's a very brief response," Inhofe directed, then declared that Gore could not answer any questions until Inhofe had finished his allotted time.

Boxer broke in. "You're not making the rules," she said, raising the gavel. "You used to when you had this." The hall filled with applause.

Gore, given ample time to rebut Inhofe, had no shortage of material. "One of the leading scientific experts said the consensus supporting this view on global warming is as strong as anything in science -- with the possible exception of gravity," he said.

The audience laughed. Boxer smiled. Inhofe did not. He left the show early.


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