3 Years Ago, We All Laughed at James Inhofe’s Snowball. The Joke Was on Us.

After all, we elected a snowflake.

CSPAN

February 26, 2015 is a day that will live in Internet infamy for a few reasons. It gave us the great dress debate and the runaway llamas. But in the annals of science, let’s not forget it also gave us the snowball on the floor of the Senate.

On this day, three years ago, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, appeared with a snowball on the Senate floor to demonstrate, once and for all, that climate change is a hoax.

“You know what this is?'” asked Inhofe, the author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. “It’s a snowball, from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable.” Then he tossed it to a congressional page.

It happened to be very cold in the eastern United States that February, but 2015 overall ranked as the hottest year ever recorded globally (a record we broke again in 2016).

So now as we pause to commemorate the senator’s snowball, we should also look back on this innocent time—before most of us ever imagined that we would have a sitting president who agreed with the Senate’s most notorious climate change denier.

 

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

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