Ambush journalism tactics are often effective, unless, of course, the target is as on his game as Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe.
In recently released footage, a pack of global warming alarmists, led by journalist Mark Hertsgaard, attempt to surprise Inhofe after waiting an hour and a half outside a hearing of the Committee on Environment and Public Works.
In late January Hertsgaard explained his big scheme to “confront the climate cranks” in an article in The Nation.
“Our plan is to confront the climate cranks face to face, on camera, and call them to account for the dangers they have set in motion. We will highlight the ludicrousness of their antiscientific views, which alone should discredit them from further influence over US climate policies,” he wrote.
The tables were turned, however, when instead of making Inhofe — whose cause célèbre has been questioning the global warming agenda — look foolish, the senator made mince meat of his would-be ambusher. Fortunately, Matt Dempsey, Inhofe’s communication’s director, was there to catch it all on camera.
Mark Hertsgaard later posted his own, highly edited version on his website. Not surprisingly, the full version tells a much different story than the edited version.
In the unedited footage, Inhofe goes back and forth with Hertsgaard about the veracity of climate science, refuting Hertsgaard’s claim that all scientists agree that global warming is man-made by citing the scads of scientists who have come out in opposition to that claim.
Mark Hertsgaard (MH): Why does your party continue to deny what the National Academy of Sciences and virtually every scientific organization…
Sen. James Inhofe (JI): You know you ask the same question over and over again. Did you happen six days ago to be at the hearing at the House where I testified?
MH: I was not, sir.
JI: See I answered all those questions in detail. The science is mixed. We all know the science is mixed. The economy is not mixed because the economics are pretty well established.
MH: How is the science mixed when the National Academy of Sciences and every…
JI: We have reports all you have to do is go back and look, I have given numerous talks on the floor…We started off with a list, I believe, of maybe 40 scientists who had different views, then it went up to 2- or 300, then it went to 900 or so. So there are a lot of scientists who don’t agree. I don’t take as gospel everything that comes from any particular scientific group.
MH: When every scientific organization in the world says this, sir.
JI: That is not true.
When a pair of young environmentalists from the Alliance for Climate Protection tried to get in on the act, claiming to speak for their generation, Inhofe did not miss a beat. The senator pulled out pictures of his own children and told them that he is working to protect his progeny’s future.
A Woman from ACP, identified by Solve Climate News as Allie Carter, a recent Michigan State University graduate (AC): I don’t understand why my generation has to suffer because it sounds like you’re not liking what you are hearing from these scientists you’re cherry picking.
JI: So your generation — Now who are you with?
AC: I’m with the Alliance for Climate Protection and I am here speaking on behalf young people.
JI: …No you’re not!
AC: I absolutely am.
JI: I have twenty kids and grand kids. You want to see a picture of them? [pulls out pictures]. Okay that’s good.
Inhofe then proceeded to calmly explain that the United States cannot sink its economy to satisfy the unproven hypotheses of a mixed group of scientists and activists.
JI: When you ask that question “what if you’re wrong?” Stop and think about it. What if you are wrong and we pass the largest tax increase in the history of America to do something that is not justified. I remember, and I use this in testimony. In 1993, you weren’t around in 1993… the Clinton/Gore tax increase was the largest tax increase at that point in history. All marginal rates, gasoline, everything went up. That was a total of a $30 billion tax increase. This would be ten times that great. This would be somewhere between $300 and $400 billion tax increase. That admittedly, now listen to this very carefully, according to the director at the EPA would not have any effect on emissions because that would only be in the United States. As jobs went to places like India and China and Mexico and maybe places that they don’t have any emissions requirements and actually increase emissions. So should we do that when we know and you know and everyone out here knows that it would not reduce worldwide emissions? Period. We all know this.
The ambush ended with Hertsgaard asking Inhofe if he would apologize to his children, to which Inhofe asked Hertsgaard if he would apologize to his 20 children and grandchildren.
WATCH: Inhofe fights back against the ambushers
In the wake of Hertsgaard’s failed ambush, even global warming alarmists are cringing at not only the full footage captured by Dempsey, but also the manner in which Hertsgaard has tried to demonize Inhofe.