Dumpster fire, not global warming, melted Oklahoma streetlamps

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Always a lightning rod for global warming activists’ discontent, Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe was treated to some challenging tweets Thursday after the left-wing blog ThinkProgress posted a photo of melting street lights in his home state and claimed they were the result of global warming.

“WOW. It’s so hot in Oklahoma that the streetlights are melting,” ThinkProgress declared, noting the temperature topping off at 114 degrees.

“Hey Senator @InhofePress, even your streetlights are saying #ImTooHot http://ow.ly/cHbX4,” the Climate Reality Project tweeted later, linking to the ThinkProgress claim.

“Senator Inhofe, God may be trying to get your attention. Check out this picture http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/08/02/630211/in-oklahoma-its-so-hot-the-street-lights-are-melting/ …” added Environmental activist Bill McKibben, highlighted by blogger Tom Nelson.

That tweet was later deleted.

But according to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, the street lamps melted because of a dumpster fire in the area the night before. KFOR first posted the streetlamp photo on its Facebook page.

“That is the consensus in the newsroom,” a KFOR staffer confirmed to The Daily Caller.

On Thursday afternoon, KFOR provided a picture of the dumpster blaze to Inhofe’s staff at the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works.

Photos from KFOR-TV / Senate EPW Committee and ThinkProgress

Think Progress has since issued a correction to its initial article.

Correction: The lamp was standing pretty close to a recent fire, so it’s likely they didn’t melt from the heat. Here’s what the photographer said:

‘Being the person that actually took this photo, I’d say that this was due to a fire semi-close by coupled with the unbelievable heat we are experiencing. Still an amazing photo and not fake as many are saying on here. Enjoy!

All that said, it’s still very hot.

While ThinkProgress was covering its bases, Inhofe was amused by the ill-fated attempt to demonize him.

“Poor Bill McKibben — he’s been trying to get something to melt for ages but it keeps backfiring,” Inhofe said in a statement.

“These alarmists never learn their lesson. Remember Bill McKibben was the one who was going to melt a giant ice sculpture in the shape of the word ‘hoax’ on the national mall, but his group had to cancel because there wasn’t enough interest. Now, after proclaiming that street lights in Oklahoma are melting because of global warming, it turns out that a fire caused this scene.”

Inhofe maintains that global warming alarmists have lost the debate over whether humans have caused the earth’s temperature to rise.

“This isn’t the first time alarmists have tried these stunts and it certainly won’t be the last — when will they finally realize they’ve lost this debate?” he concluded.

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