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The important distinction between weather and climate is once again tripping up high-ranking Republicans.
James Inhofe of Oklahoma brandished and tossed a snowball during a climate change-denying speech on the Senate floor Thursday.
"We keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record. I ask the chair, 'You know what this is?' It's a snowball from outside here," he said. "So it's very, very cold out — very unseasonable."
(Video via C-SPAN)
Inhofe, the chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, called climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" in 2003. In 2012, he doubled-down, authoring a book-length treatise, The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.
On Wednesday, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana told US Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy that snow during the winter compromises climate science.
"I know the President loves talking about global warming — and they're canceling flights all around the country due to snow blizzards," Scalise said to McCarthy.
This winter has been the nation's the sixth warmest on record since 1895, 2014 was Earth's hottest year ever, and 14 of the hottest 15 years on record have occurred in the 21st century.
Melinda Pierce, Sierra Club's Legislative Director, was quick to hit back at Inhofe's stunt.
"While an overwhelming majority of Americans are demanding Congress act to protect our communities and public health by curbing carbon pollution, Sen. Inhofe showed that there is a snowball's chance in hell that the Republican leadership will do anything but push the agenda of the fossil fuel industry," she said.
Virtually all scientific organizations, from NASA to the World Health Organization to the EPA, and at least 97 percent of qualified scientists agree that the world is heating up and humans are to blame.
Related: 2014 was the hottest year ever recorded