For decades, now, it's been a challenge explaining climate science. It will be even harder to objectively and succinctly explain the prospective economic impacts (both positive and negative) of "climate actions." Because partisans and lobbyists have a strong and continuing grip on laws and policies that could favorable shape our climate future, we see a need for a simple metric to characterize negative manipulations and grand standing. Hence, TreeHugger is proposing a scale similar to the famed 1935-developed Richter Scale, which quantifies the amount of seismic energy released by an earthquake. We call our propose metric the Inhofe Scale: named in honor of Senator James M. Inhofe, US Senate Republican of Oklahoma.
The Inhofe baseline starts at 1, pegged to this past week's requesting that the entire 500-page text of the McCain-Lieberman Climate Bill be read aloud in the Senate.
"They do not want to address the most important issue of the day, so they stalled," Mr. Reid said, noting that Republicans insisted on having the entire nearly 500-page bill read aloud on Wednesday. "They are doing everything they can to maintain the status quo."We establish the top of the scale at the advent of Think Tank and Astroturf funding of climate science disinformation campaigns, which reached their peak in approximately 2005. Climate disinformation campaigns are assigned "10" because the suppression of truth and facts were both globally successful and long lasting.
Character attacks or attempts to silence individual expression of fact or opinion is always assigned a value of "5.0" For examples, we refer to preceding attempts to characterize Al Gore as a hypocrite for being a person of wealth or to suppress the voice of James Hanson.
Requesting the entire 500-page bill read aloud in the US Senate, as we said, is assigned a value of "1.0:" It's 1.0 because it is a turning point, and because the effect is local, short, and transparently a manipulation of the democratic process. We expect a lot more in the 1 to 2 range during the coming election campaigns, mainly based on the strategy of characterizing climate actions as 'increasing gasoline prices' (never mind that this is happening already).
Those three points roughly define the Inhofe Scale. We are hoping our readers will submit further examples to help with interpolation. If we get enough interpolative submissions, we'll make a nice graphic that we can use for future postings.
We're not the first to think of this. For a preceding attempt at creating an Inhofe Scale, see Lou Grinzo's "Resurrecting the Inhofe Scale." blog posting.