U.S. Republican senator James Inhofe made national headlines in 2015 when he stood on the senate floor and pulled a snowball out of a large plastic bag. He threw the snowball and proceeded to declare that climate change to be false, as it is “very cold out.” However, this was far from Inhofe’s first time in the spotlight for controversial behavior.
Inhofe actively denies any form of global warming as humans cannot change the climate since “God’s still up there.” Beyond referring to climate change as an exaggerated hoax, he’s voted in favor of offshore drilling in a wildlife refuge, against low-income energy assistance, and has been funded by the fossil fuel industry. He’s repeatedly debunked and disputed by scientists and evidence, after claims that the Earth is in a cooling period despite record-high temperatures.
Unfortunately, Inhofe’s problematic behavior goes far beyond environmental issues.
In 2006, Inhofe wrote and successfully passed the incredibly xenophobic Inhofe Amendment, attempting to end federal multilingual services, make English the national language, and require all citizens to take an English proficiency test. Thankfully, the amendment did not pass through the house, although Inhofe’s near success is fairly frightening.
Inhofe is also consistently homophobic, denouncing same-sex marriage and supporting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. In 2004, his office actually admitted to intentionally not hiring “openly gay staffers due to the possibility of a conflict of agenda.”
He also constantly voted against federal disaster relief, notably after Hurricane Sandy. But, when tornadoes hit his own state of Oklahoma, things were “totally different” and he fully supported federal aid.
In 2008, Inhofe made headlines again after it was revealed that he’d been spending taxpayer money for foreign travels, missions he later described as “a Jesus thing.”
Although Inhofe’s 22-year political career has been plagued with nearly as many controversies as Trump’s, he’s still in the Senate. He’s currently Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, making him perhaps the most powerful senator when it comes to the environment, despite his consistent use of biblical verses to reject science.