3 Years Ago, We All Laughed at James Inhofe’s Snowball. The Joke Was on Us.

After all, we elected a snowflake.

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February 26, 2015 is a day that will live in Internet infamy for a few reasons. It gave us the great dress debate and the runaway llamas. But in the annals of science, let’s not forget it also gave us the snowball on the floor of the Senate.

On this day, three years ago, Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, appeared with a snowball on the Senate floor to demonstrate, once and for all, that climate change is a hoax.

“You know what this is?'” asked Inhofe, the author of The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. “It’s a snowball, from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable.” Then he tossed it to a congressional page.

It happened to be very cold in the eastern United States that February, but 2015 overall ranked as the hottest year ever recorded globally (a record we broke again in 2016).

So now as we pause to commemorate the senator’s snowball, we should also look back on this innocent time—before most of us ever imagined that we would have a sitting president who agreed with the Senate’s most notorious climate change denier.

 

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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