The chair of the Senate Environment Committee offered the chamber some compelling evidence yesterday against man-made climate change: a snowball. "Because we keep hearing that 2014 has been the warmest year on record, I ask the chair, do you know what this is?" Sen. Jim Inhofe said to fellow Republican Sen. Bill Cassidy as he produced the snowball, the Hill reports. "It's a snowball. And it's just from outside here. So it's very, very cold out. Very unseasonable," Inhofe said before chucking the snowball in Cassidy's direction. The Oklahoman, one of the most vocal climate-change deniers in the Senate, went on to denounce "alarmism" on the subject and accuse President Obama of being "detached from reality" for claiming that climate change is a bigger threat than terrorism.
Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse rebutted Inhofe's claims, starting by saying he wanted "to respond to the presentation by one of the Republican senators suggesting that the continued existence of snow disproves climate change," CNN reports. At the Washington Post, Philip Bump writes that those not completely convinced by Inhofe's evidence might argue that he's using "one bit of weather-related data to try to disprove a well-established, very long-term trend. Bump also notes that "temperatures in February are supposed to be cold in the Northern Hemisphere since it is a season called 'winter'" and points out that one snowball doesn't change the fact that 2014 was indeed the warmest year on record, according to NASA and the NOAA.