Former US Sen. Jim Inhofe, defense hawk who called human-caused climate change a ‘hoax,’ dies at 89

OKLAHOMA CITY — Former Sen. Jim Inhofe, a conservative known for his strong support of defense spending and his denial that human activity is responsible for the bulk of climate change, has died. He was 89.

Inhofe, a powerful fixture in Oklahoma politics for over six decades, died Tuesday morning after suffering a stroke during the July Fourth holiday, his family said in a statement.

Inhofe, a Republican who underwent quadruple bypass heart surgery in 2013 before being elected to a fourth term, was elected to a fifth Senate term in 2020, before stepping down in early 2023.

Inhofe frequently criticized the mainstream science that human activity contributed to changes in the Earth’s climate, once calling it “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

In February 2015, with temperatures in the nation’s capital below freezing, Inhofe brought a snowball on to the Senate floor. He tossed it before claiming that environmentalists focus attention on global warming as it kept getting cold.

As Oklahoma’s senior U.S. senator, Inhofe was a staunch supporter of the state’s five military installations and a vocal fan of congressional earmarks. The Army veteran and licensed pilot, who would fly himself to and from Washington, secured federal money to

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