INHOFE STILL SEES ‘GLOBAL COOLING’…. It happens every year. Winter comes, snow falls, and right-wing nuts start insisting that cold weather necessarily disproves global warming.

And perhaps no nut is as aggressive in his denialism than Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who continues to believe winters constitute evidence against climate change. But if the confused conservative senator considers January reason enough to reject the science behind global warming, what does he think of late July? ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked him.

…Washington is sweating under record heat. Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that, globally, 2010 is the hottest year on record since record-keeping began in 1880.

Inhofe was still not deterred when ABC’s Jon Karl invited the Oklahoma Republican to talk about the issue outside the Capitol building, in 95-degree, humid July heat.

“I say the same thing we said back in January and February when we had the coldest winter in a long time,” said Inhofe, from a shady spot in front of the Capitol Building. … “We’re in a cycle now that all the scientists agree is going into a cooling period,” he said.

And Inhofe would be entirely right, if by “all the scientists,” he meant “all the lobbyists representing the oil and coal industries.”

Karl talked to the chief scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Climatic Data Center, who was unequivocal. “What I don’t understand is when you see evidence, that looks at all those indicators in one place, on one figure, decrease in glaciers, I don’t see how any reasonable person can look at that and not agree that the globe is warming,” Thomas Peterson said. “The indicators are irrefutable.”

As for Inhofe’s bizarre belief in global cooling, take a moment to consider this David Leonhardt piece from the other day.

All the while, the risks and costs of climate change grow. Sea levels are rising faster than scientists predicted just a few years ago. Himalayan glaciers are melting. In the American West, pine beetles (which struggle to survive the cold) are multiplying and killing trees.

According to NASA, 2010 is on course to be the planet’s hottest year since records started in 1880. The current top 10, in descending order, are: 2005, 2007, 2009, 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2004, 2001 and 2008.

The only thing more dangerous than Jim Inhofe’s allergy to reason is a Senate that mandates supermajorities to approve all public policy. If the chamber operated the way it was designed and intended to operate — the way every legislative body on the planet functions — it could approve legislation to deal with the climate crisis. Instead, with a Senate featuring 59 Democrats, Inhofe’s stupidity rules the day.

The consequences will be severe. History will not be kind.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.