Sen. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseMcConnell: I'm going to give Biden's Supreme Court nominee 'a fair look' Democrats press cryptomining companies on energy consumption Overnight Energy & Environment — Starting from 'scratch' on climate, spending bill MORE (D-R.I.) on Thursday panned Sen. James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeOvernight Defense & National Security — White House raises new alarm over Russia Biden sparks confusion, cleanup on Russia-Ukraine remarks Republicans say Mayorkas failed to deliver report on evacuated Afghans MORE’s (R-Okla.) use of a snowball during a speech on climate change.

Whitehouse used his iPad to argue that a polar vortex was bringing cold air down to Washington in part because of warmer ocean temperatures.

ADVERTISEMENT

He said that you could either believe “every major American scientific society,” the Navy, NASA, and Pope Francis that climate change is real or “you can believe the senator with the snowball.”

“You can believe NASA and you can believe what their satellites measure on the planet or you can believe the senator with the snowball. The United States Navy takes this very seriously... You can either believe the United States Navy or you can believe the senator with the snowball,” the Rhode Island Democrat said in a speech from the Senate floor.

Inhofe threw the snowball as part of an effort to dismiss climate change. The Oklahoma Republican said the snowball was from outside in Washington, using cold weather to argue against claims that greenhouse gases are behind an increase in the earth’s temperature.

“It’s a snowball. And it’s just from outside here. So it’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable,” Inhofe said. 

Whitehouse suggested that most Americans likely believed in man-made climate change.

“I would submit that if you looked at the American population and you removed the conspiracy theorists… and there are people who simply don't accept a lot of scientific truths… and if you remove the people who have financial ties to the fossil fuel industry… I would be very surprised if you find virtually anybody left that wasn’t prepared to be responsible about climate change,” he said.