It’s … tense. Inhofe is courteous in that blank-eyed, sociopathic way that makes you think he’d just as soon strangle O’Brien as talk to him. "Keep smiling …" he said at the end. Shiver.
The whole segment is a dense exchange of dueling quotes from scientific studies. At one point, Inhofe even says, "well, you have your scientific study, I have mine." As if this is just a he-said she-said thing, don’t you know.
Of course O’Brien was in the right, and kudos to him for having the right studies on hand to rebut Inhofe’s distortions. But more than anything this clip shows how deeply unsuited cable television is for educating viewers on these things. The barrage of science becomes white noise, and that’s just what Inhofe wants.
I wish O’Brien had asked a simple question: "The overwhelming majority of climate scientists take one position. A tiny minority, many funded by fossil fuel industries, take another. Why have you, in your capacity as a U.S. Senator, chosen to champion this tiny minority so vocally?"