A moment of fun here for Senator James Inhofe, who declared victory over the global-warming hysterics this week in a speech covered by the Tulsa World. Inhofe got a few laughs from a nearly-empty room by telling Barbara Boxer that the failure of the dire predictions of disaster from last decade to come to pass showed that he had been right all along, and that they could now “stick a fork” in the effort to hobble American productivity through the restriction of carbon emissions:

U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, perhaps Congress’ most vocal skeptic of man-made global warming, essentially declared victory Wednesday in a lengthy speech on the Senate floor.
“I proudly declare 2009 as the ‘Year of the Skeptic,’ the year in which scientists who question the so-called global warming consensus are being heard,’’ the Oklahoma Republican said.

“Until this year, any scientist, reporter or politician who dared raise even the slightest suspicion about the science behind global warming was dismissed and repeatedly mocked.’’

Inhofe recalled his own 2003 remarks in which he said much of the debate over global warming was predicated on fear rather than science.

Alarmists warned of a future plagued by catastrophic flooding, economic dislocations, droughts and mosquito-borne diseases, he said.

Inhofe also recalled his most famous comment in which he suggested that man-made global warming would turn out to be “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.”

“Today, I have been vindicated,’’ he said.

What has Inhofe feeling vindicated?  He points to the collapse of the Copenhagen conference, which was widely expected to produce a Kyoto-style agreement among Western nations to commit economic seppuku by restricting energy production.  However, Inhofe could just as easily point to an event closer to home — Harry Reid’s rescheduling of Boxer’s bill to the spring, where Democrats will undoubtedly run as fast as possible from it in an election year.

Inhofe may have won a battle, but the hysterics aren’t done yet.  We need to ensure that they don’t get another chance to impose a government-run energy rationing system in the future.