“The environment strikes back,” Senator Inhofe joked to his local newspaper just days after being forced to cancel his appearance as the keynote speaker at the Heartland climate change denial conference due to a severe respiratory illness caused by swimming in the algae-infested Grand Lake.
Algae, which has been linked to respiratory, digestive, neurological and skin diseases and fatal liver disease in humans, is exacerbated by rising temperatures and extreme weather patterns, such as the droughts that have rocked the Senator’s home state of Oklahoma.
Senator Inhofe mentioned that, despite living on the Grand Lake for decades, he doesn’t recall ever seeing that level of algae in the water before. "I didn't think anything about it,'' he said.
The Grand River Dam Authority has since issued a warning “strongly discouraging any bodily contact,” with the Grand Lake water until the algae situation is remedied.