These 10 people have unintentionally hilarious things to say about global warming.
We don’t need to save the planet, because Jesus already did it – or so says Michele Bachmann, current presidential candidate and one of America’s 10 most notorious global warming deniers. Sarah Palin calls the science behind anthropogenic climate change “snake oil,” and Texas Representative Joe Barton contends that carbon dioxide can’t ever be a bad thing, because it’s in Coca-Cola. These, ladies and gentleman, are the politicians, commentators, columnists and businesspeople who most ardently (and hilariously) shout from the mountaintops that global warming just isn’t happening. Their words speak for themselves.
Senator James Inhofe, Oklahoma
According to Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, ranking member of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, global warming is “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” That’s right, the man who leads a crucial government committee responsible for dealing with matters related to the environment is a staunch global warming denier. Inhofe, who bases many of his views on the writings of Jurassic Park novelist Michael Crichton (more on that later), is primarily responsible for a report claiming that “Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming.” Too bad the majority of those ‘scientists’ turned out to be highly suspect, with many connected to fossil fuel industries and many more possessing no apparent expertise in climate science. That report, still used by climate skeptics to this day as supposed proof that there is no consensus among scientists on climate change, has been thoroughly debunked.
“Above all, the media must roll back this mantra that there is scientific ‘consensus of impending climatic doom as an excuse to ignore recent science,” Inhofe said in a 2006 press release. “After all, there was a so-called scientific ‘consensus’ that there were nine planets in our solar system until Pluto was recently demoted.”
Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota
Current GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, a U.S. Representative from Minnesota, believes that climate change can’t really be happening, because carbon dioxide is natural. Or something. As she remarked on the House floor on Earth Day 2009, “It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular life cycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can’t even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that’s on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that – that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental life cycle of Earth.”
That’s not her only argument. Bachmann agrees with Inhofe in that global warming is one big trick orchestrated by greedy environmentalists and scientists who want more grant money. “The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax,” she told Minnesota Public Radio. “It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.”
Of course, this is the woman who once told Rep. Nancy Pelosi that she might as well give up the fight against climate change, because Jesus has this thing covered. “[Pelosi] is committed to her global warming fanaticism to the point where she has said she’s just trying to save the planet. We all know that someone did that over 2,000 years ago, they saved the planet – we didn’t need Nancy Pelosi to do that.”
Governor Rick Perry, Texas
“The idea that we would put America’s economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense,” said GOP presidential candidate and Texas governor Rick Perry at a presidential debate in September. “Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell.” Perry is, of course, referring to the Italian Renaissance astronomer who was outcast as a heretic when he disagreed with the consensus that the sun revolves around Earth.
These quotes reaffirmed Perry’s earlier statements, when he told an audience of voters in New Hampshire that global warming is just too expensive to deal with. “I don’t think, from my perspective, that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on what is still a scientific theory that hasn’t been proven, and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.”
Donald Trump, Businessman
There are few subjects upon which Donald Trump isn’t willing to yell his red-faced, weird-hair-ruffling opinion, whether we asked him or not. So naturally, the reality television star and repeatedly bankrupt businessman has a few things to say about global warming. You see, it’s been snowing in the winter. So, as the billionaire told an audience of 500 at a country club in February 2010, Al Gore – perpetual bullseye for climate change deniers – should be stripped of his Nobel Peace Prize.
“With the coldest winter ever recorded, with snow setting record levels up and down the coast, the Nobel committee should take the Nobel Prize back from Al Gore,” he said, adding “Gore wants us to clean up our factories… when China and other countries couldn’t care less… China, Japan and India are laughing at America’s stupidity.” Indeed, Donald, many people are laughing at America’s stupidity.
Sarah Palin, Former Governor of Alaska
On the rare occasion when the words that come out of former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s mouth form coherent sentences, they still don’t make much sense. Back in 2008, before she quit her job mid-term, the proud moose hunter led the state of Alaska in a lawsuit against the federal government, stating that the listing of polar bears as a threatened species would cripple oil and gas development.
Speaking about the federal government’s decision to a group of loggers in 2010, Palin said, “We knew the bottom line… was ultimately to shut down our development. And it didn’t make sense because it was based on these global warming studies that we’re now seeing (is) a bunch of snake oil science.” The one-time Fox News talking head did not specify the studies that led her to this conclusion, probably because very few credible ones exist.
Michael Crichton, Author
He has one of the most recognizable names in the history of American fiction, responsible for such mega-hits as the TV medical drama ER. But what you might not know about Michael Crichton is that he was an ardent denier of global warming, writing a seriously misleading techno-thriller called State of Fear that attacks climate science and even advising former President George W. Bush not to address global warming.
Though Crichton studied medicine as a student at Harvard, the author had no experience in climate science. This didn’t stop him from claiming that State of Fear was written “on a firm foundation of actual research challenging common assumptions about global warming.” The book argues that the environmental and scientific communities totally fabricated the threat, portraying all environmentalists in a consistently negative light and using the story to smear real-life scientist James Hansen. This work of fiction remains a major influence on the thinking of many prominent climate change skeptics.
Steve Milloy, Fox News Commentator
He’s a Fox News commentator, founder of a website called JunkScience.com and author of a book called Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them. So you can probably already imagine the kinds of comments that Steve Milloy has to make about global warming. Milloy, a former lobbyist for fossil fuel and nuclear energy, pesticides and the National Mining Association, recently offered a $500,000 prize to anyone who can “prove, in a scientific manner, that humans are causing harmful global warming.” What’s the catch? “JunkScience.com, at its sole discretion, will determine the winner, if any.”
As reported by DeSmogBlog, Milloy proclaims himself to be a pioneer fighting against “faulty scientific data used to advance special, and often hidden, agendas.” Funny that Milloy doesn’t mention his own special interests and connections, including years of funding from major tobacco companies like Philip Morris. Milloy is also an adjunct analyst for the conservative thinktank CEI, Competitive Enterprise Intitute, a global warming disinformation machine that is partially funded by Exxon Mobil.
Rep. Joe Barton, Texas
Known as “Smokey Joe” for his opposition to the Clean Air Act and his efforts on behalf of polluters, Texas Representative Joe Barton famously argued against wind power because harnessing the wind would “slow the winds down,” effectively causing “the temperature to go up.” But that doesn’t mean he supports efforts to fight global warming, which he calls “a triumph over good sense and science.” Climate change is natural, he says, and in response, we should just “get shade.”
In fact, Barton argues, carbon dioxide is obviously harmless since it carbonates beverages. In opposition to the Waxman-Markey bill that aimed to cap CO2 emissions, Barton stated, “I’m creating it as I talk to you. It’s in your Coca-Cola, your Dr. Pepper and your Perrier water. It’s necessary for human life. It’s odorless, colorless, tasteless, doesn’t cause cancer, doesn’t cause asthma. There’s nobody that’s ever been admitted to a hospital because of CO2 poisoning.”
George Will, Columnist at the Washington Post
Among the most reliable sources of global warming disinformation is Washington Post columnist George Will, who regularly rails against “global warming alarmism” armed with misleading quotes selected from 1970’s newspaper articles about global cooling. Criticizing a 2010 error by the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the retreat of Himalayan glaciers, Will himself offered a number of incorrect statements and misrepresented data as supposed proof that there is no scientific consensus on glacial retreat. Even after his distortions were revealed, Will continued to claim that he “accurately reported” the contents on an Arctic Climate Research Center document on declining sea ice, ignoring widespread calls for better fact-checking. These supposed facts are then repeated ad nauseam by climate change skeptics, entering the vast mythology of supposed scientific data supporting their views.
Glenn Beck, Radio Host
“Al Gore’s not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization… and you must silence all dissenting voices. That’s what Hitler did. That’s what Al Gore, the U.N., and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing].”
Would you expect anything less from Glenn Beck, the chalk-wielding, sobbing former Fox television personality? The weird thing is, after years of making claims like these, repeating the popular refrain among his conservative buddies that global warming is “the biggest scam in history,” Beck went and gave an interview to USA Weekend in which he said “You’d be an idiot not to notice the temperature change,” admitting that there’s a legitimate case that global warming has been caused, at least in part, by mankind. Then again, Beck himself says “If you take what I say as gospel, you’re an idiot.”