A Field Guide to Climate Change Skeptics

Meet the lukewarmers, the sunspotters, and the Rapture-ready.


Read also: The truth about Climategate, and why we don’t believe science.

fdasdSen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.)

Global warming nonbelievers can be found just about anywhere—from your relatives’ Thanksgiving dinner table to Congress. Learn to tell the lukewarmers from the garden-variety deniers with this handy cheat sheet.

Flat-out deniers: Argue that the world is no warmer today than it was during the Medieval Warm Period of 950 to 1250; fdasfsdaRep. Joe Barton (R-Texas)some accuse scientists of conspiring to put their instruments in hotter areas to skew the readings.

Global-cooling believers: Claim that the planet is actually getting colder (PDF)—and point to increasing winter snow as evidence. See: Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.).

Rep. Joe Read (R-Mont.)Rep. Joe Read (R-Mont.)Mathletes: Live to find faulty math in climate change studies.

Sunspotters: Believe the planet is getting hotter, but blame natural phenomena like water vapor, volcanoes, solar flares, clouds, and cosmic rays—not people. Proposed solution? Install A/C (PDF) or find a nice shade tree. See: Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas).

Lukewarmers: Acknowledge that the Earth is getting hotter, but it’s not a big deal. Others argue that it might even be a good thing: See: Rep. Joe Read (R-Mont.), who said that “global warming is beneficial to the welfare and businessRep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.)Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) climate of Montana.”

The Rapture-ready: Contend that the planet cannot be warming because it was not foretold in the Bible—and even if it were warming, good news! The end times are upon us. See: Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.).

Photos: US Congress; Read: Montana Legislative Information Service

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.