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

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

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