Santorum Calls Global Warming a “Hoax,” Suggesting a Full-Fledged Climate Conspiracy Theory

Conservatism is a political philosophy that is, at its most fundamental, about resisting change.

So perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that an outrageous and absurd line uttered about global warming in 2003—Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe’s assertion that it is the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people”—has not, nearly a decade later, been discredited on the right. Instead, this idea has persisted.

Indeed, the “hoax” charge was recently reiterated by Rick Santorum—who uttered it in Colorado on Monday en route to his three state primary triumph yesterday.

This raises at least two points for me that bear addressing:

First: We need to acknowledge that denying science is very likely politically beneficial to Republicans today. Why? When Santorum denies climate science, he also defines an enemy: Environmentalists, those who are shutting down American industry and ingenuity based on ideologically driven junk science (or so the thinking goes).

We are learning that Republicans and conservatives, more than liberals and Democrats, are sensitive to fear and threat, and more attuned to the difference between themselves and out-groups. If environmentalists are successfully defined as a threatening out-group attacking American values, that is therefore an emotionally resonant political rallying cry.

Second: In using the word “hoax,” Santorum is apparently endorsing the global warming conspiracy theory. What do I mean by that?

This is the idea (at least in some incarnations) that a shady international group of scientists, NGOs, and leftwingers (especially European ones) are out to hamstring economies to advance a red, or at least pink, agenda of global governance. To do this, they need a covert issue to scare everyone into the kinds of changes they demand—hence the bugaboo of global warming.

The conspiracy theory was actually fully articulated in the late Michael Crichton’s controversial novel State of Fear. There, the environmentalists actually turn out to be, like, ninjas who aren’t above violence and generating fake weather disasters to advance their goals.

Does Santorum really think these kinds of things? I don’t know, because his logic is not fully articulated. But, in using the word “hoax,” it is hard to imagine what else he might mean.

A hoax, after all, implies nothing if not a coordinated effort to make people believe something that is known not to be true. So there has to be a cabal, a conscious effort at deception. And if the issue is global warming, then the cabal itself has to be global—for so is the scientific community and the international community seeking action on the issue.

What such a hoax would actually entail boggles the mind—it could never be pulled off—but never mind. The point is that Santorum is now lending implicit credence to the idea.

If we had a reasonable national discourse, making the “hoax” charge about global warming would get Santorum labeled a conspiracy theorist.

As Santorum pulls states into his column, then…we can safely say that is not the sort of discourse we have.


One thing I find funny is how Americans think the world ends at their border.  With something like Global Warming, its, well, global.

Now…  ever sit a bunch of people down in the same field and see how they get along?  Seriously, people don’t get along.  To think that thousands upon thousands of scientists would collaborate world wide (with different cultural backgrounds) and fake it all is just plain nuts.  These guys would argue over who’s lead author on a journal article.

Speaking of nuts.

US Military is in on it (they navy oceanographers are very involved in gathering the data being processed, so that must be fake). That’s treason, we should destroy the US military.

CIA is in on it.  Gotta get rid of them commie pinkos.

Oil Companies are in on it!  Charles Koch faking scientific data.  (Well I wouldn’t put it past him…)

NASA?  They provided America with one of humanity’s greatest achievements.  Must be a bunch of real crazy guys there.

Every single government on earth is contributing the data.  So a mole must in every one faking billions of data points.  NOTE:  much of this data pre-dates climate change.

… Messrs Roy Spencer and John Christy, stewards of the UAH satellite temperature record  – who surely wouldn’t appreciate being among the accused, but whose dénouement of this conspiracy would mean instant fame, fun and profit :-)

actual conservatives do not live in a make-believe world of just-so stories.  So stop saying that flat earthers and other climate change deniers are conservatives.  They are just kooks.

“actual conservatives do not live in a make-believe world of just-so stories.”

The bible belt are all Republican states arent they?

So stop saying that flat earthers and other climate change deniers are conservatives.

You are right in that world wide, many countries that are run by Conservative governments have a majority conservative voting public are in support of AGW realism. Its just countries that have large fossil fuel deposits who get funding from the fossil fuel & mining sector that have a dissproportionate representation of deniers. Most polls in these countries have progressives & conservatives at opposite ends of the polling.

It seems that in many cases, ones opposition to AGW is in direct proportion to how much funding your party attracts from corporations that will be affected by possible legislation or competition.


A long time ago the Republican party were radicals.  Now I’m not quite sure what the Republican party stands for — knownothingism maybe.  There are still a few genuinely conservative Republicans; maybe only those in Maine.

Great conservatives include Winston Churchill and Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Hold to something like that when labeling someone a conservative.  Call the current crop fools, ikooks or just knownothings.  To do otherwise elevates those ignoranti far beyond their abilities.

“mine Mine MINE!”

“Would you just shut up.  You’re rats with wings!”

Longer Chase Sequence….

[Side note: For anyone not familiar with Finding Nemo, the voice saying ‘Mine’ is the producer.]

So if Santorum were to win, could he state on camera that he intends on shutting down all climate research & firing all realist climate scientists because it’s all a hoax?


So, while the Conservative governement is spending money faster than a drunken sailor, they are claiming they need to make cut backs.

My understanding is they intend to stop most environment research. The writing is on the wall… they started censoring scientific research as soon as they got into power.. This is just the next step.

Its hard for people to complain about anything if you don’t monitor it.

“Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.

There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.”

As a practicing Catholic, Rick Santorum should really start paying attention to the pronouncements about climate change being made by Pope Benedict XVI. For example,

Pope Benedict XVI appealed for the success of a UN climate change conference that is opening tomorrow in Durban, South Africa. Speaking to the faithful gathered in St Peter’s Square for the Sunday Angelus prayer, Pope Benedict expressed the hope that “all members of the international community might reach agreement on a responsible, credible response,” to the phenomenon of climate change, which he described as “complex” and “disturbing”.

Source: “Pope Benedict XVI on climate change: a credible response is needed,” Vatcan Radio, Nov 27, 2011

Given that Rick Santorum is a practicing Catholic, it would behoove him to read:

Confronting the Climate Crisis: Catholic Theological Perspectives, edited by Jame Schaefer. ISBN-13: 978-0-87462-791-6.

Can theologians respond meaningfully to the overwhelming scientific evidence that human activities are accelerating the temperature of Earth and adversely affecting people, other species, ecological systems, and the biosphere? Members of the Catholic Theological Society of America’s Interest Group on Global Warming have dug deeply into the biblical to contemporary traditions, reflected systematically, and produced seventeen original essays that demonstrate fruitful ways in which to approach the climate crisis so that current and predicted effects may be mitigated. Framing these essays are an overview of basic scientific findings that compelled this group effort and statements by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and Pope Benedict XVI.

“Confronting the Climate Crisis is a collection of exciting essays offering the best Catholic theological reflection on the pressing ethical issue of sustainability. The broad spectrum of perspectives in its pages – which includes creation theology, feminist criticism, and the teaching of Benedict XVI and the U.S. Catholic bishops – makes it an especially excellent classroom resource.”

John E. Thiel, Professor of Religious Studies, Fairfield University President, Catholic Theological Society of America

For additional information about this book, go to: