Top 10 Climate Deniers in American Leadership

Climate change is happening. Over 97% of scientists find that human activity has contributed to the steady warming of our planet’s climate. As our leaders to nothing about it, this problem continues to get worse. But why are so many top figures in American leadership ignoring climate science? Well, believe it or not, a lot of them are in a full-blown state of denial over the irrefutable, unquestionable, sure-as-shit fact of climate change.

Top 10 Climate Deniers in American Politics

At this time, there are over 100 leaders at the top of the American government and economy who have gone on record doubting or denying climate change. Most of them (unsurprisingly) have a financial or personal interest in continuing with business as usual. And as unsurprising as it may be that so many people are happily placing power profit over people and the planet, it’s high time we call them out for it.

Here are the top people in American political, economic, and social leadership who are still denying climate change:

1. Donald Trump


Current-President-but-Thankfully-On-His-Way-Out Donald Trump has long dismissed climate change as a hoax. During his term he worked to roll back environmental protection rules and emission regulations, including climate work at United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

2. Jim Inhofe

Inhofe is the United States Senator from Oklahoma. He also wrote a book called The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future. This tome laid out his shameless theory that global warming is not a scientific fact but rather a grand conspiracy. He is also one of the 22 Republican Senators who signed a letter urging President Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Notably, Sen. Inhofe receives a generous amount money from the oil and gas industry. Reportedly, Inhofe has accepted over $2 million in political contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

3. Ted Cruz

Cruz, a United States Senator from Texas, rejects scientific consensus on climate change and denounces the scientific evidence supporting global warming. He, too, supported and signed the letter withdraw from the Paris Agreement and supported of TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline.

4. Mitch McConnell

McConnell is Kentucky’s United States Senator and still was the Senate Majority leader at the end of 2020. He is known for casting doubt on well-established and peer reviewed climate science. In fact, he is a reliable vote against climate regulation and pushes back any actions his peers in Congress suggest to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. He is also one of the 22 Senators joining Injofe’s letter urging Trump to withdraw from the Paris Agreements, which means he is partially to blame for the fact that the United States as the only nation in the world not aligned with the Agreement. Oh, and he also made approving the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline a top priority on his political agenda.

5. Myron Ebell

Ebell is the director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policy at Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and the Direction of Freedom Action. He chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition which is focused on framing global warming as a lie. He was also appointed by President Trump to lead the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s transitional team from 2016 to 2017.

6. Steve Milloy

Milloy is a Director at Murray Energy Corp., the largest privately-owned coal producer in the U.S.. He is also the Senior Policy Fellow at Energy & Environment Legal Institute despite having close ties to both the oil and tobacco companies. In addition to disputing climate change, Milloy has publicly doubted the health risks of smoking (because… ?) .

7. Patrick Michaels

Michaels was the Director of the Center for the Study of Science at Cato Institute. He authored several books and papers denying, criticizing, or minimizing climate change science and greenhouse gas emission risks. These materials have earned Michaels a reputation as an expert despite the fact that 40% of his funding comes from the oil industry.

8. David Legates

Legates is a geography professor at the University of Delaware who is also known to question fundamental climate science (come on, U. Delaware — those students pay good tuition). Speaking from the position of an expert, Legates spreads misinformation (like suggesting one outcome of burning fossil fuels and pumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere would be a more habitable planet for humans).

Despite being a disgraced-academic-slash-whacko, Legates was hired he was hired by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a senior position in the last few months of 2020. Who knows what Trump’s motivation for that was (but then again, I also don’t understand why Steve Malloy is such a big fan of lung cancer either — so maybe it’s just me?).

9. John Cornyn

Cornyn is a United States Senator for Texas. He too signed the letter supporting the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. He also stanchly opposed the Green New Deal, voted against banning drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and voted against removing oil and gas exploration subsidies. Cool, thanks John.

10. Mark Morano

Former Republican aide and congressional staffer Mark Morano now runs a climate change denial non-profit called Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, which is behind the propaganda website This anti-science thinktank that has received funding from ExxonMobil, Chevron, and hundreds of thousands of dollars from foundations associated with Richard Mellon to sow doubt into proven theories regarding climate change.

Climate Change is Real, Politicians are Fake

The men listed above are top figures in American leadership, but they are not representative of most Americans. In fact, more than 90% of Americans accept climate change science — and that’s because we are experiencing it for ourselves.

Without a doubt, it’s getting hotter. July 2020 tied with July 2016 as the second-hottest July on record. July 2019 still holding the top spot. And, in other parts of the world, this was the hottest year on record in all of history. The Artic Sea ice shrank to record lows, and is now just about as small as we’ve ever known it to be. Global warming is making the air drier and dustier, which makes asthma worse. It’s also making chemical and biological pollution more hazardous and contributing to the spread of disease. Warmer weather is making for deadlier storms, and drier summers are causing wildfires to burn hotter and faster every year.

You may be horrified by the catastrophic state of affairs we’ve found ourselves in and desperate to find some way to help do something about it. If so, this response makes you a realist, and I commend your brave objectivity. But many of the people running our country — the politicians and corporate leaders at the top of our centralized systems — are not as brave as you are. Instead, they live in denial.

Instead of following science, they are denouncing the fact of climate change. Why? Sometimes, it’s because doing the right thing is very hard, and other times because doing so better lines their pockets with money from the fossil fuel companies. But regardless of why they are doing it, the men listed in this article are encouraging the rollback of climate mitigation legislation. They are pushing back against international agreements designed to fight the disastrous effects of climate change.

You may recognize that the global environmental, social, and human health issues caused by climate change are real, and that’s a downer. But stubbornly insisting that they don’t affect you and your community is just burying your head in the sand. And if this is your frame of mind, I’m sorry to have to be the one to inform you that you’re in a state of full-blown denial too.

Originally published at on January 15, 2020.




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Samantha Joule Fow

Samantha Joule Fow

How will humans and the environment co-evolve in our technology-driven world? Samantha Joule Fow is on a mission to find out!

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