Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.


Mapping The Climate Change Deniers Making Our Laws

This map shows where climate-denying legislators come from—and how many weather-related disasters their states have faced in the past few years.

In a post-fact era, you can be an elected official and have a remarkably flexible relationship with the truth. Take climate science: more than 97% of scientists agree that climate change is a man-made phenomenon, but conservative politicians—and more than 65% of Republicans in Congress—outdo one another to demonstrate just how little they believe in science.

While that’s not exactly news, a new project by the site Think Progress aims to put the spotlight on just who climate change deniers are and where they come from, with a map of the U.S. showing the number of climate-denying legislators per state. According to the map, seven states have more than half their legislative caucus in Washington denying climate change. Nine states—Hawaii, Oregon, Nevada, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware—don’t send a single climate-denying legislator to Washington.

Click on a state, and the site links to a page listing the names of each climate change denying legislator who calls that location home, with an excerpt of the language he or she would have used to land on the list in the first place. Some of the quotes are true gems that seem to be regurgitated from the same cocktail party. A favorite word of climate deniers is "settled," as in "Science is never settled," according to Texas Congressman K. Michael Conaway, who added, "They changed the phraseology because the climate isn’t warming." (Because, in fact, it’s changing—cooling in some places, warming in others.)

The facts about legislators are juxtaposed with data on how many climate-related disasters each state has faced since 2011. The U.S. has declared 368 climate-related disaster over that period and has faced 25 extreme weather events that caused more than $1 billion in damage. The point the map hopes to make is that denying climate change has a cost, particularly in states like Oklahoma, where most legislators deny climate change and 38 disasters have been declared in the past two years.

Add New Comment


  • jfreed27

    loves ya?  Front groups have
    received over $100 million in order to generate misinformation and delay in
    facing climate change (

    For example, Charles and David Koch have dumped over 61 million dollars into
    front groups that attack climate science and policies designed to solve global
    warming (

    Many in this anti-science industry got their experience working for Big
    Tobacco.  Result? Cancer and heart
    disease continued to spread.  In
    creating doubt about AGW similar techniques are used (

    Naturally, much of what we will read in these Comments is the result of that
    million “investment”.

    Minus those millions, we would be having a very different conversation.
    Instead of fending off an army of flying monkeys, we would be doing the work of
    adults, finding solutions.

    The problem with this hyped up doubt and delay? We fail to address our civilization’s
    problem, which, according to our very best scientific minds
    (, is man made climate change.


    the results of our delay will be with us for many hundreds of years, as CO2
    does not quickly leave our atmosphere and our seas.

    Experts predict trillions of dollars and millions (if not billions) of lives at
    stake. Each year’s delay to get carbon under control is estimated to cost $600
    billion (

    And, more importantly, each year hundreds of thousands of lives are taken as a
    result of
    our changed climate, according to the very conservative World Health

    Of course, all the top experts in the world (40,000 published scientists) have
    no authority or standing to a
    paid denier, clearly complicit in the growing destruction.


    sole purpose their heavily financed misdirection is to make it easy for you to
    shrug your shoulders and simply not to care - though you should, if you care
    about your children.


    is the job of each of us to urge our leaders to make the best possible
    decisions, which can be accomplished only if we clearly understand our
    situation.  And good science, not
    smoke and mirrors, not arm waving, should be the basis.


    when you read the comments here, consider the source.


  • Cejantzi

    Maybe the "alarmists" should check out "An engineers critique of Global Warming 'Science".  Burt Rutan completely destroys the hoax, using their data and graphs, but he shows all the graphs, not just the scary parts.  Another nail in the coffin of "global warming" is the latest chart from the HadleyCRUT4 temperature dataset updated thru the end of April 2013.  Their graph clearly shows CO2 and temperature trends diverging starting 30 years ago, and global cooling returning 12 years ago.  Bye bye CAGW.  Too bad we wasted billions on this hoax.

  • Gary_denton

    What a load of crock.  Burt Rutan is an old conservative who believes even the Republican Party is Socialistic.  Everybody but the anti-science disinformers have known for a long time that the Hadley/CRU (Climatic Research Unit) temperature data UNDERestimates recent global temperature rise, over three years ago.  - pick your argument. Hope you are getting some of that Koch money and aren't just an ignorant yahoo.

  • Mike

    The theory of CO2 catastrophism is
    the biggest hoax in human history! The effects of rising CO2 have been proven
    to be logarithmic which means the more you add the less effect it has so that
    now any additional CO2 it has little warming effect.  But it has also been
    proven to be a huge cash cow for the Climate Change Mafia and that’s why you
    see this massive disinformation campaign.

  • oldtoady

    "98% of atmospheric/climate scientists who believe AGW is real and a problem " Thats a proven falsehood. Many scientist that have found that their papers were labeled "pro agw" have refuted that that is what their papers were saying.

    And thank god Congress is gridlocked, thats why its there, not as a rubber stamp for the Senate and the President.

  • oldtoady

    No one is denying the climate is changing. But even AWG theory does not connect the weather events and increased CO2 as the cause of some of these weather events. There are no deniers, there are scientist that believe that the role of CO2 is merely a background observation and not the driver.

  • rideabike

     It's funny that you mistakenly wrote "scientist" instead of scientists. What you wrote is more correct however compared to the 98% of atmospheric/climate scientists who believe AGW is real and a problem, the ones leftover must be only a single one or, at least number in the single digits.

    While you may quibble with what "denier" means, the result is the same. A gridlocked congress that does nothing to reduce GHG emissions and actually is still very much pro-fossil fuels! 18th-19th century technology. You may not be a denier, but the effect is the same as denial, which is what matters.