Mike Coffman is the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 6th congressional district since 2009, having formerly served as the Secretary of State of Colorado. He is famous for his birther sympethies, and during a campaign fundraiser in 2012 he declared that “I don’t know whether Barack Obama was born in the United States of America. I don’t know that. But I do know this, that in his heart, he’s not an American. He’s just not an American.” He later claimed that he “misspoke”, which he rather clearly didn’t. He may not have anticipated that a recording from the meeting be made public, but apparently some of the contributors at the meeting (e.g. Brooks Imperial, who made the recording) agreed with the sentiment and thought it should be distributed more widely. He later also walked back on his apology, praising those who don’t believe Obama was born in the United States: “[Issues are] going to determine this election, not focusing on the birther question. God bless people that do that. I understand their passion.”
So that tells you a bit about Coffman’s cognitive abilities – or his honesty and integrity (or probably both). It’s not particularly surprising, then, that Coffman is a global warming denialist. He is aware of the scientific consensus surrounding the issue, but as he points out: “One thing that I certainly read in, from, viable sources is that a lot of the research that’s being done, if you don’t, when you put your application in to get a grant, if you don’t submit to the, you know, orthodoxy of climate change by the radical environmentalists you’re not going to get a grant.” Yes, that’s right. Scientists don’t disagree with the radical orthodoxy for fear of losing their research grants, and need someone like Coffman – who is so independent of any scientific group, background or body of evidence that it borders on the remarkable – to speak out for them. Of course, Coffman doesn’t quite understand how research grants work, but neither does his audience so it is really a win-win for him. (Nor does he have any evidence for his pretty easily testable claim, nor does he realize that even if the claim were correct, it would do little to undermine the existing evidence for AGW, and so on.)
Diagnosis: Inhofe-wannabe, it seems – at least Coffman is yet another delusional conspiracy theorist, Coast-to-Coast-AM-style, who has managed to get himself elected into a position of power. Scary stuff.